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40 Dayz and 40 Nightz (give or take) February 24, 2010

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Alexandria Keeps It Movin...FOR REAL

The documents say I need to make a change. The calendar says I needed to make a change two months ago, to be sure. The timeline says I have dwindled down to a mere 40 days (give or take) to make good on these promises. So, I have given this alot of thought. That didn’t change things. I prayed. God changed my disposition but I sort of rejected it. More accurately, I didn’t embrace the shift in the winds. I sort of rolled my eyes at the answer to my prayers. I went from a kinky ‘fro to a hot comb press. I have seen two concerts live by some of my favorite artist (Anthony David, Algebra, Chrisette Michelle) which pushed me four inches forward when I need to leap a mile. I have played Koop, Anita Baker, Janet AND Michael Jackson…I got a bit of pep in my step but nothing lasting. I have listened to my wonderful friends encourage me and tell me that things will be fine; that I only need to believe and take action to make this happen and viola! it will. I believe them and need them to continue to believe in me, but none of this was manifesting what I need to address. And what I need to address is that I, Alexandria Patrice Tesfaye Zandria DaughteroftheDiaspora B. MUST not just call out what I want, but take some serious action to manifest all that needs to come forth. Calling it forth is only the first step. I must draw it forth; that means pull, tug, lug, push, drag it to me if need be…and TRUST me..it need be.

So, here is my announcement. I am in tug of war with the life I am existing in versus the life that I want and can have if only I am willing to pull, push, and drag myself to it because I realized that my needs have not moved. My goals have not gotten further away…they are closer in fact. They are sitting there just waiting for me to accomplish them. I have moved away from them, afraid to examine them with the naked eye, steadily searching trying to determine if I have really accomplished anything at all; knowing that with each thorough cavity search, I am not doing what is on the agenda; I am only busy making a mess making an agenda; stalling for time and other magical things when I must create my own magic…and the most magical thing is already inside of me…it is that I know this already.

All I need, I already have possess. So, I will pray again and will actually move in the direction that God is pointing me too; I will listen to myself when I say stop/go/continue/keep it pushing and all other instructional directions of prevention and progress; I will play Brazilian Soul house music to move me through the night; Foreign Exchange for the day. I will send out emails in a timely manner; I will DO the things on my “to do” list; I will seek restoration; I will be renewed. I will write, love, and forgive (probably not in that order). I will respect my own time and demand that others do the same. And the most important statement: I will. Whatever it is that needs to be done, in the next 40 days and in life, I will. That’s it. That’s all.

Mornings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgtMHdir_7A


Every Day Is A Gift July 10, 2009

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n30509293_30717878_1915My mother emailed me today to tell me and she and my sister witnessed a car accident where a man on a motorcycle was killed.  There were some of her words. They serve as a reminder to me that every single day is a gift of life and we should use that gift to show love as long as the Creator has given us a moment to live.

My Mothers Words:

We were just talking about how things happen today and you are gone tomorrow. I heard people say the accident was not that bad, some people get into major accidents, far worse than his and walk away. I just love my daughters and want nothing but the best for you. I’m taking out the time to say to each one of you that I love you and I pray for you everyday.
I say these words to you and all my daughters take time out to think and make good decision for your life. You will never walk this path way again, and if you are Blessed to do so, the colors are never the same.

She is a wise woman


I’m Just Sayin (1) July 9, 2009

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Don’t tell me that “young people” as some monolithic whole are unengaged and do not do their part to contribute to the discourse on the forward mobility of this country…that they are uninvolved….that they are apathetic to the world around them….just don’t bother with such untruth. Grapple with your own language skills to rearticulate what it is you thought you were saying about those under the age of 30 years of age. Find a new truth because young people are doing it, and here is proof. I’m just sayin….


I think this post officially makes me the B word! July 5, 2009

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What happens when you have limited contact with others upsetting your daily routine in communication, and you have a blog but don’t think you have anything to say? You somehow become the B word: a blogger.

