Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hard Lessons Learned

*Names not given to maintain anonymity.

Sitting at my boyfriend's table, playing a mindless game, I received a text from *A.

                    - *Z's sister died Friday night.

A million thoughts flashed through my mind. What was he talking about? There must be some mistake. I quickly texted back,

                    - What????? *K?

He texted again,

                    - Yes.

She was only twenty years old. Far too young for anyone to pass away. There must be a mistake. There's just no way. 

I replied,

                     - How?

He explained to me how. Well, that too seemed odd to me. I needed a little more details. He explained a little further. It clicked. She had been sick since she was 15 years old. However, she always managed to remain positive and upbeat.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gone Too Soon

Today was such a sad day. I found out my good friend's little sister passed away on Friday. It was such a great shock, and still cannot believe what happened. I've known her probably since she was eight years old. It reminds those of us who take life for granted that life is so precious. In the blink of an eye, your whole world can be turned upside down. A loved one can be taken away in an instant. She was only twenty years old. Far too young to have to leave this world. All I keep thinking about is how unfair it is. She had so much ahead of her.

Please take a moment to call, or hug and kiss, a loved one.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Scatter Brain

Lately, I have been doing a lot of brainstorming about what to write about. I feel there are so many subjects that interest me that it is difficult to focus on any one subject. There are several scraps of paper in my room, and writings in my "journal" for many different ideas. I say "journal" because I do not even write in that very often.

Right now, I am currently taking a course through Coursera. Coursera is a website, affiliated with many different top universities, that offers free courses. Yes, free! There are a bunch of lectures, and several quizzes included for each course. Upon completion of the course, you are given a certificate. Of course, there is a minimum percentage that you must obtain in order to receive the certificate. The course I am taking is about vaccine trials, and primarily focuses on the general practices of vaccine trials, lightly touches on how vaccines are created, as well as a number of other subjects dealing with vaccines.

Hmm not typically something you may think I would find interesting, perhaps, considering this blog has been about everything Italian. But, I have worked in a pharmacy as a technician, and am working for a pharmaceutical manufacturing company right now (will not mention the name either). So not too far-fetched for me. 

I am also signed up for a course on nutrition and disease prevention. Nutrition is SO important to me, and is in fact very important for me to focus on. I have Celiac Disease. For those that do not know what Celiac is, it is an autoimmune disease. Celiacs cannot consume gluten, a protein found in things like wheat, barley, and rye. It is also found in other things like food colorings. Due to the disease, a Celiac is not able to absorb nutrients properly.The disease has made me more conscientious of what I put into my body because there are so many hidden ingredients.Without paying attention to what I eat can cause me to become really sick. However, not only do I have to pay attention to what I eat, but I just LOVE food in general. I will try just about anything, except for maybe bugs. Yes, many countries eat those as a source of protein, but I guess I am not as adventurous as people like Anthony Bourdain on No Reservations, or Andrew Zimmern on Bizarre Foods.

I have also just discovered a few days ago, an amazing little girl named Talia Castellano. Talia was diagnosed at the age of 7 with neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is a malignant, or cancerous, tumor that develops from the nervous tissue. She has gone into remission on numerous occasions, but unfortunately keeps coming back. The disease does not stop Talia from constantly being an upbeat positive kid though. She is an aspiring make-up artist, and loves MAC. Feel free to watch the below video of her on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Such an inspiring young lady! It is so sad that children like her should ever have to deal with the pain that they do. You can also read up on her on her Facebook age, Angels for Talia, or see her on her YouTube channel named Talia Castellano.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

PassagetoItaly and Hurricane Sandy

Dear Readers,

On Monday October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey and New York. Thankfully my family and home are fine in spite of being located on the Jersey Shore. We live further inland, and only lost power, cable and Internet. However, many directly on the shoreline in my hometown, neighboring towns, and parts of New York were not so fortunate. Many have lost their homes, their businesses, and even their lives. Mandatory evacuations were ordered, but many heeded the warnings, as it was only last year Hurricane Irene came through. Hurricane Irene did not affect this area as much, and thus people decided to bunker down at home.

Hurricane Irene was different because it was warmer weather. It was also a much weaker storm. I fear for those who have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy as it is becoming colder and colder. Next week, it as been forecasted that a Nor'easter will pass through this area, bringing more rain and/or snow.

If there is any way for anyone to donate supplies, clothing, and other necessities, please reach out to organizations such as the American Red Cross.