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Ten Things I’ve Got Planned for 2011: Mission Completed (January – December)

31 Dec

Tanya Harris' Vision Board1. Rome was not built in a day, and neither was the ideal body.  Therefore, I will keep working out four to five days a week to be nicely toned for the summer of 2011.
Since August, I’ve not only been using the “Perfect Sit-Up” at least six days a week, but I’ve also been completing cardio exercises with Wii Fit as well as “Your Shape Evolved” on Xbox Kinect such as yoga, step aerobics and kick boxing, which is a lot of fun. With the change in weather  (cold and rainy) as well as the days getting shorter, it has presented a bit of a hurdle with consistently  and walking and jogging six to seven days a week outside.  However, the Nike Plus program continues to keep me motivated , so I’ve been walking on the treadmill in the college gym or even walking the halls to cover mile miles which has been quite invigorating.  The app “Lose it” is still beneficial, and as a result of using it, I have become far more cognizant of what I’m eating.  The Active Women time release vitamin and adding flaxseed and wheat germ to my meals to get more nutrients has been helpful too.

2. My intellectual, spiritual and creative journey is essential for my well-being, and I will be sure to submit a blog entry at least once a week.  Stop by when you can to check out my new entries.
This is my 83rd blog submission. and even though I was shooting for at least 100 entries by the end of the year, I am satisfied with my achievement.  I often underestimate how busy I am going to be when the semester begins, and the balancing act begins from August through mid December.  I did, however, surpass my goal of 1500 by the end of the year by getting 2420!

3. I have many gifts, and writing poetry is one of them, so I will relentlessly assert myself to become synonymous with the spoken word and poetry slam circuit.  Who knows, I may complete enough poems to publish a chapbook or have some choice entries in major publications.
 Even though I have not been writing as much as I think I could have, I’ve still been working on ideas and writing down daily musings.  Check out some of my spoken word performances on You Tube.  You can find me under Anonomz.

4. People often say, “It’s a small world,” but many of us have yet to leave our own neighborhood, city, or state, let alone the country or continent for that matter.  I plan to travel more extensively this year and hope to visit outside of the country…perhaps for a destination wedding.  I haven’t done any traveling since getting married in the Dominican Republic; nevertheless, it was a memorable experience, and I’ am looking forward to traveling to a couple of places in the new year.

5. Everybody is busier than ever and cannot spare a moment for family and friends even though vast amounts of technology are supposed to help people get more done and have more time,.  I will make a more conscious effort to reach out to family and friends and demonstrate my appreciation and love for them the” Old fashioned” way: the occasional phone call, letters, visits and tokens of my appreciation.
As previously stated in August,  I’ve been channeling my energy into those whom I spend time with and see regularly and let them know how much they are loved and appreciated, and maybe one day the others will have time to fit me in their schedules.

6. I love writing and refuse to die with my many stories being left untold; as a result, I will begin working on and brainstorming about  other literary ventures such as colorful stories and children’s book ideas and see where it takes me…maybe to the best seller’s list one day!
I love writing, and have been incorporating it into my everyday schedule which has actually been rather busy these past few months.  I have a gratitude journal and occasionally jot down ideas throughout the course of the day.  I also purchased a few books which I’ve been reading to help me with the writing process.  Even though I know this goal will more than likely span into the next couple of years in order to have a completed project, I am fully immersed in the process.

7. Health is necessary for longevity.  To continue  improving my financial, physical and spiritual health, I will conduct research and keep working on the economical game plan, exercise regularly and meditate , and read and apply spiritual and motivational literature on a frequent basis.
Now that the wedding has come and gone, the saving begins with purchasing a house.  My husband and I are doing really well with the monthly contributions towards this goal, and I am hopeful that we will be ready to start looking for a house in the new year.  Also, I’ve paid off my car loan and am in a rally good place financially to get the occasional want, not just needs.   This year, I have been exercising regularly, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and taking vitamin supplements.  I am happy to report that I have not been sick all year, and I think my exercising and eating healthy foods has a lot to do with it.   I’ve also been doing more meditating, specifically transcendental meditation, two times a day for twenty minutes a piece, and I do feel more balanced and relaxed.   The brain exercises have certainly improved my mental acuity.  I’m also on my third set of lessons for Rosetta Stone’s Spanish courses and am enjoying the learning process.  I can honestly say that I feel fantastic!  

8. “You should be an actor!” is what family, friends and even my students tell me.  I used to act when I was younger and loved being on stage, so I will explore my theatrical abilities by taking a college level acting class in the spring 2011 semester staring January 10.  It’s going to be interesting potentially being in class with some of my own students, but it will be fun I’m sure.
My acting class went extremely well, and I finished the course with an “A!”  I learned a great deal from the experience and would love to take another course.  For my final, I actually performed in a scene as a drunk southern belle which is totally out of character for me.  You can check out my scene on You Tube under Anonomz.

