The Next Chapter: The Opening of My Store Zanathia & Grad School Preparation…A Recollection.

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Over the past several months, I was in the process of preparing to turn one of my passionate hobbies (I love collecting vintage rare items) into a professional small business. Starting a small business is not necessarily very hard, but there were times when it was nerve-wrecking. However, in the end I am glad that I persisted on with it. Originally I wanted to open the store on October 8th, my birthday, as a gift to myself.  However, sometimes things don’t always go as planned, so I spent that calm rainy day working on my product photography for my store & eating some good wings (only drumsticks, no flats….). It was actually not a disappointing day at all considering I got to see another birthday because of God’s will, and I got a chance to work towards one of my passions while celebrating with my closest of family. As a newly launched small business/store, I am prepared to go through business obstacles & challenges & I want to encourage others to never give up on their dreams/desires. My store, Zanathia, was created after finally realizing that I’ve collected vintage/antique jewelry over the past four years from garage and estate sells & own a plethora of heirloom jewelry …so why not turn a personal hobby & passion into a small business? I collect other things as well, such as classic comic books & vinyl records, but decided to choose vintage & antique jewelry for the focus of of my E-commerce store.  Not to mention, I am finally preparing for grad school in the near future and that can be overwhelming sometimes as well . Honestly, I’m tired of school, but one of the passions I want to do professionally requires me to persist on, so my perseverance is still high. A little taxing, but still high.  Overall, I am humbly proud & happy that I believed in myself enough to take a faith-based leap into entrepreneurship. The road ahead is full of unknown turns & twists, but that’s just life, right? For anyone who is thinking about taking their bold leap of faith, please do it because it is worth it. Don’t wait until you get more financially settled or whatever. Just try your best to let positive thoughts triumph over negative ones & stay focus on taking steps to achieve your goals. The path/future ahead is a great unknown one, but I am embracing it and looking forward to it if God is willing. A new chapter is exciting and mysterious! I encourage all to go after their dreams, and I’ll just quote the late great musician Tom Petty:

”Yeah runnin’ down a dream
That never would come to me
Workin’ on a mystery, goin’ wherever it leads
Runnin’ down a dream”

-Running Down A Dream

My store: www.zanathia.com for stunning vintage & antique collectible jewelry

 

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Inspiration: Being There For Friends/Love Ones Who Are Always There For Others

Often times there are people in our lives who seem to always be there for others,  but may feel as though no one is truly available when they need genuine care & support. Whether it is a simple phone call to check on our love-ones just to see if they are okay or need someone to talk/listen to…our time being available matters. Of course, we all have those love-ones who may claim they do not want to talk about ‘it’ or to ”leave them alone”, but they just may not be ready to open up about what is bothering them.  For an example, sometimes one of my love-ones may claim to not want to converse or talk about something that is bothering him/her at the moment, but I still let them know that I am there if they need someone to listen or talk to. Also, if they refuse to open up about the situation or seem detached, we can tell our love-ones ”I pray/hope you triumph over what you’re going through and I love you”. One of the least positive/effective things we can do is detach ourselves emotionally or mentally just because we have our own obstacles going on in life. No one is perfect, and we may not get it right all of the time when it comes to knowing when someone we care for is hurting, but all it takes is sincere effort and communication. Let’s not take our blessings for granted or only call the ones we claim to care about when we need something. Let’s be there and make sure they do not feel neglected or alone. Unfortunately, there are some people who consider themselves without family or someone who genuinely cares. For those people who feel that way, please know people exist around the Earth who may not know you personally but we are constantly praying & rooting for you, and trying to help in some way… and that is a genuine form of caring!

Food Waste in America: Great Ways We Can Implement Change & End The Problem  

Places like dear Somalia are going through a devastating drought, and in America there are still people suffering from chronic hunger who would love to have the excessive amount of uneaten foods being disposed of every day. Each year at least 120 billion pounds of food is wasted in America.  This is heart-breaking & unfortunate, and instead of just criticizing or feeling helpless about this issue…we all can help in many ways to decrease the problem.

