Sunday, December 22, 2013

I found this awesome Christmas tag on Miss Dre's blog and I just had to participate in it... Yes, I realize that there's a slight chance that no other human being will read this since I never post on this blog, but hey... I've been a very busy lady. I plan to focus more on writing and doing other things I love in the new year because what I've been doing just ain't it.

Without further delay, here's the Christmas tag and my responses:

What is your favorite Christmas song?

"This Christmas" by Donny Hathaway takes the cake! It's the best and I can listen to it all year long... If I wanna get my groove on I can also jam to Destiny's Child's "8 Days of Christmas" because it takes me way back!

What is your favorite Christmas Treat?

Honestly I'm greedy so I want to say my grandma's hot water cornbread... I'm imagining that this question is referring to a dessert of some sort so I'll say warm peach cobbler with some vanilla ice cream OR a huge slice of red velvet cheesecake. Both of these treats can add joy to my life at any moment.

What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

A crazy thing about me is that I've never been a morning person nor do I enjoy being awakened from my slumber. Knowing this, my younger brother still went out of his way to get me to wake up and open gifts between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.. I'd hate it but obliged every single time because that's what you do for family. My logic was simple: the gifts will still be there when I wake up so what's the rush? These days it's my favorite childhood memory because I'm approaching the second Christmas in a row that I won't see my family. I never thought I'd miss getting forced to wake up early, but I do.

What is the best Christmas gift you've ever given?

This is a tough one. I don't quite recall all the gifts I've given over the years, but one thing sticks out. My wanted a ridiculously childish-looking pair of Tokidoki rainboots and they were pretty expensive to be some rubber shoes. I purchased them even though I thought they looked like they belonged on people under the age of 10 and when she opened the box on Christmas morning, she cried. No one else has cried when I gave them a present so I guess those boots were the best gift I've given thus far.

Do you make or buy keepsake ornaments for your family every year?

Nope. Maybe when I get married and have children I'll make cool photo keepsake ornaments. Until then I probably won't even get a tree.

Would you rather be one of Santa’s elves or a reindeer?

If I must choose, I guess I'll be an elf since I'm already short and they tend to have cute outfits.

Gift wrap or gift bags?

I love wrapping gifts because it's awesome to see people's surprised faces once they're done opening them. I only use gift bags for last minute gifts.

Do you own a Santa hat?

Nope. Gosh, this tag makes me feel like I need to make more of an effort to be in the Christmas spirit.

Do you prefer Black Friday, or Day-After-Christmas sales?

It's a tie, really. I don't really like going out to stores where I know there will be large crowds, but I'm a fan of the clearance rack with an additional percentage off so I can make an exception on both Black Friday and December 26th.

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Hot chocolate, of course. Egg nog looks and smells gross to me so I've never been brave enough to drink it.

What was your favorite childhood Christmas gift?

I was a kid with a bunch of pipe dreams so every year I'd want something random. I remember wanting to be a figure skater, let's not mention I could barely roller skate. Needless to say, I begged my mom for these beautiful ice skates from the JC Penney catalog and when I got them I almost died of excitement. I probably used them three times... What a shame!

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

As far back as I can remember, I've always known that Santa wasn't real so I really don't know when I learned the truth. However, I do remember mailing a letter to Santa at the North Pole when I was about seven so I must have believed in him at some point.

This was a fun and easy-to-do post so if you're reading this and you have a blog, please do it and let me know so I can read it. Happy Holidays,

Alexandria B.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Why Black Women Shouldn't Twerk

When I was in sixth grade my mom made me wear a yellow leather suit to the school dance. I was also really skinny so the stockings she had me wear were loose around the knee area. I hated the outfit, but she thought it was so fly so I had to wear it. Needless to say, I hid in the bathroom for pretty much the entire dance because I didn't wanna be seen in this outfit. I believe that at this dance I would have danced in public and with a boy for the first time, if only Wilsons Leather hadn't manufactured that outfit...

Maybe I was scarred because I did not go to any school dances for the next few years. As a ninth grader, I attended a winter formal and did not dance one bit. It was at this dance that I began to notice differences in how some males and females interacted on a dance floor. The Hispanics paired up and danced in a fashion that was similar to the salsa, the Caucasians seemingly jumped up and down when they danced together and then there were the African Americans... Many of these teenagers chose to grind on one another to nearly every song that played. When a female began dancing with, or shall I say on, a male she immediately turned around and placed her butt near his groins and went to work. That was the saying back then too, "you got worked" when someone grinded on you so intensly that you couldn't keep up. I didn't know much about dancing, as you can probably tell from the history I gave you above, so I didn't give these differences much thought back then.

