December 30, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

Yo...2010 is about to be over. I dunno about you but I'm about ready. This Bug is ready for the New Year and all the promise it holds.  That being said- this is the last Throwback Thursday of the year.  So I'll switch it up for the sake of newness.  Instead of featuring one video from a favorite year- I'm bussin' out a few that were always staples of that time for me.  The Golden Era of Hip Hop.  These are some of the criminally slept on joints that I always loved.  Always will.  Classic material. I'm diggin' deep.   No disrespect but- if you're not a true head just sit this one out. I'm not here to alienate anyone but this Hip Hop thing is for those who love it.  I do this for ya'll.  Enjoy.

Trends of Culture - Off and On 

Why is the beat so effin' tough on this one?!  Oooweee.

Original Flavor feat. Jay Z 

Yeah...pre-Reasonable Doubt Jay and a sick ass arrangement of rhymes.  It rarely gets better.

Strickly Roots - Begs No Friends

Dude said "Layin' muthafuckas like ready-cut carpet." What! Grand Puba  and Fat Joe rep to the fullest, too.

The A.T.E.E.M - Get It On 

Hot Dog . Yeah, Chubb Rock's background dancer kinda did his thing. Q-Dog style.  And I don't even eff with Frats.  I never understood why dude said "Not a white Bruce Jenner." As opposed to what?  Bruce Jenner is white, Fam..

Fat Joe feat. Diamond D and Grand Puba - Watch the Sound

One of my all-time faves. Hands down.  Plus, my girl Goldie is in the vid.  Such a sweetie, that one.

Eric B and Rakim - Paid In Full

"Was it good enough for ya?" Ooowee!!! Have a safe and prosperous New Year, Peoples.  Catch you in 20eleven.  Much love.

December 27, 2010

Water Song

Yesterday, I made a concerted effort not to draw attention to the obvious.  It was Sunday.  The day after Christmas.  Boxing Day.  It means little to some- but to my father? Everything.  43 years they would have been married.  When I spoke to him on the phone I made it a point not to mention their anniversary.   For the better part of five years I wore her solid gold band on my left ring finger.  Engraved inside are their initials and the date he first slipped that ring onto her finger. 26-12-67  She was a gorgeous bride- all ninety-nine pounds of her.  She had a smile that was beckoning and all knowing.  A smile that invited you to her mystique if you dared- but she never told her secrets.  Her nails were always prettily manicured.  Her attire and accessories looked as though they'd been handpicked by Anna Wintour. And when she first married my father she could only bake banana bread flawlessly.  By the time she left, she was a better cook than he was.  I was thirteen when she waded on to other waters.  A part of me always knew we only had her for a time.  She was so otherworldly. Always aware that there was an invisible world. She belonged somewhere between this world and that.  A Pisces in the true sense.  Wistful. A dreamer.  Full of charm. A showstopper devoid of conceit. She was supportive and content to let others shine while she floated somewhere in the background. That was her glow.  I was 10 years younger than her final year when I gave that ring back to my father to wear around his neck.  It never seemed right for me to wear it.  Not because my own marriage dissolved but because it wasn't placed on my hand with a fraction of the love that placed it on hers. Theirs is a timeless love.  This is for my mother- who no longer swims in earthly waters but I feel her just the same. This is for my father.  I peer through time portals and see a banner that reads: His wife was a mermaid. He is inconsolable. This is for Lady T.  So ironic that on the anniversary of something so great, something that brought forth my very existence; another Pisces went swimming through heavenly waters.  She was born one day before my beautiful mother and sang with a duality I know now is essentially theirs.  Wild and Peaceful. This is for my own water sign love who just last night,  gave me this song.  Because of them I am ever grateful.  Ever knowing.  Ever loving. Thank God.