9. As a person who  has finicky eating habits, family and friends jokingly say, “A fancy restaurant for her is a place that serves pizza, chicken or turkey burgers.”  I enjoy fine dining and feel guilty that people are limited in their restaurant selections when going out with me. In an attempt to break out of this habit, I will try at least one new food item every other month…once a month if the mood strikes me.
Out of my ten goals, I am extremely proud of achieving this one because it was initially the most difficult.  Interestingly, trying new foods has actually been much easier that I thought it would be.  Once I tried the fried calamari, the shrimp, eggplant, sushi and plantains, to name a few, the rest were no problem.  There’s something liberating about trying different foods.  Maybe it’s the ability to step outside of my comfort zone and to do something daring.  Perhaps trying new foods is just the beginning.  After this, I might feel more comfortable with trying different hobbies or activities that I would normally shy away from.  

10.  Lastly, in recent years I’ve learned that I cannot be everything to everyone, but year after year I still try to make family, friends, students, and colleagues happy sometimes at my own expense: monetarily, physically and emotionally.  To use an analogy, I love filling up their glasses of water, but I have to make sure my pitcher of water remains filled too in 2011.
I’m steadily improving in this area and have found that the more I say “no” or “I’ll think about it” so that I am not overwhelmed, the easier it becomes.  I still have to get over the guilt issues, but I’m happy with my progress..

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

All the best,

Tanya

What once was “the new year” is almost over in less than 24 hours.  Did you manage to stay on track with the things you had planned for 2011?  Please feel free to share.

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Thanks for Giving: Ten Things for Which I’m Grateful

24 Nov

Tanya Harris FranklinWhen is the last time that you reflected on the positive moments and people in your life?  How often do you think about all for which you are grateful?  Of course, Thanksgiving is more than just turkey and football, and for those who are familiar with the history of Thanksgiving might scoff at the idea of observing a time that eventually lead up to the demise of many natives of the land which we call the home of the free.  Nevertheless, this is also a time to express gratitude and even help those in need and show them how much they  are appreciated.

Even though I actually have been keeping a gratitude journal for the past few years, I’d like to take this time to express my gratitude and rejoice in  all that God has blessed me with to anyone who will listen (or in this case read) with a general list.

  1. Spirituality:  Not only to want a spiritual connection but to actually have a spiritual connection and relationship with God is awesome.  Sometimes there’s so much  going on in our lives that we do not stop to talk with God and try to handle everything on our own.  It’s nice to know that even when no one else is around, God is.
  2. Life: I am grateful to be alive.  Some people I know complain about life and utter the phrase, “Life’s a b***h” or “Life is hell on earth.”  But I am a fond believer that life is what you make it.  Why can’t life be a “bowl of cherries?”  I truly am grateful for all that this journey of life encompasses: The good and the bad which can be peeled back to display the good.
  3. Family and friends:  Having family and friends who support and love me and have time for me, regardless of how few or many there may be, keeps me motivated and brings happiness to my life.
  4. Love:  There were times throughout my life when I did not feel loved nor did not even think that I deserved to be loved.  However, as I matured and grew to love myself, the love that I have been receiving from others has not only lifted my spirit but made me even better at displaying my love for others.
  5. Career:  Having a career that I absolutely love and being able to have a positive impact on those with whom I come in contact is a wonderful feeling.
  6. Cognizance:  No, I do not know everything, but I am extremely grateful for the knowledge I do possess and always try my best to use that knowledge to not only improve myself but to be a positive influence on others too.
  7. Ambition:  Does ambition come from within, or is it something we are taught?  I think it could be a combination, but I certainly am glad that I am an ambitious person.  Without ambition, there is no way that I would be where I presently am in life, and I am confident that this ambition will benefit me in the years to come.
  8. Second Chances:  When it comes to certain occurrences in life, there are no do overs.  However,  I am extremely grateful for second chances and for the motivation to try again when I think about how many mistakes I have made throughout my life.
  9. Nature’s Beauty:  There are instances when I am on the go, feeling down or even in a good mood, and I stop, even if for a moment or two, to observe nature’s beauty.  To see the beautiful blue sky and fluffy clouds and the colorful foliage this time of the year is a lovely landscape view.
  10. Gratitude:  It might sound silly or a bit redundant, but I’m grateful to have so much gratitude.  There are people who really have to search their hearts and minds to think about why they should be grateful, and I am blessed  to have an bountiful list of reasons.

Please feel free to share that for which you are grateful.

All the best,

Tanya H. Franklin

My Life Resume: The Career Journey Decade Three (From Age 21 – 30)

13 Oct

What do you think about as your birthday approaches?  Do you think about getting one year older?  Do you think about all of the hopes and dreams you have yet to accomplish.  Yes, I’m guilty of having those thoughts, but I also think about all that I have accomplished and the wisdom that I have attained as a result of getting older.  Presently, I am an English professor, and I enjoy teaching and playing a role in the successful careers of my students.  Also, I take pleasure in writing poetry and short short stories.  One day, I actually hope to publish a book and even a memoir.  So I thought why not use my birthday week to review my life resume by exploring where  I have been on my journey thus far?  

Tanya Harris FranklinThe Career Journey: Decade Three

Sears Credit Card:  I learned so much about the importance of credit from working for Sears.  Also, I became even better at being patient with people as a result of being promoted to a customer relations manager where I only received escalated calls from mainly irate customers.  I worked at Sears Credit for a good portion of my undergraduate academic career.