Now a twenty-something year old adult, I don't dance (in public) much and when I do, it's very minimal. I've grown to hate the obsession with twerking. Sure, the art of being able to shake your buttocks is now appealing to the masses thanks to people like Miley Cyrus but the idea that only Black females with large butts are worthy of twerking exists. It pains me to think African American women are known for specializing in bending over and shaking their behinds.

Black women are not sexual objects, but it seems like many of us stive to be. It's easy for video models and those who pose in next to nothing in men's magazines to make money. They seem to have nice lives and rock the latest fashions, therefore they inspire our youth. I work with youth and many of them are influenced by popular culture. While some of them are as in love with One Direction as I was with B2K back in my day, others are obsessed with 2 Chainz. Music is powerful, kids listen to lyrics and let them sink in. If they see their role models (parents included) indulging in ridiculousness, they will do the same.

We are the only culture guilty of disrespecting ourselves daily. Whether it be through music, dance or any other methods of self-expression, African Americans are known for pushing the envelope. Yes, our bodies may be curvy but they are still temples of the Holy Spirit. They should not be showcased to appeal any man willing to look. If a woman wants to dance sexy for her partner, so be it. That's her business. But when the decisions of certain people begin to impact the public opinion of us all, a problem ensues. Black women should stop taking so much pride in their ability to twerk and focus on something else. Other cultures are known for their work ethic or academic abilities, but what are Black people known for? I hope that in my lifetime I see a significant paradigm shift and that African Americans will no longer be made a mockery of.

Please let me know your thoughts...

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


It's been ages since I blogged. I know, I'm a horrible blogger. I always have the best intentions and a strong desire to constantly post updates, but sometimes life gets in the way. To give myself some credit, I must mention that I have been keeping this blog up-to-date so it's not like I've been completely slacking. I also have a full-time job so when I get home, blogging is usually the last time on my mind. However, I want that to change.

In the beginning of 2013 I didn't have just one new year's resolution, I had several. The main one was to apply (not get in, but apply) to graduate school. I also wanted my freelance journalism career to flourish allowing my work into a few different publications. I also wanted to get a website professionally designed so that I could set up an online portfolio. There were a couple other random goals I had, but I won't bore you with them... The point I'm trying to make is simple. I want to do a lot of things in this lifetime. I want to be successful, but hey... Who doesn't? There's a difference between wanting things and being prepared to do what it takes to get them. I'd love to write this super inspirational blog post that will inspire everyone to get up and do work, but the truth is I'm still learning this concept myself.

In a previous blog post I mentioned how much I love quotes. I recently saw a post on instagram which read "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing" or something like that. I now realize how much I needed to make an adjustment to my main thing. My main thing used to be writing, but then it turned into making money. Instead of continuously blogging and doing what I'm passionate about, I got a second job as a server at a restaurant. Hey, it was easy money or so I thought... I didn't know that serving tables and standing on my feet for hours would drain me so much that I wouldn't want to write at all.

I'm happy to report that I no longer serve tables and my main new year's resolution has reached fruition. I not only applied, but got admitted and I'll begin studying to get a Master's in Communication in two days. I am my new main thing. I not only want to write, I want to use my talents to help build brands and make a difference. My career is important to me and as a graduate student, I will learn as much as possible and capitalize on all available opportunities so I can have a career that not only makes me money, but makes me happy as well.

This journey will not be easy for me. For starters, with graduate school comes expensive tuition that I cannot yet afford out-of-pocket so I'll be getting a student loan. And since I hate the thought of owing thousands of dollars for years and years so I've taken on yet another second job to help pay for school. I know what you're thinking... Didn't she learn her lesson last time? I learned my lesson and I will not be overwhelming myself ever again! This new job enables me to sit down, in fact I'm here now as I'm writing this blog. Another perk is I don't have to worry about working late nights like I did in the restaurant.

The last eight months have been interesting for me. I've grown both personally and professionally, but I had to sit and be really honest with myself to find out what my obstacles are. I procrastinate often and I value sleep too much. I kid you not, I'd do anything to be able to take a two-hour nap everyday, LoL. However, I will have to lay off sleep since I'm not yet where I want to be. I'll get less sleep for the next five months or so, but hopefully it will all pay off in the long run.

