Spoken Word: Ethiopian Girl Talks About Her Name and Its Significance

First, I realize that it is disingenuous of me to refer to her as “Ethiopian Girl.” Given the content of the poem and the fact that I have also experienced (though to a lesser degree) some of what she talked about, it’s admittedly very contradictory. Yes, I am cognizant of the fact that her name is only 5 letters and 2 syllables long. However, I also do not know how to spell it, given the fact that I know nothing about her culture. To me, it would be equally disheartening to publicly misspell her name. Hence, I’ve opted for the blatantly more feeble attempt at paying her the respect she deserves by not attempt to add myself to the list of people who butcher her name.

My grandfather used to tell me that “Nothing is important until it is called by its rightful name.” It’s something I’ve taken to heart in a lot of what  I do, especially because I’ve had my name butchered by people of my own ethnic group. People who though well-meaning, seem to condescend and patronize me with the assumption that I cannot speak or understand my own language because of my American accent. In my opinion, to butcher a person’s name is to belittle that person. I  would rather that you never attempt to pronounce or spell my name, than for you to butcher it.

In conclusion:

Dear  Ethiopian Girl whose name I can pronounce but cannot spell,

Thank you for having the courage express yourself in a way that resonates with people like me. I apologize for my ineptitude and for the disrespect that I have shown to your name and honor, but I am grateful for your strength.


Strangers Again

Life is funny sometimes. We go through phases and we wonder how or why we ever got ourselves into such predicaments. I guess for the most part, life is like that weird moment when you start off a conversation and end up very far off from where you started but you can’t really figure out how you got to the end. Tonight was one of those nights.

I was supposed to be powering through my Neuroscience readings, but somehow ended up a conversation about comedians on Youtube, which culminated in me watching the video above. It tells the sad story about what goes on/wrong in relationships that end up not working out in the end. All of this got me thinking about a lot of my past relationships, and how I would react to seeing my exes many years after the fact. Would we really be strangers again?

As much as I would like to think the answer is “no,” the truth leans a lot more towards the opposite. At present, I don’t think I would call them strangers so much as acquaintances. Life changes radically from second to second, let alone from decade to decade. Eventually, you start to forget what seemed so important back then that made you cherish each other’s company or feel like you had no other option but to be an asshole and instigate a fight. Eventually, you almost forget that you ever actually knew each other, or shared a really significant bond.

However, even if the imprints of relationships past aren’t readily visible in your present life, there isn’t a doubt that they’ve helped to shape the person you’ve become. These days, I tend to believe that if you like the person that you are at present, then your past relationships, intimate and otherwise, must have been good in some way. If nothing else, they helped create the person you grew to love.

Hence, to anyone who has ever had the pleasure, or the misfortune of being in any sort of relationship with me, I say the following:

  1. Thank you for all you did to make me the person that I am today
  2. I’m sorry that wisdom and circumstance did not serve us as well as they could have
  3. I sincerely wish the best for you in everything that love and life have to offer

Lastly, I guess this songs sums up how I feel  right about now


Tony Valenzuela meets Stan Lee (literally)

Tony Valenzuela is one of my favorite online film directors. He’s a got a great eye for story and cinematography. In this video he meets up with someone else who I greatly admire. Non other than the amazingly impeccably astounding Stan Lee. It’s interesting to watch the creative dynamic play out between these two, especially when it literally spans generations.


You know the phrase “Never judge a book by it’s cover?” Not true. Covers are often the first impression we have of a book — and first impressions are everything. They influence whether we pick the book up, whether or not we read the book, and even our initial opinion.

And let me tell you. There are some fantastic covers out there. If you didn’t know, I actually work at the Emory Libraries as a temp in the Stacks Division, which means I shelve more books in a daily basis than you can imagine. And the interesting book covers that I see? Sometimes, they’re just too great not to share.

There’s something absolutely fabulous about  plaid jacket, a wide belt, and a floppy hat. Nothing classier for a book cover.

Creeper goat is totally into your nightly romance.

Honest? It’s just a great illustration.

Can you find the pokeball? Gotta…

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