December 26, 2010

The Middle Ground

"Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become." -Author Unknown

There's an art to making the best of a bad situation.  Banksy knows it.  Gladys knew it.  I'm still getting there.  I know it takes a series of calculated steps and pointed decisions to get there.  Simply wishing doesn't make it so.  Sunnyside up.  The silver lining.  The glass half full.  All of these things- conjured up by the spirited people who forgo the negative in pursuit of more constructive endeavors.  I don't fault them.  I just don't always share their enthusiasm.  To me they seem capricious- these shiny happy people.  Although that's far from the sentiment I pick up from Gladys Knight and phantom guerrilla artist, Banksy.  They are well aware of how unpleasant the subject matter at hand is.  They just decided to put a spin on it- turn it sideways before setting it right side up for all to see.  I can respect that.  A new take.  A different outlook.  Something more beneficial or edifying than what is immediately presented. Look closer.  I get it.

Plenty of self-examination is the precursor to that.  I'm trying.  Really, I am.  For every bitter pill there's an elixir.  For every disappointment, a new revelation. It's never as bad as it once seemed.  Most people I know grew up in the same house since childhood.  Not me.  Starting from six years old to my late teens, I moved around neighboring towns almost every few years.  At one point, I stayed with friends and lived out of jumbo plastic garbage bags.  Now that it rests squarely on my shoulders- I'm settled.  For how long- is a fear that tries to slip in with the draft in a floorboard, but I chase it away.  And every now and then, when problems crowd my brain, I revisit all of those homes.  I park across the street and recall whatever I was going through when I resided there, no matter how brief.  I think about how unbearable it was at the time and realize that I made through that- so I can make it through this.  The look back isn't harmful as long as it's followed by a look ahead.

It was naive of me to think I was the only one who did this.  I truly believed I was until I read an article on Eminem in Spin magazine.  The interviewer followed him around to several places he had lived in Detroit as a youth. He spoke of doing this often when he was seeking perspective on where he presently was- whenever his hectic schedule allowed him to be in his hometown.  I instantly recognized my own movements in his.  The inherent need to be reminded that as shitty as it was back then- you made it through.  You. Made it. Through. Tougher, stronger, no worse for wear and grateful.  Reflection.  It's a countermeasure that works as long as it's properly applied.  If you start dwelling there or not wanting to move on to the next house or even head home, you've already fucked up.  I don't drive around to those old haunts as much as I used to.  I reserve those times for more pressing or melodramatic courses.  These days, I take a page out of Banksy's book.  See the beauty in the grit and discomfort of it all and show others what I'm made of; simply by showing it to myself.  Some may call that inspiration.  I call it middle ground.

December 24, 2010

lowest common denominator

in two years i've learned that
every smiling face
ain't necessarily
happy to see you

that work still waits for you
even if you don't hear the alarm
and the wounds you can't see
take the longest to heal

i also learned
that no amount of explaining
will be enough
when their minds are made up
and that talking to my father
only hurts
when I'm keeping secrets

that no audience is required
to feel humiliated
and that math was never my strongest subject-
but I know enough about equations
to solve the problem
but the variables
keep changing
so I'm always

in the past two years
I learned that
nothing is personal
and everything
is personal

December 23, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

C'mon now, you already know a classic is due. Niiiiice....

Have a safe and Happy Holiday, ya'll.

December 21, 2010

Judge not

I've heard it all my life. So have you.  "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."  As a youngster, this idiom was never fully explained to me.  I just knew it involved stones and glass. Common sense told me that the thrower could just as easily be hurt if his target decided to return fire.  If anything, the one in the glass house would be worse off- since shattered glass causes the kind of damage that stones do not.  No less dangerous.  Just different.

Just for today- a twist on an old adage: Don't go throwing stones in a Plexiglass house. Yes, it's harder to see and doesn't break nearly as easily. It feels safe. But you have to come out someday.  What then? Nobody's bulletproof.

Throw your stones in a house of mirrors instead and maybe then you’ll see enough to tell the truth and know it when it falls upon your ears.