The more I write, the more this seems like a personal journal, oh well. Hopefully I'll be able to document my grad school experience because it may help others. We shall see... Enough about me, let's get to the point of this post. How have you been and how was your summer? What are your goals for the rest of the year? Are you 100% set on them or are you open to taking an alternate route if needed? That's all I have for now, but I'll leave you with this quote:

"Do what you love and the necessary resources will follow."
Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B

Friday, March 29, 2013

An open letter to Mona Scott-Young...

Dear Mona,

Let me first start off by saying how proud I am of you. Over the years you have not only managed some of the biggest stars in the music industry, but also created opportunities for so many people. I first heard of you while in high school when I was an avid watcher of "The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott." That was my show! Whatever happened to Jessica? She was so talented… I forgot what prize the contestants were promised if they won the show, but she sure did not catapult to success like I imagined she would.  

I'm not certain, but I think that show with Missy Elliott marked the beginning of your work in reality television. I remember being inspired after watching a bunch of real people who were all striving to reach their goals. I also remember watching you, along with a team of talented music industry professionals, help these real people by offering them guidance and tips for success. It's unfortunate that that show wasn't renewed for a second season.

Over the years the reality television game has changed and these days a show like "The Road to Stardom" would never make it to a major network especially since it focused solely on the R&B/Hip Hop genres. Since there are enough singing competitions on air, you developed another plan for a reality television show. A show that would become the guilty pleasure for so many people… "Love & Hip Hop."

Nobody wants to see positivity anymore at least not when it comes to urban communities. And people are obsessed with what goes on in the personal lives of celebrities. It seems like you have developed the perfect formula since "Love & Hip Hop" combines washed up rappers, pseudo-celebrities and the folks that associate with them with the perfect amount of conflict. Sprinkle in some sex every now and then and you’ve got a hit.

I must admit, I am not a fan of the "Love & Hip Hop" series but I have watched an episode or six. I frequently see clips that others post on their blogs and I’m usually intrigued. Most recently I saw a scene from the episode when Rich referenced his “backsliding indiscretions” with Erica, the cast member who apparently had sex with Rich’s female ex. I was so confused. Not only was I confused, but I worried about who else could be watching the ratchtivity. Whose kids are being influenced and inspired just as I was when I watched "The Road to Stardom" years ago? Granted, you may say that this show isn't intended for a young audience but I know that you know they’re watching.

Your company, Monami Entertainment, is flourishing these days. Indeed, it is good to be you. Your net worth probably increases daily. I’m sure you profit from the spinoffs and opportunities that current and former "Love & Hip Hop" cast members acquire. I admire your tenacity and I love to see when hard work pays off, but quite 
frankly, I’m tired of the big booty having, lunch going all the dang time, confrontational female characters on reality shows. 

I always wondered how and why cast members have time to “meet up” or “go out to lunch” with people they clearly don’t like. I also wonder when producers will stop insulting the intelligence of viewers. It’s clear that most of these luncheons and outings are staged. I recall you defending the actual reality of "Love & Hip Hop" and saying something along the lines of “this is their reality, we just capture it.” That may be true but oftentimes their “reality” is expanded upon and exploited for ratings. 

I've sat back and witnessed numerous head shake-worthy incidents made popular on "Love & Hip Hop." First it was Jim Jones’ fiancĂ©e hopping over couches in an attempt to fight another woman, and then there was the Jocelyn and Stevie J abortion situation along with the fight with Lil’ Scrappy, now there's Rich bragging about "backsliding" with a woman he's not even in a relationship with. When does it stop? When will you and your team opt not to use fancy filters on your cameras to make foolishness look like a soap opera?

It is my hope that you and producers of reality shows start challenging yourselves and the heads of networks. It’s clear that once you have one successful reality show, it’s much easier for you to get others on air. It’d be great if for your next show, you thought outside the box. Instead of placing a group of fashionable, conflicting women in a cast how about changing things up a bit? Go back to your reality TV roots and find a way to change the lives of your cast members, not exploit them. Close but no cigar on The Gossip Game show… I haven’t watched it yet, but I just know…  


Alexandria B.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It’s official, I suck at having a blog. I have yet to have a consistent schedule in terms of posting on this thing and I get inspiration to write at the most random times. It’s currently 12:30am and I’m supposed to be asleep since I have work in the morning, but I can’t sleep. I have so much to share with you and so have no idea how I plan to structure these thoughts of mine so just work with me…
For starters, I just made a big move. Last month I relocated to Houston, TX after getting a new job. Yay!!! I know, it’s exciting... It all happened so fast and I practically started my life over. Getting rid of all my furniture and leaving my family and friends in Los Angeles was no easy task. You have no idea how attached you are to things and people until it’s time to leave them. I’d like to blame my lack of posts on this recent change in my life…. I’ve been beyond busy as one may assume, but I’m back blogging and I appreciate your patience.