Maximum Advertising:  After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in English, I was hired for what I thought was my dream job.  I’m sure this company is either going by a different name or no longer in existence.  According to this company, I would have been a millionaire after working for them for a year–that is only after I contributed a portion of my earnings, which were next to nothing, back into the company.  I can’t believe I fail for that scam, but they certainly did teach me a valuable lesson about researching the legitimacy of a company as well as reinforcing the old adage, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

Careers USA:  I am so grateful to this temp agency.  They kept me working after I graduated from college with my bachelor’s degree and had to quite working for Maximum Advertising after they swindled me out of most of my graduation money I received from family and friends.  What would we do without temp agencies???

Rosemont College:  It surely was a blessing to come full-circle and work for the college that I graduated from.  Being an administrative assistant for the Assistant Academic Dean after receiving my degree was a humbling experience.  I was expecting to jump out into the workforce and land a job in my field immediately.  Nevertheless, I am glad that I took this route.  I met some wonderful people and built some long-lasting rapports and was given the opportunity to pursue my master’s degree in English and Publishing at Rosemont while I was working there which saved me a bundle of money in potential student loans..

TV Guide:  While hoping to transition into publications, I took a part-time call center job at TV Guide while still working full-time and taking classes full-time at Rosemont.  Even though I worked as a customer service rep, I enjoyed my experience and later realize the significance to working at this establishment, albeit for a short period of time.  My manager was actually the son of one of my favorite high school teachers, and a few years after working at TV Guide, I taught a former co worker in an English Composition I course.

School District of Philadelphia:  Finally, I was going to be working with at risk youth who needed individualized tutoring at a local middle school!  Little did I know that I was going to be thrusted in front of the classroom without formal academic training for handling eighth graders with several behavior problems and learning disabilities.  I truly wanted to make a difference, but the time and place was not right for me.  This experience truly caused me to reevaluate my desire to teach.  Teaching has always been my niche, but extreme behavior problems  with lack of support from the administration or parents was too arduous of a task to undertake.

Pindar: After choosing to shift gears with teaching, I landed a position that was going to get my foot in the door with publications as a proofreader with the chance for advancement!  Even though the work could be rather mundane, it was a breath of fresh air which I certainly needed to prepare me for my next position.

Rosemont College:  Thank God for Rosemont!  They gave me my first opportunity to teach a college level course while working second shift at Pindar.  I wonder if they know the role that they have played in my present success???

CCP: Proofreading was just not paying off, and I still had teaching in my hear, so I went on to work as an administrator at a college hoping to transition to teaching.  While working at CCP, a local community college, I met some wonderful people and also some people who may not have been wonderful but helped direct where I am today.  As a fairly young administrator, there were some fund days in the beginning, but there were several days where the stress became unbearable.  Interestingly, I’m glad that it became unbearable because it caused me to step out on faith and leave a secure full-time job for a part time job that would have an integral role in where I am now.

Peirce College:  This college took a chance on me when I had limited teaching experience on the college level.  Also, they kept me working when I decided to leave CCP.

DCCC:  Here I am!  This local community college took a chance on me and not only gave me part-time work but gave me temporary full-time work after only being there for one year.  Now, I am in my fourth year on the tenure track and am absolutely ecstatic.  I truly do love what I’m doing!

In my third decade, something that I already knew was confirmed: hard work and diligence will pay off in the end.  There were times when my faith wavered a bit, and I was not sure if I was headed in the right direction for my career to blossom. But through it all, I always tried to keep a smile on my face and remain positive because I believe that everything happens for a reason.  Any job we have and our performance on the job, regardless of how big or small, dictates where we are headed in the future.  I must say, I like where I am headed!  Do you ever think about how you ended up where you presently are?  Give it some thought. Please feel free to share.
Best regards,  Tanya H. Franklin

Profound Hip Hop Quote #37: How Native is Your Tongue?

1 Oct

Two weeks ago, I posted a blog entry on A Tribe Called Quest to celebrate their documentary coming to DVD on October 18, and it got me thinking about the collection of positive-minded, “real-talk” rappers whose voices were prominent in the 1980s and 1990s: The Native Tongues.  Even though there are a sprinkling of artists presently doing their things who are on the same vibe, during the 80s and 90s is when they actually received consistent radio play and were able to get that positive message out there. So I thought, why not dedicate a post to reflecting on some of their profound quotes.

“Buddy” is a song that represents a few of the Native Tongue members.  Check it out!