I struggled with the idea of being a journalist turned blogger for several reasons including professional decorum. But all of that is out of the window. So many times, conversations that I have had while here in Canada, things I have overheard or said to me, I want to call someone while walking down the street like I would if I were at home to share. After doing this a couple of times and getting the $200 cell phone bill for a bunch of international charges just to say, “Girl, guess what I saw on the news today?” You realize it just might not be worth it. So you get home and the person you want to chat with isn’t online.

What do you do? You are now well on your way to completing blog entry #7 telling who ever will read it about the guy who was persistent to the point of pushy and aggressive and literally pulled you to his table to meet his friends. And after you tried to politely meet them and say good bye to leave, kissed you a number of times while rubbing your back. Oh, by the way, that happened last night, but you were not up online for me to tell you about it then, and now you are reading it in a blog; which brings me back to my point.

I’m a blogger because I just told you about the most random of yuck moments in my life as a single Black female. Thanks for reading. The end.


Why Must I Lie?

Are you trying to get away?

Are you trying to get away?

What does a woman have to do to get a man to leave her alone? Why must we be relegated to lying about boyfriends, husbands, kids, STD’s, lesbian partners of which we have none just to hopefully have some guy who has taken persistence to a whole new level leave us alone? Approachable, yes and even a little persistence is okay. You do remember Aaliyah’s hit song “Try Again,” right? So there is a value to you asking me more than once for my number or to have a drink or meet for dinner.

But five or six times my dude? Listen sir, that is out of control! And you know at this point you need to stop, quit while you are ahead before this poor, frustrated girl flat out rejects you in the insulting way she learned in high school who has since grown up and doesn’t do that anymore, but the way you are rolling, she is tempted to give it a revival! Or embarrass you in a way that is sure to not have the most pleasant reaction.

And even then, when the breaking point is reached, some of us are hesitant to take that step because we fear for our safety. We don’t know if we are number 11 in a long list of women who have told you “no” today and you only have tolerance for 10 so we catch a physical warning, a reminder that you are the man and your dick is the best and we should be so lucky to be graced by your presence. Somewhere in between, you are sure to remind me that I am some kind of slut/hoe/bitch woman who doesn’t know a good thing when she sees one, trick ass bitch, my name. 

And then we get stuck. Some of us get stuck right in between yelling back all the names we heard mothers, aunties, sisters call the men out loud and under their breath. Telling him he has been listening to Beyonce’s “Ego” taking it a little too personally and letting him know that he can’t talk like this cuz he can’t back it up!

OR should we really unleash the rage, go mad, and throw our stiletto at you, that drink in our hand, an open palm slap. Oh, but then who will bail me out of jail because they will surely arrest me for letting you have it for all of the men who have said this to me this year, and I tried to keep it sane in those situations but no more. And if I am going to go there, then I am going all the way THERE because you can probably only plead temporary insanity once a year

OR run away and cry and try to understand why, how, when did it become such a disgrace to have choices and honestly decide, “No thank you. I’m not interested but you have a good day though.” And how have you imagined me a whore because I refuse your sexual advances? And why do I find myself struggling to tolerate you rubbing your finger tips across my shoulder, my arm, hands not so gently gliding from my back to my backside, kisses quickly drip from my cheek to my neck, when you don’t even know my name. 

And all I feel is sick.

Has this happened to you? Share your story. How can we exit these situations with our dignity and without the drama?


Dealing with Death…just like everyone else today June 26, 2009

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Death and I have had a sorted affair these past few months. Since November of 2008, we keep meeting in these unplanned places. Sometimes, death is a gentleman, ushering me into the expected reality of life; other times, he is brutal with surprise, and I think I have come to not know the difference between those two truths.

In my family, I stopped the body count after nine simply because it became a little too unbelievable to continue to announce, almost weekly, that yet another relative or member of my extended family has passed away.  If it weren’t so true, it would sound like a lie created to evoke sympathy from co-workers, classmates, professors when you need extra time to get work completed. Oh, if only their deaths could be fictional words on my tongue, made up to fulfill some superficial need I have.  It has even gotten to the point that I have informed my family that while I travel this summer, I am not to be made aware of any funerals that I do not have to come home to attend. Seriously.