December 18, 2010

The Purple Unicorn Theory

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I'm a born cynic.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I wasn't born a cynic.  It just became part of my make-up after years of experience. Sarcasm.  Now, that I'm positive is ingrained in my DNA.  But the cynic in me was created almost as a coping mechanism- especially where romantic matters are concerned.  I've always said that if I were to send you out on a mission to find two things; a willfully monogamous man and purple unicorn- you would sooner return with the unicorn. Because to me, they are one in the same.  A mythical creature that everyone has heard about in stories or seen in movies but in actuality does not exist. Only depictions of one's imagination.  An illusion to be sought but never visualized in real life.  I know, it sounds extraordinarily pessimistic but at the very least, it's realistic.

This leads me to my friend Warren.  We work together at my side gig. He's not yet 26 and holds two art degrees.  He sees everything in color.  There's no black and white with him.  He is by far one of the most optimistic people I know.   His philosophies on life and relationships always lead me to believe he maintains this perspective because he's still young and idealistic.  And I always walk away from our chats feeling a mixture of disdain for holding a bleak if not pragmatic outlook and hopefulness that I may one day look at the glass as half full for a change.  To hear him tell it- he would not be forced into being with just one girl.  He would do it because that's just who he is.  When he first said this to me, I answered with a blank non-believing stare.  Surely, any man not forced by circumstance would be with more than one woman for at least a moment in time.  That is my conjecture.  A hypothesis that has been tested time and again by my own experiences and through countless platonic friendships with members of the opposite sex.  When I was 15, I sat slack jawed with some of the things my male friends told me about their exploits.  By 20, I listened almost absently as they recounted their Lotharion tales. Not a lot has changed.  Many birthdays, some marriages and a few kids later- they pretty much still have the same habits.

But Warren believes there is one person out there for him. A soul mate. The One.  And he will be with her and only her as long as time allows.  Rather than cut down his ideal with a verbal scythe, I listen.  You see, I once believed I had one of those.  A twin flame.  An unbreakable bond and true love. And he wanted to be with me and only me. No one could tell me otherwise. Back then I was what they'd call a hopeless romantic, not unlike Warren. But if were to be honest with all of you- that person was already committed to another and so was I. So the Purple Unicorn theory solidified shortly thereafter.  You get older...or I got older- and realized that love is not about the 'together forever' they sell you from the time you're old enough to crack open a story book.  Happily Ever After is a fantasy.  It's not real.  You have your good times and your bad.

Conceptually, I don’t feel that we are allotted only one soul mate in our lifetime. I think some people often mistake a romantic connection with an otherwise spiritual one. They confuse a soul mate with a sole mate.  While that connection may include romance- a true soul mate doesn’t necessarily require it in my book. Your soul mate is your touchstone. A person who may be a polar but parallel opposite. They just get you and you get them. I have a female cousin, an ex-lover and a very close friend; all of whom I consider my soul mates. We have an near non-verbal communication- and our connections were almost immediate as my confectioner in the blogosphere, Candy Girl once put it.

This is what I want to convey to Warren when he gets that misty, far off look in his eye as he describes what has to exist out there for him- but I don't.  Far be it from me to shatter one's ideal of love and life.  All I know is that unicorns and one-woman men have never existed in the world as I know it.  And that's okay.  This world is too cruel for them to sustain a true permanence. Does that make me a cynic? I'm not so sure.  Sooner or later, someone would slay that purple unicorn. Skin its violet hued hide and feed upon its divine flesh. Extract that remarkable horn and ground it to a fine lavender iridescent powder- simply because they could.  So they belong in another world...just like Warren.

And now, a word from our sponsor

December 17, 2010

A Reader's Confessional

"A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend." ~Author Unknown

Sometimes I buy the books because the titles sound interesting. The Call of the Weird.  A Thirst for Rain. Death Be Not Proud. 100 Things You're Not Supposed Know.  Or because the covers are eye-catching. Open to a random page.  Skim a few lines.  If they can write, I buy it.  Discarded library books for 50 cents.  Books from thrift shops.  The occasional designer bookstore purchase when I get a coupon via email.  Novels.  Cookbooks.  Poetry.  Once in a while- a self-help book disguised as an instructional manual or revelatory instant classic.  I buy them all.  Because as long as I have them, there's an  unspoken confirmation that my wheels are still turning.  The books help oil the machine.  As long as I can read- I can make sense of my reality while escaping it.  Books by the plentiful pound.  Stories about foreign, faraway places and close-up tragedies not unlike my own.  The missed train.  The tyrant of a mentor. The forced hand. The skinned knee.  The inexclusive love.  The flood of afterthought that drowns every living and already decayed thing in 20/20 hindsight. The rebirth of spirit.  Quiet chaos and triumphs holding hands; riding off into the sunset.  Books, quite simply...are my truth when the rest of the world is lying straight to my face. 