  1. Black SheepBlack Sheep, “The Choice is Yours:” “You can get with this, or you can get with that.  I think you’ll get with this, for this is where it’s at.”
  2. Jungle Brothers, “Beyond This World” “Confused, no landing, no understanding.  But I knew not to give what life was demanding.  Found a new tab, thought I’d take a grab.  Tired of brothers who feign to backstab”
  3. De La Soul, “Stakes is High:” “Man life can get all up in your ass baby you betta work it out.  Let me tell you what it’s all about.  A skin not considered equal.  A meteor has more right than my people.  Who be wastin’ time screaming who they’ve hated.  That’s why the Native Tongues have officially been re-instated.”Jungle Brothers
  4. Queen Latifah, “U.N.I.T.Y.:” “Instinct leads me to another flow; Every time I hear a brother call a girl a bitch or a ho.  Trying to make a sister feel low.  You know all of that gots to go.”
  5. Leaders of the New School, “Understanding the Inner Mind’s Eye “Word is bond and I give my, Life before my word shall fall.  Do me a favor listen up y’all.  We got to activate social;  Activity for one common cause,  Cherish your mind or you will perish.
  6. Brand NubianBrand Nubian, “Wake Up:” You see, the answer to me is black unity .  Unification to help our bad situation
  7. A Tribe Called Quest, “Oh My God:” “Listen up everybody the bottom line.  I’m a black intellect, but unrefined; with precision like a bullet, target bound, just livin like a hooker, the harlett sounds.”De La Soul
  8. Monie Love, “It’s a Shame:”  “Get back on your feet please.  I’m beggin you to check out all your own needs.
  9. Large Professor, “It’s About That Time:”   “There’s a whole lotta rappers in the world today; Some good, there’s some that gotnothing to say, Some fake, some false, some imitation, But I’m the uncut raw for your generation.
  10. Fu-Schnickens, “Ring the Alarm  ” You can tell I’m a lyrical prophet from the words spoken and broken up.  In these books and scrolls that I unfold.  The knowledge I use does make me bold.  The intelligence in my system converts itself and becomes wisdom”Monie Love

The Limitations of not only ten songs but ten artists with ten specific lines from those selected those ten songs is no easy task; there’s so many more songs I could reference.  Who’s your favorite artist from the Native Tongues?   Please feel free to share.

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin


Profound Hip Hop Quote #35: Imagine Beats, Rhymes & Life Without A Tribe Called Quest

17 Sep

A Tribe Called QuestWhen they left their wallet in El Segundo, we empathized and went along for the ride to retrieve it. We rooted for them to be put on by Bonita Applebum. They taught us how to check the “rhime.” Interestingly, they asked repeatedly if they can kick it when of course anyone plugged into hip hop during the late 80s throughout the 90s can attest to this group’s ability to come with that butter flow in any scenario and bring that electric relaxation to take us on that long overdue award tour. If you have yet to figure out who I’m referencing, then you are missing one of the prototypes who represents authentic hip-hop.  During the summer of  2011, a documentary, by Michael Rapaport, entitled, “Beats, Rhymes & Travels: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest”  was released in select theaters.  Unfortunately, by the time I and many other interested viewers were made aware of the film, it was no longer on the big screen.  Nevertheless, all hope is not loss.  This documentary, which has received praise, will be available on DVD on October 18, 2011, approximately one month from now, and I plan on being one of the first people to obtain my copy.  A Tribe Called Quest has always been one of my favorite groups.  I love their jazzy vibe beats, the delivery of their rhymes and their topics about daily life occurrences that range from record label headaches, to date rape to just partying and having a good time.  They will always be on my top ten list of best rap groups. So,  I’d like to not only celebrate the pending release of the documentary but my love for these artists by providing a playlist of some of my favorite ATCQ songs and lyrics.

A Tribe Called Quest

  1. Check the Rhime“Rap is not pop, if you call it that then stop.”
  2. Butter: “Your whole appearance is a lie and it could never be true.  And if you really loved yourself then you would try and be you.”
  3. Award Tour: “The wackest crews try to dis, it makes me laugh. When my track record’s longer than a DC-20 aircraft. So next time that you think you want somethin’ here. Make somethin’ differ, take that garbage to St. Elsewhere.”
  4. Bonita Applebum: “Hey, being with you is a top priority. Ain’t no need to question the authority. Chairman of the board, the chief of affections. You got mine’s to swing in your direction.”A Tribe Called Quest
  5. Jazz “Stern firm and young with a laid-back tongue. The aim is to succeed and achieve at 21. Just like Ringling Brothers, I’ll daze and astound, Captivate the mass, cause the prose is profound.”
  6. Buggin Out: “I never walk the streets, think it’s all about me.  Even though deep in my heart, it really could be.  I just try my best to like go all out.  Some might even say yo shorty black you’re buggin’ out”A Tribe Called Quest
  7. Oh My God: “Listen up everybody the bottom line.  I’m a black intellect, but unrefined; with precision like a bullet, target bound, just livin like a hooker, the harlett sounds.”
  8. Lyrics to Go:  “A Tribe Called Quest we on the run for whatever. Trials and tribulations that we have to endeavor”
  9. Scenario:   “I could give a damn about a ill subliminal.  Stay away from crime cause I ain’t no CRIMINAL.  I love my young nation, groovy sensation.  No time for hibernation, only elation.”
  10. Show Business:  ” So you still wanna do the show business?  And you think that you got what it takes?  I mean you really gotta rap and be all that…And prepare yourself for the breaks

It was extremely difficult to not only limit myself to ten songs but to only include specific lines from those selected those ten songs.  What’s your favorite A Tribe Called Quest song?   Please feel free to share.  Also, if you saw or plan on seeing the documentary, share your thoughts as well.