Enough about me, I have a pressing issue to address. I’ve been motivated to write an inspirational post about “following your dreams” and not giving up for the longest, but I hesitated because I didn’t want to sound preachy. I had certain thoughts to share, but didn’t think they were enough to fill an entire post with. Boy, was I wrong… I attended church this past weekend and the pastor spoke directly to me (and seemingly everyone else in the building). His message was a direct question: “Why settle for less when God has more?“

How many times have you settled in your life? Are you doing it right now? Hate your job? Wanna go back to school? Are you in a dysfunctional relationship that you probably should have ended years ago? Whatever the case may be, we’ve all settled at some point. Oftentimes we’re content with just getting by as opposed to trying our best to achieve more. I’ve definitely been guilty of this. But why?

Achieving more usually requires more time and effort. Getting in shape involves working out, but that’s tough so some will continuously put off the task. Why spend time applying to jobs and perfecting your resume when you already have a job that pays your bills? Some people desire instant gratification so settling is an attractive alternative. It is no longer attractive to me though. Over the past few months, I’ve read numerous stories about people dying at young ages and most recently it hit close to home.

Miyagi Chilombo, a young man that I went to high school with died last week due to a cancerous brain tumor. He had just turned 26. When I heard the news, I was shocked. All I could think about was how funny and full-of-life he was. He was so young and had so much more to accomplish. You and I could easily be in his shoes and as we often hear, tomorrow is not promised. Why live as if it is?

This post is getting long and writing about is making me a bit sad so I’ll get to the point. I have three simple tips that I hope will inspire you. Set goals and work toward them. If you spend the majority of your time doing unproductive things, consider making some changes. Take risks and don’t be afraid of failure. Instead of thinking about how things will be if you don’t succeed, think of how great they’ll be if you do. I challenge you to write a list of goals, both short and long term. In fact, I encourage you to write lists frequently. They definitely help keep my life on track… Lastly, live on purpose and with a purpose. Everything you do should have a reason and will hopefully link back to one of those goals you previously wrote down.

Feel free to share some of your goals with me if you don’t mind, I’d love to hear about them. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and I'll make an effort to update it more. In the meantime, feel free to follow me on instagram @whatalexsees because I use that much more frequently.

Alexandria B.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Are your standards too high?

Do you have a specific type? Do you refuse to settle until you find that perfect mate? If your answers to these questions are "yes" then you and I have something in common. A friend of mine recently told me that I'm destined to be single forever because my list of dealbreakers is too long. How rude! I believe that there's someone for everyone and that settling is not an option. Well, at least it isn't for me. Yes, I have a lengthy list of dealbreakers but  I'd rather refer to them as the items that shape my standards. I believe that my standards are beyond practical. See below for my list that describes most of the qualities that I'd prefer for my mate to have:

My ideal guy...
  • does not use drugs.
  • has no children.
  • is at least 5 inches taller than me (kinda shallow, oh well. I wear heels a lot, sue me...)
  • is employed.
  • is ambitious and has plans for his future.
  • has a nice smile (I'm a teeth fanatic for some odd reason and I spot plaque from a mile away.)
  • keeps his fingernails clean and has good hygiene overall.
  • can spell.
  • has a sense of humor.
  • is smarter than I am (at least in some way, shape, or form).
  • does not sag his pants, wear tight ones, or use the word "swag."
  • knows how to use a drill, screwdriver, hammer, or fix a drain or something...

Is that too much to ask?

I think not! See? I told you my list was practical... Don't get me wrong, I'm willing to compromise on some things. For example, I've dated a guy with plaque before. It was tough, but I did it and I managed not to say anything to him about it. Needless to say, it didn't work out but I tried! Some things, however, aren't worth compromising for. I refuse to compromise in regards to drug use, weed smokers included...It's just not cool to me, point blank period. Employment is another one...  I've never been attracted to an unemployed man. Would I date one? Hmmm. Maybe if he was in graduate school or something, but that's about it. One of the reasons I'm certain my standards are sensible is because I know plenty of people whose are not. I mean some people have the most ridiculous requirements of their mates, ones that they're incapable of meeting themselves. These people should question whether or not their standards are too high!

How can you tell if your standards are too high?