  • Many households waste tons of food and then it ends up in massive garbage dumps, which increases methane emissions in the landfills & causes environmental problems as well. Methane, a greenhouse gas, is way more harmful/deadly than Carbon Monoxide. Some solutions include finding out how to store fruits and vegetables so they stay fresh longer inside or outside the refrigerator, not putting excessive amounts on our plates & then disposing of the rest (Our eyes being bigger than our stomachs), not forgetting or wasting leftovers placed in the fridge, and grocery planning with meal plans & expiration dates in mind, which is also more healthier/cost effective than eating out consistently at restaurants.
  • Every day restaurants and food stores throw away unsold items that could go to those who are in need. Of course, they claim it is a liability problem so no one is at fault for a person becoming ill, but it is really about businesses that want to gain profit from all of their items instead of giving away free unsold food to the hungry.  Fortunately, there are some food businesses that partner with communities and organizations to give away unsold food. Grocery stores like Sprouts support organizations like local food banks & Starbucks has now started giving away ready to eat fresh meals through FoodShare program, which also partner’s with food banks that help feed the hungry and homeless. Of course, supporting and donating to non-profit organizations/charities is a great way to give back and help in fighting chronic hunger. Hopefully in the near future more food chains will not throw away their unsold food, and instead give it away to those who are suffering from chronic hunger.
  • Being grateful and having a caring/sensitive conscience are some of the beginning steps to help decrease food waste as well. I believe this because if someone genuinely cares about the problem & has immense empathy for those who suffer from chronic hunger, including precious children, then this makes it more natural & easier to actually want to do more & implement change.

    Of course, there are other great ways to help decrease and eventually end food waste . The suggestions and information above are ways we can directly help, but the agricultural system also needs changes as well… such as food crops being disposed of or forgotten before getting the chance to be distributed.  All in all, no matter who we are or where we live in the world….implementing positive change should be a shared responsibility. Let’s not think we have to be wealthy to make a difference! 

    *** If you would like to help dear Somalia due to the devastating current drought, then here are some organizations to research & donate to: Action Against Hunger, Save the Children, & UNICEF.***

    What Would You Do? Parents Being Verbally/Emotionally Abusive to Their Children

    If you ask someone what defines being verbally abusive to a child, then you may get different answers and perspectives. Some people share the ideology that if it is not your child, then do not interfere unless they are being physically harmed/assaulted. However, what a parent says to their child can be just as hurtful and have a negative impact on them mentally like physical abuse. Someone once told me that they heard a frustrated mother call her son a ”punk bitch” in a grocery store and no one said anything…they just stared at the mother in shock for a moment. The child was a toddler and his mother called him this…so this likely means she is verbally abusing her child at home repeatedly. Letting that sink in, this is a very ugly situation, can have negative psychological & relationship impacts on the child, and it hurts my heart to know children are being treated in this manner. I just really feel as if someone should have spoken up for the little boy even if the mother had a problem with input from a stranger.  Nevertheless, no one wanted to interfere with the mother and her child, but people knew it was awful and wrong.  Some people may have the ”well it’s not my child” mentality or were afraid to speak up. Personally speaking, my conscience would have been bothering me all day. Verbal abuse is often a more controversial subject that some do not see eye to eye on compared to actual physical abuse. Some people feel as though one should only step in if the verbal abuse is ”extremely harsh”, while others feel as though all types of verbal abuse is very harsh. Often, the child’s parents were verbally abused, and a person may feel the way they talk to their child is okay, so they continue the cycle. There are also parents who take their frustrations and dislikes out on their kids even though it is never the child’s fault…innocent children who never asked to be created or born into this world. I am thankful that my parents were never emotionally abusive to me, but it still hurts that countless children experience this every day.  Verbal and emotional abuse is just as evil and harsh as physical abuse, and often the scars may not be visible, but it is forever embedded in their mind. It is easier to build up a child, then to try and repair a broken adult.