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin


Ten Things I’ve Got Planned for 2011: Two-thirds of the way through (January – August)

2 Aug

Tanya Harris' Vision Board1. Rome was not built in a day, and neither was the ideal body.  Therefore, I will keep working out four to five days a week to be nicely toned for the summer of 2011.
Since April, I’ve actually increased my workout regimen and have been using the “Perfect Sit-Up” six days a week and walking and jogging six to seven days a week with an average of three to four miles covered.  I attribute the Nike Plus program for keeping me motivated with different challenges where I compete with people nationally and nationally.  Also, the app “Lose it” has really helped me to keep track of my food intake to ensure that it is healthy and balanced.  I’ve also switched from the Women’s One a Day to the Active Women time release vitamin and have begun adding flaxseed and wheat germ to my meals to get more nutrients. 

2. My intellectual, spiritual and creative journey is essential for my well-being, and I will be sure to submit a blog entry at least once a week.  Stop by when you can to check out my new entries.
This is my 61st blog submission, and I am shooting for at least 100 entries by the end of the year and am confident that I will surpass my goal.  I’m presently at 1222 hits.  Maybe I’ll be able to clear 1500 by the end of the year!

3. I have many gifts, and writing poetry is one of them, so I will relentlessly assert myself to become synonymous with the spoken word and poetry slam circuit.  Who knows, I may complete enough poems to publish a chapbook or have some choice entries in major publications.
 Turns out that this summer has been just as busy as my winter in preparing for my tenure track project for this upcoming semester and my wedding, but I am steadily writing and jotting down ideas.  Check out some of my spoken word performances on You Tube.  You can find me under Anonomz.

4. People often say, “It’s a small world,” but many of us have yet to leave our own neighborhood, city, or state, let alone the country or continent for that matter.  I plan to travel more extensively this year and hope to visit outside of the country…perhaps for a destination wedding.  It is with great pleasure that I am able to say this goal will be met in this month as I get married in the Dominican Republic.

5. Everybody is busier than ever and cannot spare a moment for family and friends even though vast amounts of technology are supposed to help people get more done and have more time,.  I will make a more conscious effort to reach out to family and friends and demonstrate my appreciation and love for them the” Old fashioned” way: the occasional phone call, letters, visits and tokens of my appreciation.
It’s eight months later,  and I’ve learned the hard way that most people are so consumed with their own lives that they simply do not have time or do not want to make time for friends and family unless it’s a quick text or Facebook message with the empty promise of  “We’ll have to get together”uttered though it  is highly unlikely to occur.  The experience of reaching out to people and making an effort to reconnect and not having those actions reciprocated initially left me feeling sad and wondering, “Is it me?  Should I perceive the unreturned phone calls, regularly canceled lunch or dinner dates and emails personally?”  I understand the importance of family and friends so it’s upsetting to drift apart from people I care about.  Have those relationships have ran their course? Time will tell.  I’ll always have love for my family and friends whom I may only see or speak to infrequently, but I’ve decided to modify my current goal.  I need to channel my energy into those whom I spend time with and see regularly and let them know how much they are loved and appreciated, and maybe one day the others will have time to fit me in their schedules.

6. I love writing and refuse to die with my many stories being left untold; as a result, I will begin working on and brainstorming about  other literary ventures such as colorful stories and children’s book ideas and see where it takes me…maybe to the best seller’s list one day!
I love writing, and have been incorporating it into my everyday schedule which has actually been rather busy these past few months.  I have a gratitude journal and occasionally jot down ideas throughout the course of the day.  I also purchased a few books which I’ve been reading to help me with the writing process.  Even though I know this goal will more than likely span into the next couple of years in order to have a completed project, I am fully immersed in the process.

7. Health is necessary for longevity.  To continue  improving my financial, physical and spiritual health, I will conduct research and keep working on the economical game plan, exercise regularly and meditate , and read and apply spiritual and motivational literature on a frequent basis.
It’s difficult to save money when paying for the expenses incurred from a pending wedding, but I am happy to report that I am under budget and will be in a good place financially after the expenses of the wedding have been paid.  I have been exercising six to seven days a week, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and taking vitamin supplements.  I’ve also been doing more meditating to keep me balanced and relaxed and brain exercises to improve my mental acuity.  I’m also on my second set of lessons for Rosetta Stone’s Spanish courses and am enjoying the learning process.  I can honestly say that I feel great!  

8. “You should be an actor!” is what family, friends and even my students tell me.  I used to act when I was younger and loved being on stage, so I will explore my theatrical abilities by taking a college level acting class in the spring 2011 semester staring January 10.  It’s going to be interesting potentially being in class with some of my own students, but it will be fun I’m sure.
My acting class went extremely well, and I finished the course with an “A!”  I learned a great deal from the experience and would love to take another course.  For my final, I actually performed in a scene as a drunk southern belle which is totally out of character for me.  You can check out my scene on You Tube under Anonomz.

9. As a person who  has finicky eating habits, family and friends jokingly say, “A fancy restaurant for her is a place that serves pizza, chicken or turkey burgers.”  I enjoy fine dining and feel guilty that people are limited in their restaurant selections when going out with me. In an attempt to break out of this habit, I will try at least one new food item every other month…once a month if the mood strikes me.
Trying new foods has actually been much easier that I thought it would be.  Once I tried the fried calamari, the shrimp, eggplant and plantains, to name a few, were no problem.  There’s something liberating about trying different foods.  Maybe it’s the ability to step outside of my comfort zone and to do something daring.  Perhaps trying new foods is just the beginning.  After this, I might feel more comfortable with trying different hobbies or activities that I would normally shy away from.  