For starters if you're requiring something that you yourself can't provide, that's a sure sign. Create a mental or written list of the things you're looking for in a relationship... If you don't want your mate to have kids yet you have three, perhaps you should reevaluate your list. If you drive a 1998 Toyota Corolla and live with your mother yet you want your mate to drive a luxury vehicle and have a place of their own, perhaps your should reevaluate your list. Ladies, if you want a man who at least 6'3 when you're only 5'2 then perhaps you should reevaluate your list and stop focusing on the physical attributes. Besides, short men need love too! If you collect unemployment checks and want to date someone with a "good job," perhaps you should reevaluate your list. I could come up with several more examples, but I'm sure you get my drift.

Create your list, edit it and make sure your standards are ones that you can meet, and stick to it. Tons of people are in or have been in unhappy relationships because they settled for someone who didn't quite meet their requirements. Others are in unsucessful relationships because they have no requirements at all. You'll find that perfect mate someday. And when I say perfect, I don't mean that they'll have no flaws... I'm referring to my belief that they will be perfect for you. Looking at your list, are there any items on it that you would like to share? Are your standards too high? Why or why not? Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

KONY 2012

Every so often there's a current event or viral video that sparks the interest of many provoking uproar or some type of action. The other day I awoke to numerous facebook posts about the video posted below. People I knew urged others to share the video and seemed genuinely excited and motivated to take part in this new movement. One that I, of course, had to watch and see what all the fuss was about. If you haven't seen it, feel free to press play below:

Six minutes into the video, I wanted to cry for Jacob, the young Ugandan boy whose sad yet uplifting story is highlighted in the 30-minute film. It was edited perfectly, evoking both emotion and curiosity. So who's responsible for this superb video you may ask? The answer to your question is Invisible Children, a non-profit organization that claims to "use film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony's rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in central Africa to peace and prosperity." One thing's for certain, they've mastered the film and creativity part!

The organization started years ago after three filmmakers traveled to Africa for a film making adventure. They've since raised millions of dollars to fund their efforts however, like many other causes and movements, Invisible Children's #Kony2012 campaign is raising some eyebrows. With over 57 million YouTube views and God knows how many kits purchased since the film's internet debut, people are now beginning to wonder where the money they're donating is going. It has been said that only 31% of donated funds go toward helping those in Uganda and that the organization is money hungry.I must admit that when I initially watched the film I wondered what the narrator did for a living and when I realized that Invisible Children was his job I kinda gave the situation a side eye. Trips to Africa aren't cheap and neither are camera crews and equipment so I definitely understand how some of the funds donated can be used for those purposes. Instead of instantly vowing to donate "a few dollars" or buy a Kony2012 bracelet, I wanted to learn more about the cause.

I have been researching and will continue to read up on the cause and have found sites that suggest alternate organizations to donate to. My only issue is that many people allowed themselves to be drawn in by a creative marketing campaign. Yes, Jacob's story was sad and that little boy in the video was adorable, but wearing bracelets and shirts will help find Joseph Kony how? Is posting posters everywhere really going to make a difference? And what technological advancements are going to be made with this year's donations to find a man that is rumored to be dead? We should make an effort to ask questions before hopping on a bandwagon, that's all I'm saying. Kony's army has been active for over twenty years, but this is the first time many of us are hearing about it so I applaud Invisible Children for their ability to capture the hearts of many and raise awareness.

But still people are talking... While millions are in support of the cause, others wonder exactly what more money is needed for. Millions have been raised and used and the United States is apparently already involved so what's the real goal? Invisible Children has been criticized by the Better Business Bureau and rumors about most of the donations being used to fund the salaries of the three founders are spreading. YouTube has an abundance of people who are eager to express their opinions about the campaign and popular YouTuber, Jerry LaVigne, posted a humorous video to share his views.

What do I think?

I think this is yet another reason for people rally their energies toward a seemingly great cause without knowing very much about it. If you or anyone you know typed in your information and pledged money to Invisible Children after only seeing one video on YouTube, question your/their intelligence. If after researching the cause you found that it was still very much something you wanted to be involved in, more power to you! Rock your #Kony2012 bracelet and all that good stuff... What I don't appreciate is people who take the time to edit and share images like the one shown on the left to joke about the matter. Like seriously? Much like when people tweeted and facebooked to prevent Troy Davis' execution or rallied to support other causes that were popular in the past, I believe that the mass interest will soon fade. I hope that folks will prove me wrong.

What are your thoughts? Did you or would you pledge money to the cause? Are people being too skeptical and if there's anything else you'd like to add feel free to post it below.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.