December 15, 2010

Odds and Ends

This Bug is back in a major way.  It may not seem like it but I was out of the loop for several months. The hows and whys are less important than the fact that I'm back now.  No longer relegated to blogging stealthily from work or distractedly from a PC other than my own.  Now it's just me, my keyboard, my ashtray and the freedom to tap tap tap away.  Of course, I can't come back without a Random Rundown to let you know what's been going on.  Shall we? Let's.

Eye Can't Believe It

Recently I started seeing spots.  Tiny, globular shapes were traipsing across my field of vision, along with some eye pain for about a week before I made an appointment to see the opthamologist.  What did I learn? 1. Those pesky little things I saw are called Floaters.  (Which is a term I always associated more with something in a commode but whatever.) 2.  There is no real explanation or cure for this annoying condition. 3. I have stubborn pupils. Those were the doctor's exact words after he administered drops that were meant to dilate my pupils.  It took 3x the normal amount for the desired result and it stung like a bitch.  I'll never whine about shampoo in my eye ever again. That's a treat compared to those dastardly drops.  Anyway, I'm just glad it's not a detached retina or a brain tumor. (Whew!) The symptoms are identical.

Ride 'em, Cowbug

I've officially added riding a mechanical bull in Vegas to my Bucket List.  It has to be in Vegas. Why? I don't know why.  Because I don't think Texas is gonna see This Bug anytime soon.  Now, this isn't some off-the-cuff split decision.  I've done my research.  Sure it looks sexy- but there's nothing sexy about flopping face first onto some rubber mat in front of a drunken crowd.  You have to be in pretty damn good shape to stay on.  Strong legs and knowing how to move with the bull's momentum help immensely. I think I have that licked.  It should be fun providing I don't flop face first into a drunken crowd.  Stay tuned.

Up In The Air

I watched this flick for the first time last week  There's not one detail in it that I didn't love. The man traveled with military-like precision.  He spent most of his time literally up in the air.  Flying the friendly skies and as the play on words go- with uncertainty.  It's a very grown-up movie about grown-ups and the childlike reservations they tend to hold onto.  I learned two things. Hatchet Men don't necessarily enjoy their job.  That's a huge misconception.  Also, the song O.P.P. can really be viewed as the ultimate cheaters' anthem.  It sort of gave the green light to unfaithful behavior by making it a cool club to be a member of.  I love the scene in which this plays by the way.  Clooney makes you want to crash corporate parties with him.

The Soldier of Love

It must be life's little joke on This Bug that Sade will be a stone's throw away from me next year and it's a wrap for any prospect of me getting tickets. Wait, did you read that correctly? Yup. Next. Year. She puts an album out like what? Once every six years?  She performs sporadically.  This hurts.  That's all for now.  Unless you would like to make a donation to my PayPal account.  In that case- all hope is not lost.  Now, I'm happy to get the kind that jingles...but I'd rather have the kind that folds, dig?  If you think I'm groveling, do remember that Love Is Stronger than Pride. 

"How much can you know yourself if you've never been in a fight?"

I didn't think it would come to this- but I seriously wish there was a real underground Fight Club I could join.  Somewhere I could beat the shit out of someone.  Somewhere I might get the shit beat out of me. If that's the case- the loss would be worthwhile.  Lately, the anger comes in waves and it's a dangerous thing. I'm starting to identify with the likes of Naomi Campbell (Runway Ripper and Cell Phone Hurler Extraordinaire) and it's disturbing. There are tons of anger management resources in the Yellow Pages but for some reason- no underground clubs to knuckle up. Rule #1. You cannot google Fight Club.  Rule #2.  You cannot google Fight Club! I am Bug's raging bile duct...