10.  Lastly, in recent years I’ve learned that I cannot be everything to everyone, but year after year I still try to make family, friends, students, and colleagues happy sometimes at my own expense: monetarily, physically and emotionally.  To use an analogy, I love filling up their glasses of water, but I have to make sure my pitcher of water remains filled too in 2011.
I’m steadily improving in this area and have found that the more I say “no” or “I’ll think about it” so that I am not overwhelmed, the easier it becomes.  I still have to get over the guilt issues, but I’m happy with my progress..

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

All the best,

Tanya

We’re two-thirds of the way through in the new year.  Are you still on track with the things you had planned for the new year?  Please feel free to share.

He’s More Than Just A “Baby Daddy” Ten Songs Representing Different Fathers

19 Jun

Unfortunately, Father’s Day cannot hold a candle to Mother’s Day!  Father’s Day is comparable to the boy scouts trying to compete with the girl scout cookies by selling tubs of over-priced popcorn. (Side note: I purchased a small tub of popcorn to support the boy scouts for $10, and when I asked the troop leader why the prices were so high, he remarked, “The girl scouts have monopolized cookies and we don’t have a choice but to sell our goods for much higher prices just to make a small profit.)  Whenever I take my mother out for mother’s day, I must book my reservation months in advance and still endure that standing room only crowd at the restaurant’s mother’s day brunch.  Conversely, reservations are not always a necessity.  On one particular father’s day, my fiance, his siblings and I took his father out, and I repeatedly stressed the importance to him about making a reservation well in advance to ensure that we would not have a long wait.  Upon arriving at that restaurant, I was surprised to see so many empty tables and booths.  I thought, “Where are all of the fathers and their families?”

On Mother’s Day, I compiled a list of R & B and rap songs celebrating moms, so it’s only right to put together a list of songs celebrating dads.  There’s only one problem though; most R & B and rap songs I located don’t necessarily celebrate dad but acknowledge his absence and unwillingness to be a father.  Of course, not all dads are “dead beats” who don’t provide for their children.  There are many who are wonderful role models who even become father figures to those children and even adults who are fatherless.  Please be sure to praise your fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers, father-in-laws, uncles, nephews cousins, best friends, etc. who are exceptional fathers.  Musicians do excellent jobs producing songs that reflect societal and familial issues, and this list of memorable songs representing the plight, journey and love of a father does just that:

  1. Father & SonThe Loving Father: “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross“When I and my mother would disagree, to get my way I would run from her to him. He’d make me laugh just to comfort me, yeah yeah. Then finally make me do just what my momma said.”
  2. The Unconditional Love Father: “Daddy” by Beyonce: “Even if my man broke my heart today, no matter how much pain I’m in I will be okay cause I got a man in my life that can’t be replaced. For this love is unconditional it won’t go away.”Father & Son
  3. The Wise Father: “Joy” by Talib Kweli featuring Mos Def“Unless your language is relating to what they going through so busy ignoring them, you can’t see what they showing you.  And you wonder, why we called baby-daddy’s and baby-momma’s when we grow up, we can’t act like adult mothers and fathers, yo. I’m so blessed to have a boy and a girl, everyday they bring joy to my world.”
  4. The Protector Father: “Just the Two of Us” by Will Smith: “From the first time the doctor placed you in my arms I knew I’d meet death before I’d let you meet harm.  Although questions arose in my mind, would I be man enough?  Against wrong, choose right and be standin up.”
  5. The Grateful Father: “The Day” by Baby Face “It was like falling deep in love.  I heard the angels cry above.  I felt a blessing straight from God the day that you gave me a son.” 
  6. The Admirable Father: “Your Joy” by Chrisette Michele: “No one loves me just like you do.  No one knows me just like you do.  No one can compare to the way my eyes fit in yours.  You’ll always be my father.  And I’ll always be your joy.”
  7. Father & DaughterThe Stand-Up Father: “Be a Father to Your Child” by Ed. O.G. & Da the Bulldogs: “Be a father; if not why bother son.  A boy can make ’em but a man can raise one.”
  8. The Cycle Repeater Father: “All for You” by Little Brother:  “So the next time it’s late at night and I’m laid up with the woman I’ma make my wife talking ’bout how we ‘gon make a life, I’m thinking about child support, alimony, visitation rights. Cause that’s the only outcome if you can’t make it right. Pissed off with your children feeling the same pain. So, Pop, how could I blame cause you couldn’t maintain. I did the same thing…The same thing.” 
  9. The Denying Paternity Father: “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson:   “Billie Jean is not my lover. She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one.  But the kid is not my son.  She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son.”
  10. The No Good Father: “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by The Temptations:  “Hey Mama, is it true what they say, that Papa never worked a day in his life?  And Mama, bad talk going around town saying that Papa had three outside children and another wife.  And that ain’t right.