    **Some helpful and informative organizations that try to prevent Child Abuse includes Childhelp.org (1-800-422-4453), and Child Welfare Information Gateway. **

    Trip Hop & The Bristol Sound: A Few of My Favorites

    Trip Hop originated from Bristol ,U.K, & the sound has been partly influenced by jazz, hip-hop, funk, and soul. The Bristol Underground scene of the 90s involved experimenting with art and music, particularly with drum & bass. Trip Hop’s drum-based breakdowns and sound involves several types of music styles , and is a good example of just how diverse electronic music is…there are literally no less than one hundred ‘subgenres’.  When I think of some of the most interesting and diverse sounds in electronic music, it seems only right to mention Trip Hop greats/legends such as Howie D, Morcheeba, and Nightmares on Wax. To pay homage, here are a few of my favorite classic Trip Hop songs & artists of the 90s, an amazing innovative time for Electronic music.

     

    Never Again,huh?: When Genocide Keeps Reoccurring After The Holocaust

    After The Holocaust, the United Nations General Assembly came together and passed the Genocide Convention. The agreement and idea was to prevent genocidal acts & punish criminals who slaughter victims because of an ethnic, religious, or national group they may belong to.  However, Post- World War 2 genocide events have continued to happen after the U.N and people all around the world vowed never again. There has been a reoccurrence of events where massive amounts of people have been deliberately killed from particular ethnic groups & nations and many of the perpetrators have never been convicted or punished for their crimes against humanity. What exactly is really qualified to be termed a genocide? The term ”ethnic cleansing” has been used to describe mass torture/murders like the crisis in Darfur instead of genocide, and Aleppo is one of many heart breaking situations where the term ”genocide” is fitting. We, humanity, have not effectively learned enough from the mass extermination during the Holocaust or any other similar atrocity evidently. The world is forced sooner or later to be aware of what is going on whether some of us try to ignore it or not. Those of us who are immensely sadden by what is happening continue to feel disgusted, impassioned, & mournful as we pay attention to all that is unfolding. What is happening in places like Aleppo is a repeated pattern that may not always be consistently televised or included heavily in the media. As sickening as it is, there are photos and footage of children, sweet innocent babies, that have been dismembered, bloodied, and attacked…images that actually need to be seen despite how horrible they are. Families displaced, bombed, tortured, whole lives shattered, and their crying pleas are gut wrenching and extremely painful to see & hear but should not be ignored or forgotten . There are politicians & country leaders that are also responsible for murdering countless people, just as contemptible as ‘warlords’ and terrorist groups like Isis. Yet, only certain types of war crimes, mass killings, and attacks towards groups of people are considered genocidal. However, no matter how we may try to relabel it or pick and choose just what is a genocide act, the truth is: The term Holocaust, which is also defined as the mass slaughter of people, is a evil part of humanity’s history that was supposed to never happen again in modern societies, but it has shamefully occurred over and over.

    The Legendary Hubble Telescope: Some of My Favorite Images of Our Wondrous Universe

    The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990 by NASA , the European Space Agency, & the Space Telescope Science Institute. The telescope was named after astronomer Edwin Hubble. The telescope has captured some of the most breathtaking, clear, memorable, and detailed images of our viewable/known Universe. Hubble has an extensive portfolio which includes beautiful high definition images of stars, galaxies, and nebulae. The Hubble has helped to determine the rate of expansion of the Universe along with many other astrophysical discoveries. Here are some of my favorite images captured by Hubble, which is still in service and active presently. These images help us examine and reflect on our Universe in a variety of ways…it’s diversity, the massive expanding size & formation, and endless possibilities that are far more than science fiction. The creations that were captured by the Hubble telescope are not man-made or invented by technology…they are real, natural, extraordinary and absolutely phenomenal.