Color me Optimistic

I'm seriously considering an accent wall in my place.  I chose Peacock Feather.  I was pretty pleased with this prospect until I was told it looks like it belongs in a bathroom.  Well, it just might.  But at least I tried something new- which is what I'm hitting for.  Home Depot sells these cool little 8oz samples of any color you choose so I'll give it a spin before I commit to an entire gallon.  If it sucks, I can always cover it with paint left behind by my super when I first moved in.  Wish me luck.

There is a (Mixtape) God

Question: Who knows about mixtapes?  Put your hand down, youngens.  This is not for you.  You see, This Bug remembers when mixtapes were actually tapes. A good friend pointed out that they now come as CD's and it's just not the same.  I can remember copping Clue tapes from the Ave.  I can remember tapes popping from incessant listening. I can recall the loss I felt when someone got me for a classic tape. Well, thanks to technological advancement I was able to replace a Dirty Harry tape from 1996 that I got somebody for. (Love ya, Broham.)  Words can't express my elation when I downloaded each song in the exact sequence that I remember. I would post the link on here but I'd rather make heads work for it.  If you truly want it bad enough- you'll get resourceful the way I did or- you can just hit my email and I would slide you that link because it shows that you went the extra mile and that makes you, like me, a Hip Hop purist.  We take care of our own.

December 12, 2010

Lost in the World

Imagine a world of chaos and a woman determined to write about it.  He said he was the headache and the aspirin.  He didn't lie. People always say they don't know whether they're coming or going.  I'm always doing both and yet, I remain totally cognizant of that fact.  It's a choice.  I know that now.  I chose the headache and the aspirin.  The poison and the antidote.  The torment and the salve. The crux: Stay or go?  I never know.  But win or lose- I'll write it all. 
It's not often I hear lyrics that sound as if they were ripped covetously from my brain.  But every now and then...

You're my devil you're my angel
You're my heaven you're my hell
You're my now you're my forever
You're my freedom you're my jail
You're my lies you're my truth
You're my war you're my truce,
Your my questions you're my proof
Your my stress and you're my masseuse.

Lost In The World - Kanye West

December 3, 2010

"I am serious."

Leslie Nielsen
Sunrise: February 11,1926  Sunset: November 28, 2010

I owe a great many laughs from my youth to this man.  Shirley, he will be missed.

December 2, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

1995. One of my favorite years in Hip Hop. And I'll go as far as saying it was one my favorite years in life overall. To quote Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity..." Don't I know it.  You know who else knew it?  The Pharcyde.  By the second album- Labcabincalifornia they collectively displayed a more serious side musically and lyrically.  Many of the tracks were produced by J Dilla (Rest In Peace) and you definitely heard a difference.  While they didn't completely depart from the jokes and playfulness which was evident on their 1992 debut, Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde, This Bug fell right in step with the growing pains they expressed. Shit, I was going through it my damn self back then. Conceptually- even the videos took a new twist. (Think  Drop and how everything moved backwards while going forward. Trippy.)

Which brings me to Today's Throwback.  Aside from the song itself, which I always liked- the video only  bolstered how I felt about it.  Beginning with Fatlip's verse, the recollections are heartfelt.  He got picked on, jumped and harrassed by Crips.  Slim Kid Tre breaks down the lessons of being self reliant; friends are nice to have around, but there's no guarantee they'll be there when it gets thick.  The final verse from Imani hit me hard back then- especially the last line.  All the while, the video has an almost dreamlike quality.  Which is fitting since there's a scenario of flip-flop slavery at play here.  In a surreal role reversal, everything from the servitude on a plantation to an auction block is present- but not in a way you've ever seen in history.  The Pharcyde play croquet while melanin deficient girls style the hair of their mistresses poolside.  It's an interesting juxtapostion to say the least.  This Bug's favorite line?  "It's 1995. Now that I'm older stress weighs on my shoulders heavy as boulders- but I told ya- Til the day that I die I still- will be a soldier. And that's all I told ya and that's all I showed ya." I still feel him on that one. It's true.  You can't keep Runnin', you just gotta keep keen and cunnin'.