What type of father are you, or what type of father do you have?  To all of the positive fathers, Happy Father’s Day to you.  Please enjoy this R & B and rap father’s day playlist, and feel free to share your favorite song representing fathers with me.

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya Harris


Profound Hip Hop Quote #21: Philly Stand Up! Ten Songs Giving Philly Love

28 May

When it comes to rap music, New York is one of the first places that people reference; however, there are so many places nationally and internationally who have made major contributions to hip hop music and culture.  As a Philly home-grown resident, I’ve been discussing profound hip hop quotes specifically from Philly rap artists for the past two months.  What better way to end the month than to highlight some of the best songs representing Philly.   Here’s a playlist for all of those who can’t get enough of Philly!

  1. Philadelphia Love“Philly, Philly” by Eve featuring Beanie Sigel“We from P-H-I-L-A period, PA period, Eve they hearing it.  Believe they fearing it…”
  2. “Philly’s Finest” by Beanie Sigel: “P-H-I-L-L-Y  Why should we tell y’all why?  Where why and how we ride?  P-H-I-L-L-Y.”
  3. “Summertime” by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince: “Back in Philly we be out in the park.  A place called the plateau is where everybody go.”
  4. “I Run Philly” by Cassidy: “Cause I ain’t from the city of suckas.  Philly is the city with plenty of gun bustas.”
  5. “North Side” by Tuff Crew Northside! Northside! Where I’m From!
  6. “Ms. Philadelphia” by Musiq Soulchild: “Ms. P.H.I.L.L.Y. let’s try to do this.  I hope that I’m not asking too much. But can I get a little hometown love?”
  7. “Illy Filly Funk” by Da Youngstas: “I’m comin’ with the illy filly funk.  Like Billy the Kid I’m buckin’ down punks.Liberty Bell
  8. “Game Theory” by The Roots featuring Malik B.:  “Yeah, where I’ma start it at, look I’ma part of that.  Downtown Philly where it’s realer than a heart attack”
  9. “Uknowhowwedu” by Bahamdia:   “Landscapin mentally shapin’ lookin at my gucci it’s about that time.  Represent my peoples on the ill-a-del side.”
  10. “Exhibit C” by Jay Electronica:  ” I was on Cecil B, Broad Street, Master, North Philly, South Philly, 23rd, Tasker.

I got to tell you, there’s a plethora of songs about New York, but locating Philly songs was far more difficult than I thought it would be.  Regardless, I still got love for my home town.  If you know of any more, please feel free to share.  Philly stand up!

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya Harris


“Momma Said Knock You Out:” Ten Songs Celebrating Moms

7 May

Every so often, a musician decides to write a song celebrating his or her mom, and I would like to provide a top ten list of my favorite “mom” inspired rap and R & B songs to acknowledge my mother, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends and any mothers with whom I have come in contact.  Here’s a playlist just for you!

  1. “Dear Mama (You Are Appreciated)” by Tupac Shakur“There are no words that can express how I feel.  You never kept a secret, always stayed real.  And I appreciate, how you raised me. And all the extra love that you gave me.”
  2. “All That I Got is You” by Ghostface Killah: “All that I got is you, and I’m so thankful I made it through.”
  3. “A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men“Mama, Mama you know I love you.  Mama, Mama you’re the queen of my heart. Your love is like tears from the stars.  Mama I just want you to know lovin’ you is like food to my soul.  Yes it is, yes it is, oh, yes it is, yes it is, yes it is oh”
  4. “Super Hero” by Raheem DeVaughn: “Some think that super heroes climb buildings and fly through the sky.  Well I beg to differ.  Mama you’re the reason why.  Some may think a role model strikes a home run or a touch dow, but mama’s always been a soldier back then and right now.”
  5. “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell Pray God you can cope. I stand outside this woman’s work, This woman’s world. Ooh, it’s hard on the man,  Now his part is over.  Now starts the craft of the father.
  6. “Momma Loves Me” by Jay Z: “Momma loved me, pop left me. Grandma dressed me, plus she fed me banana puddin, what’s in the hood then.”
  7. “Hey Mama” by Kanye West: “(Hey Mama), I wanna scream so loud for you, cuz I’m so proud of you. Let me tell you what I’m about to do, (Hey Mama). I know I act a fool but, I promise you I’m goin back to school. I appreciate what you allowed for me. I just want you to be proud of me (Hey Mama).
  8. “Momma Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J:  “I’m gonna knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
    Mama said knock you out (HUUUH!!!)”
  9. “I Love My Momma” by Snoop Dogg:   “The first one to hold me. The first one to scold me. You never cease to teach me. And always try to reach me. Took me to school the first day. Taught me how to kneel, down and pray. You learned me how to count from one to ten. And never forget, where I’ve been Momma..
  10. “Sweet Sadie” by R. Kelly:  I Love you mama. I just can’t forget how you gave me love oh no If there’s a Heaven up above I know she’s teaching angels how to love. It’s a mean world
    Without ya.  And I surely miss you much mother. And now that your gone I’m gonna carry on

Happy mother’s day to you.  Please enjoy this R & B and rap mother’s day playlist, and feel free to share your favorite song celebrating mothers with me.

