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.