The last four passings, the last one two weeks ago, has evoked little to no reaction from me. There have been no tears, no phone calls to other family to see how they are coping with the news, no deep introspection of the last time I saw or spoke to them. The most common response has been, another one? That is me questioning….IDK….the universe, God, my father or sister? As much sentiment as has come natural is thinking about the times when I was little and in their care, staying at their home, riding in the car with them on weekends, praying.

So imagine my honest surprise when I began to cry when my sister called me to tell me MJ, the king of pop, was gone. In all fairness to the situation, I had already known, which only makes my emotional reaction even more perplexing. I stopped in Starbucks on my way back from a local park area (this blog was going to be originally about that) and a barista asked his co-workers if anyone was a Michael Jackson fan. One young lady said she was, and he went on to announce that he went into cardiac arrest. Out loud, clutching my chest, I said “oh no, I hope he is okay.” Walking back to my hotel-style dorm, I thought about the medical care he probably had and hoped he would be alright. About 20 minutes later, the first of many death texts to come set my phone off. I looked at the message and said, “Dang” but proceeded to eat. When my sister called, knowing she was using international minutes, I answered knowing what it would be about. She was in deep mourning and had been calling my parents and others to tell them of what happened. She was devastated as many expressed similar sentiments on face book.

Talking to her made me emotional. Reflecting on how we used to watch the VHS (which we still have) of not just Thriller but “The Making of Thriller” and “Moonwalker” when we were kids struck something in me. Remembering his interviews, his laugh, his smile, his ability….When I hung up the phone, I began to cry, and I think, I’m not sure, but I think I cried for him and others who I have not really had tears for. I cried for the loss of life, for Janet and her family, for his kids left to deal with this. I cried because he was only 50yrs old, because he had been accused of sexual abuse one too many times, because he never grew up really, because Black men die of heart disease and stress every day, because he didn’t always have people around him who were actually trying to help him. I cried because I truly believed he wanted to do the good things in the world but didn’t really know how. I cried because I hope he can actually rest in peace, but I remain unsure of that.

Sending you off: Man In the Mirror, Human Nature, Earth Song, Smooth Criminal, Dirty Dianna, Leave Me Alone, Rock My World, Scream, Remember The Time, and last but not least, Thriller!!


Sometimes, it’s like I’m still in the States…. June 25, 2009

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With the internet happily connected in my room, it often feels like I have never left New York, California, or Washington, DC. I get the same news, mostly tragic, that I would if I were home. Chris Brown has community service (is anyone really surprised?).  The Senate has announced an apology for slavery with a no reparations disclaimer in it (I have yet to come up with the words to communicate my personal confusion with this but reading the hateful message boards about it are helping me to articulate my feelings);  that sometimes Metro Trains do not stop, and maybe I do stand just a little too close to the edge of the track, breathing in the assumption that things like that don’t happen and if they do happen, they won’t happen to me (whenever I am in D.C. I take the Redline train, that train, not holding my breath or praying for a safe arrival…I am sure to travel differently now). So in many regards, I am right at home; like I never left my library at Syracuse or my 19th Floor office in D.C. for that matter. But in so many other ways, I am in a whole new world where streets I don’t know exist right outside my living quarters. A new train system awaits me, and I have yet to ride, stalling and putting off that “I don’t know exactly where I am going” feeling that is so inevitable. I have spent the last couple days playing it safe, doing stationary work, keeping the city, this other world, outside my window instead of on the bottom of my shoe. And I must change that if the work is to get done.  Ethnographic observations will NOT happen inside the walls of my hotel-like dorm room. So, I am preparing for tomorrow. My mp3 player is charged, I have read the local paper for activities, I am all caught up on emails (at least for now) and my sunglasses are ready to engage with the sun.  Tomorrow, I will play Jill Scott’s “Gotta Get Up,” and if I can find it online, the High School Musical song, “Get Your Head In the Game” (do not judge me). Another day will be sure to bring another report where we will find out how deep the rabbit hole goes and how far the Daughter will go. Until then…

Thanks for walking with me today….