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya Harris


Ten Things I’ve Got Planned for 2011: One-Third of the way through (January – April)

3 Apr

Tanya Harris' Vision Board1. Rome was not built in a day, and neither was the ideal body.  Therefore, I will keep working out four to five days a week to be nicely toned for the summer of 2011. I’ve been working out four to five times a week using EA Sports Active which can really give an intense workout and Wii Fit Plus for the yoga components.  I’m also using the “Perfect Sit-up”  to continue tightening up those abs.  Now that the weather is breaking, I’ll be going for more walks and jogs outside.

2. My intellectual, spiritual and creative journey is essential for my well-being, and I will be sure to submit a blog entry at least once a week.  Stop by when you can to check out my new entries. I am happy to report that I have surpassed my goal of publishing one entry per week.  This is my 38th blog submission, and I am shooting for at least 100 entries by the end of the year.

3. I have many gifts, and writing poetry is one of them, so I will relentlessly assert myself to become synonymous with the spoken word and poetry slam circuit.  Who knows, I may complete enough poems to publish a chapbook or have some choice entries in major publications.  It’s been a busy semester and a snowy winter, so I haven’t been able to attend as many spoken word events as I would like, but I am steadily writing and will be a judge for the college’s annual spoken word contest.  Also, I have uploaded some of my spoken word performances on You Tube.  You can find me under Anonomz.

4. People often say, “It’s a small world,” but many of us have yet to leave our own neighborhood, city, or state, let alone the country or continent for that matter.  I plan to travel more extensively this year and hope to visit outside of the country…perhaps for a destination wedding. It is with great pleasure that I am able to say this goal will be met in August when I will be getting married in the Dominican Republic.

5. Everybody is busier than ever and cannot spare a moment for family and friends even though vast amounts of technology are supposed to help people get more done and have more time,.  I will make a more conscious effort to reach out to family and friends and demonstrate my appreciation and love for them the” Old fashioned” way: the occasional phone call, letters, visits and tokens of my appreciation. Even though I have been making an effort to reach out to more family and friends, I may need to work harder.  Sadly, my reaching out has not been reciprocated at the level I hoped it would have been by now.  But I have to keep in mind that many people are busy with their own lives.  My hope is that too much time doesn’t go by before I am able to reconnect with family and friends who are near and dear to me.

6. I love writing and refuse to die with my many stories being left untold; as a result, I will begin working on and brainstorming about  other literary ventures such as colorful stories and children’s book ideas and see where it takes me…maybe to the best seller’s list one day! As a result of taking and acting class and teaching Children’s Literature this semester, so many wonderful ideas have entered my mind, and I’ve been discussing them with my writing buddy as well as my family and friends.  I am hoping to be able to start the writing process when I get more free time in the summer.

7. Health is necessary for longevity.  To continue  improving my financial, physical and spiritual health, I will conduct research and keep working on the economical game plan, exercise regularly and meditate , and read and apply spiritual and motivational literature on a frequent basis. Maintaining one’s health in all aspects can be quite an arduous task.  It’s so easy to lose focus, especially when daily life routines are overwhelming or seem to be never-ending.  I have been, however, writing daily in my gratitude journal for my spiritual health, eating relatively healthy foods, being mindful of my spending habits by following a tight budget and just simply focusing on the positive instead of the negative.

8. “You should be an actor!” is what family, friends and even my students tell me.  I used to act when I was younger and loved being on stage, so I will explore my theatrical abilities by taking a college level acting class in the spring 2011 semester staring January 10.  It’s going to be interesting potentially being in class with some of my own students, but it will be fun I’m sure. Signing up for an acting class was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while.  I’m learning so much and really enjoying every moment.  So far, I’ve performed a monologue from “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show” and written a drama analysis on “The Cherry Orchard,”  and I received A’s on both of them.    I truly am looking forward to the remaining projects and am looking forward to possibly taking a future acting course.

9. As a person who  has finicky eating habits, family and friends jokingly say, “A fancy restaurant for her is a place that serves pizza, chicken or turkey burgers.”  I enjoy fine dining and feel guilty that people are limited in their restaurant selections when going out with me. In an attempt to break out of this habit, I will try at least one new food item every other month…once a month if the mood strikes me. Trying new foods has been difficult for my, but it is with great pleasure that I report that I am on target with my goal of one new food every other month.  So far, I’ve tried a pesto pasta which was not too far out of my comfort zone in January.  Then I tried something that would be extreme for anyone, fried calamari; I must say, it was better than I expected.  I actually had three in February.  In March, I had some shrimp pasta, and it was not bad either.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to try one food a month instead of every other month!

10.  Lastly, in recent years I’ve learned that I cannot be everything to everyone, but year after year I still try to make family, friends, students, and colleagues happy sometimes at my own expense: monetarily, physically and emotionally.  To use an analogy, I love filling up their glasses of water, but I have to make sure my pitcher of water remains filled too in 2011.  This one has been tougher than I expected because I love helping and doing for other people, but I’ve been getting much better at saying no or letting a person know what I am capable of doing so that I am not overwhelmed and able to be revitalized before being totally drained.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

All the best,

Tanya

We’re one-third of the way through in the new year.  Are you still on track with the things you had planned for the new year?  Please feel free to share.