December 1, 2010

Let the Bed Bug bite

When I was in the sixth grade, I wrote a story about a lipstick from the perspective of the lipstick.  I can remember getting a really high grade on it.  The teacher liked how I applied emotion to an inanimate object.  The details are fuzzy but I recall the lipstick being purchased from the cosmetic counter by a girl whose father thought she was too young to wear make-up.  She tried it on in private.  Held it close, hid it in her Hello Kitty purse.  She snuck it into school once and put it on before she spoke to a boy she liked.  Her dad found it one day. He snatched it from her, smashed the cap onto it before winding it down, and so on.  All of this from the point of view of the lipstick.  It was pretty cool. Anyway, recently I was looking for writing prompts and was reminded of that story. What follows is the result of that writing exercise. I had fun with it.  I may post more of these because I enjoyed revisiting the midset of being in my writing classes.  Here's the prompt:

 You return home from work to find a Dear John letter on your kitchen table. Oddly enough, it's from one of your favorite pieces of furniture. What does the letter say? 

Dear Jayne,

    I guess the gaping space in the bedroom is somewhat telling.  I wish it weren't this way.  It's only been about three years but I believe it's best if we part ways.  For now, anyway.  It's not that I don't feel appreciated- because I do.  The way you rotated me each  month and regularly changed my linens let me know that you cared about my well being.  When your brother-in-law built my base so you wouldn't lose things underneath me, I was relieved.  I know you hated misplacing earrings and hair clips under there.  But this is not about me.

    I was meant to improve your quality of life but it's just not happening.  You only just learned that I was called Cushion Cloud.  My pillow top used to lull you into blissful rest.  Somehow though, you forgot how useful I could be.  Languid sweat from bodies in motion has been replaced by tears.  You think I can't tell the difference in the saline? Ask yourself what happened.  How come I don't feel the weight of him anymore? One man.  I liked that you never brought strangers to lie in me.  I grew accustomed to the way you both held each other close in the middle of me.  And when asleep, secure in the knowledge that I was supporting you both, retreated to opposite sides.  Only to unite again when day broke.  He was in the habit of making me before he left.  I wish I could say the same for you- but I don't fault you for that.  You're always running.  Always late.  I know I'm the reason you sometimes chose a few minutes more of being cradled over making sure every hair was in place for work.  I know that takes time. You didn't mind oversleeping.  I want you to know that I understand how lonely it can be.  That's why you often fall asleep with books or the New York Times at the foot of me sometimes; the lamp still burning bright when your alarm sounds at 7:25 a.m.  I was all yours.  You'd lay diagonally, dead center and even upside-down on occasion.  Or you'd tear off articles of clothing in mid-slumber.  Leggings.  Socks. A bra left between the sheets here and there.  Panties rolled off in one swift movement; just so you could get more out your forty winks.  That made me happy.

  But I'm not happy anymore- because you're not happy anymore.  I won't be back until you are again.  I know you'll miss me when you're curled up on that too soft love seat, sinking each time you rest your bones.  It sounds strange but I want you to.  I want you to get busy living.  Live a life that makes you ready to collapse into a welcoming bed so that I may want to return.  Make no mistake; I don't want you to exhaust yourself.  You've done enough of that.  I just want you to even things out again.  Less tears.  More sleep.  Lovemaking at twilight. More dreams.  No nightmares. You deserve that.  I'll be back when it's time.

                                                                                   Yours truly,
                                                                                   The Mattress

P.S.  Just a last word of advice.  The sheepskin rug is nice but I hope you don't get on the floor to take your rest.  Too many unseen dust mites down there.  TTYS...hopefully.