     

    ”Mystic Mountain Nebulae”

     

     

    ”Horsehead Nebulae”

     

     

    ”Planetary Nebulae/NGC 2818”

     

     

    Infant Stars in Nearby Galaxy

     

     

    NASA

     

     

    Nucleus of Galaxy Centaurus A

    Nucleus of Galaxy Centaurus A

     

     

    Ring Nebulae

     

     

    Ring Nebulae M57,NGC 6720

     

     

    NASA

     

     

    NASA

     

     

    Kangol Crew Classic: Cinderfella Dana Dane by Dana Dane Revisited

    This 1987 classic was a great spin-off of the Cinderella story, and this version was modernized with the delightful lyrics rapped by Kangol Crew member Dana Dane. The song is on his debut album Dana Dane with Fame on Profile Records. The song also sampled another classic dance song, ”Dazz” by Brick. One of my favorite parts of the song is when he described how his ”fairy-godfather” transformed his outfit, giving him a slick silk suit, argyle socks, a Kangol hat, and a fresh pair of Bally’s from the Bally shop. The ”Kangol Crew” included Slick Rick & Dana Dane, and the two both famously wore Bally’s and Kangol hats, which became a signature look associated with the ”Golden Era of Hip Hop”. They started performing together as a duo when they met in the Bronx, New York City. Dana Dane may have been faking his British accent (although Slick Rick was really originally from Southwest London & had a real British accent), but this song & his other classic such as ”Nightmare” are forever associated with a time & place that he helped become legendary as well.

     

    Cinderfella Dana Dane

    Once upon a time, Brooklyn was the scene
    In the project that they called Fort Greene
    There lived a young man, Cinderfella’s his name
    To make it interesting it’s me, Dana Dane
    I lived in a house with my cruel step-dad
    And two step-brothers who treated me bad
    I cooked, I cleaned, I scrubbed the floors
    And I was like an errand boy runnin’ to the stores
    My brothers, they used to boast and brag:
    “We’ve got fresh gear and you’ve got rags!”
    Even worse than that, to make me feel low
    They gave me a straw hat, while they had Kangols
    Girls used to say, “Dane, you’re so cute
    But you gets no rap with them polyester suits”
    Well, one day, up the avenue
    There was a man surrounded by the Fort Greene crew
    He said, “Hear ye! Hear ye! Come one, come all!
    The princess is having a royal ball
    If you can rap, also dress fresh
    You might win a date with the sweet princess”
    Well I, um, ran home when I heard the newsflash
    I bust through the door, straight to my step-dad
    I said “Step-dad, may I?”
    And before I could finish, “Hell no!”, he replied
    My brothers were goin’, they were geared down
    Even Pops was goin’ for a piece of the crown
    They flaunted, they haunted, they knew what I wanted
    “We can and you can’t” is what they taunted
    They all stood there laughing in my face
    And as they walked out they said, “Clean up this place!”

    But I’m the rapper Dana Dane with fame
    (Cinderfella Dana Dane!)
    Yes, I’m the rapper Dana Dane with fame

    Well I shrugged, I hissed, “They’re all tryna diss
    I’d get them back if I had one wish”
    Before I could make my thought a phrase
    There appeared a man from a puff of haze
    He said, “What’s up, Dane? My name is Hurb
    I’m your fairy godfather, you know it, word!
    Now I’ve came here with the main purpose
    Of granting you your fondest wish”
    I said, “Hurb, my man, just make me fresh
    And I’m sure that I can handle all the rest”
    With a snap of his fingers sparks began to shoot
    And I was tough and on my body: a slick silk suit
    On my feet there was argyle socks
    And a fresh pair of Ballys from the Bally shop
    I showed him my hat and don’t you know
    With a snap the hat became a Kangol
    Once again his hands began to flow
    Then he changed my skateboard into a Volvo
    He checked me over, passed me the keys
    And said, “One more thing before you leave
    You must return before the stroke of twelve
    Or you’ll turn back into your old self”

    But I’m the rapper Dana Dane with fame
    (Cinderfella Dana Dane!)
    Yes, I’m the rapper Dana Dane with fame

    I jumped in the Volvo, went on my way
    I got to the party ’bout ten, I’d say
    It was after eleven when I rocked the mic
    And by the time I left the stage the people were hyped
    The princess was staring in disbelief
    Reflected from her eyes were my gold teeth
    She waved her hands like ‘Hello! Hi!’
    Then gave another gesture like ‘Come here, guy’
    I left the stage, girls came in flocks
    Fists were swingin’ from the hard rocks
    I heard a sound, not a tick nor tock
    Gong! First bell before twelve o’clock
    No time to waste, I broke out in haste
    The princess followed in a futile chase
    A quick steady pace is what I kept
    Lost one of my Ballys on one of those steps
    For the Volvo I continued my stride
    About this time I heard gong five
    I was down the block when I heard gong eight
    And the princess scream out, “Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait!”