November 29, 2010

blessed, alive, that order

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"-The Shadow

To say that my Thanksgiving morning started out like any other would be far from the truth.  In fact, it would be an outright lie.  I awoke to a day that was mixed with turmoil, stirred by animosity and bubbling with potential violence.  Needless to say, I tried my best to carry on with the day as though none of these factors bore any weight.  So foolish of me to ignore the omens.

I was up before the sun and made my way to the basement laundry room of my building. My thought was- it's a holiday and not yet 6 a.m. so no one should be down there.  I'll be in and out in no time.  I opted for the closeness of my building rather than lug three heavy bags across the courtyard to my car and a nearby laundromat.  When I got there- it was dead silent. An eerie, early morning quiet that makes you feel you're the only one in the world who's up and about.  No machines going. No dryers tumbling.  Deserted.

Then I saw him. Scruffy and unshaven.  A nest of matted dirty blond hair topped his head.  His hands looked meaty and swollen.  He said, "Hey. How's it going?"  I reply, "Good Morning."  I began loading the machines when it struck me that he was down there but  not using the laundry facilities.  I engage him.  "Are you waiting for the machines?"  He looked skittish.  "No, I'm waiting for him to pick me up for work. It's cold out there, you know?" Immediately I analyze his words.  Why would he say 'him' like I'm supposed to know who he's talking about?  And if he lived in the building, there would be no need for him to wait outside in the cold.  I nod. I didn't want to be rude.  Just because someone looks unkempt doesn't necessarily mean they're up to no good.  He asks me for a light. I don't usually carry matches but I had them.  I don't usually carry a screwdriver either, but I had one that morning. I hand him the book of matches. He lights up under the No Smoking sign.  As bold as I am, it's something I've never done in that basement.  It rubs me the wrong way. I leave. 

Forty minutes after the wash cycle, I make my way back downstairs.  Thankfully, the sun is up.  At first glance, it feels like I'm alone.  As I step in a little further, I see a figure crouching behind the huge dryer closest to the wall. He peeks out at me then walks out into the open.  Asks me for another light.  Says he can't believe he lost the one I gave him.  At this point, all friendliness is out the window. I tell him no.  Sternly.  All the while I'm wondering what the hell he was doing hiding behind the dryer, but I say nothing.  He leaves through a back door that locks automatically once closed.  As I'm pulling clothes from the washing machine I hear a knock at the same door two minutes later.  I ignore it because anyone who's allowed to come through there- more than likely has a key.  Deep down, I know it's him again.  I pretend not to hear the knocking but he walks to the window across from where I'm standing and points to the door. 

I hold up one finger as if to say 'Gimme a second'.  He saunters back over to the door.  I take the screwdriver from my bag and slide it into the back pocket of my jeans.  Against my better judgment I walk over and crack the door slightly with my left hand; my right hand firmly gripping the handle of the Philips behind me.  Oddly enough, I'm cool as a water fountain but ready to jab seven inches of metal repeatedly through his neck at the first sign of foul play.  He starts out by saying that he's staying with his mother right now.  (In my mind I'm saying God bless him if a man this beat up still has a living mother somewhere) Then he proceeds to hold a wallet out towards me.  He claims that I'm welcome to hold on to it to ensure he returns- if I can help him out with seven dollars.  Again, I internally dissect his words.  He didn't ask for $1.  He didn't ask for $5. Such a peculiar and specific dollar amount.  Drugs perhaps? Now, it's been said that I got most of my education by watching movies.  And I've always playfully disputed that.  But, if not for Catch Me If You Can with Leonardo DiCaprio, I might have fallen for this wallet trick that is supposed to instantly gain your trust.  I mean, who's going to leave their wallet with you and not come back, right?  Wrong.  That can be anyone's wallet.  A dead man's wallet for all I know. "I have no cash." I say it brusquely while closing the door on his face.

Through the window, I watch him walk by to the front of the building.  I can only see from his torso to just below his knees.  He does something strange.  He splays his fingers wide apart and then clenches them into a fist. Repeating the move until he's out of my sight.  I find the entire episode unnerving but I'm not shaken for some reason.  When I'm sure that he's gone, I return to loading my wet clothes into the two dryers. I load up the second one, the one I saw him stooping behind and shut the huge circular door.  With it comes the loudest clamour. It's heart-stopping and for the first time that morning, I'm startled.