    But I’m the rapper Dana Dane with fame
    (Cinderfella Dana Dane!)
    Yes, I’m the rapper Dana Dane with fame

    I was almost home when my luck ran out
    And there went my suit, my Kangol and clothes
    My fresh Volvo also went too
    And there was no denyin’ that my night was through
    The one Bally shoe the freshest thing I sported
    Jumped on my board, for home I skateboarded
    Made it to my pad, no time at all
    Went to my room, or better yet the far wall
    Hid the shoe away still feelin’ pleased
    Then jumped in my cot to catch some Z’s
    Early the next morning when I awoke
    I threw on me old slippers and me old housecoat
    Went into the front, my family stared at me
    Sayin’ “Wasn’t that you?! Nah, it couldn’t be”
    They kept askin’ me as I did my chores
    My butt was saved by a knock on the door
    “Who is it?”, that’s what my brothers barked
    “The princess”, this sweet voice remarked
    She said she was lookin’ for a certain man
    Who could bring her the shoe like the one in her hand
    The family ran around with their heads in the air
    Bringin’ on shoes from everywhere
    She just shook her head, a nod of relief
    Sayin’ “No, that’s not the one that I’m lookin’ for, chief”
    I ran in the room and got my shoe
    And said, “Is this the one you’re referring to?”
    Well she said, “Yes, and you’re so cute
    But where’s your Kangol and slick silk suit?”
    I put on the shoe, there came a flash of light
    And I was tough in the gear from just last night
    Looked out the window, saw the Volvo
    Said to my family, “I’ve got to go”
    We drove up the avenue, the princess and I
    And in back of me I heard my family cry

    Yes, I’m the rapper Dana Dane with fame
    (Cinderfella!)

    Written by Herby E. Azor, Dana Mccleese, Reginald J. Hargis, Edward D. Daryll Jr. Irons, Raymond Lincoln Jr. Ransom • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

     

    Fly Like An Eagle: The Steve Miller Band Classic Revisited & Analyzed

    The 1976 classic has a melodious, spacey, & drifting sound to it that lingers & is befitting. The lyrics are interesting to analyze as well. I use to interpret Steve Miller’s lyrics differently when I first actually started listening to the song not too long ago (I was not born when the song was first created). Now, I personally look at him as saying how he wanted to find a way to help people, ready to succeed and ”fly” during a anticipated time of fundamental change in organizational structures and/or political power. I use to think why does he want to ”fly through the revolution?”. I was looking at it as him not wanting to actually take part in helping to create new positive change. It is all how we think and interpret the use of the word ”fly” in the song.  To either take part in helping find positive solutions or wait for others to solve the problems that may be heavy and deep in our conscience. He keeps saying that ”time keeps on slipping, slipping…into the future.” The lyrics in this song may seem quite easy to explain, but it can also be analyzed and seen from different perspectives. All in all, the whole composition was well put together, and it is a song that is just as current now as it was when first created 40 years ago.

     

                                                                   “Fly Like An Eagle”

    Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
    Into the future
    Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
    Into the future

    I want to fly like an eagle
    To the sea
    Fly like an eagle
    Let my spirit carry me
    I want to fly like an eagle
    Till I’m free
    Oh, Lord, through the revolution

    Feed the babies
    Who don’t have enough to eat
    Shoe the children
    With no shoes on their feet
    House the people
    Livin’ in the street
    Oh, oh, there’s a solution

    I want to fly like an eagle
    To the sea
    Fly like an eagle
    Let my spirit carry me
    I want to fly like an eagle
    Till I’m free
    Fly through the revolution

    Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
    Into the future
    Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
    Into the future
    Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
    Into the future
    Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
    Into the future

    I want to fly like an eagle
    To the sea
    Fly like an eagle
    Let my spirit carry me
    I want to fly like an eagle
    Till I’m free
    Fly through the revolution

    Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
    Into the future
    Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
    Into the future