I look to the right of the dryer where the noise came from and see the biggest pipe wrench I've ever seen in my life.  Over 18 inches long.  I pick it up and it seems to weigh at least twenty pounds.  I drop it.  Replay the scene in my head as I realize his hands were on that wrench just ten minutes ago.  My hands start to shake at the thoughts of how it could have gone.  My skull split by one blow with his weapon of choice.  Blood. Everywhere. Bludgeoned to death the same way my aunt was in our native Trinidad a few years back.  No one knew I was down there.  No one could have known.  Even though I was ready to fight for my life or even take his if need be, I still shuddered at what could have been.

Right then and there, on that day...I truly gave thanks.  No, not an ordinary Thanksgiving at all.  Not in the least.

November 25, 2010

Where Did The Night Go

Where Did The Night Go - Gil Scott Heron

Long ago the clock washed midnight away
Bringing the dawn
Oh God, I must be dreaming
Time to get up again
And time to start up again
Pulling on my socks now
Should have been asleep
When I was sitting there drinking beer
And trying to start another letter to you
Don’t know how many times I dreamed to write again last night
Should’ve been asleep when I turned the stack of records over
and over
So I wouldn’t be up by myself
Where did the night go?
Should go to sleep now
And say fuck a job and money
Because I spend it all on unlined paper and can’t get past
“Dear Baby, how are you?”
Brush my teeth and shave
Look outside…sky is dark
Think it may rain
Where did
Where did
Where did

Been asking myself the same exact thing, Gil. The same exact thing...

Photo Courtesy: Giora Eshkol

Throwback Thursdays

Peace People.  I know it's Thursday, but I'm also well aware that this is no ordinary Thursday. It's Thanksgiving Day.  So I'm pretty sure that many of you will be reading this days after you've stuffed yourself on turkey, watched some football, drank way too much and got into it with your dysfunctional relatives.  (At least, that's what my Thanksgiving may probably consist of. ) But I digress.  Since this is tragically recognized as an eating holiday- rather than a day of reverence for the indigenous people of America, I'll go with the flow and post a video in keeping with that sentiment: Greed. Shout out to Nice and Smooth for coming up with a joint that I can appreciate down to the last detail on a day like today.  People can be so greedy.  It's a shame. But this is a reminder to everyone, that you can't have your Cake and Eat It Too.  Hope you've all had your fill.  Uno.

November 24, 2010

Six Days Remix

This one has always been a strange favorite lurking in my music collection.  Surprisingly, it has very little to do with Mos Def's involvement with this tune. The song haunts me.  The sentiment that tomorrow may bring the worst- but it may be better than we we're dealing with today...that's deep.  Hope is such a fantastic thing. It really is.  Especially in times of war. Plus, the very first line uttered sounds a lot like Gil Scott Heron, but I can't be too sure.  Anyway, enjoy the video and lyrics.  Maybe you'll feel me on this one and maybe you won't.  You still can't take anything away from it, though. Peace.

Six Days Remix - DJ Shadow featuring Mos Def

I get a feeling there's gonna be a riot

I don't read the newspapers, because they all have... ugly prints.

Bring it ON!
Bring it ON!
Bring it on cuz there's gon be some shit tonight!

At the starting of the week
At summit talks you'll hear them speak
It's only Monday
Negotiations breaking down
See those leaders start to frown
It's sword and gun day

Tomorrow never comes until it's too late

Come come come come come with it (x2)

You could be sitting taking lunch
The news will hit you like a punch
It's only Tuesday (What time is it? )
You never thought we'd go to war
After all the things we saw
It's April Fools' day (What time is it? )

Tomorrow never comes until it's too late
Tomorrow never comes until it's too late

[Mos Def]
Tomorrow is another day
Today is another bomb
Tomorrow is another day
Today is another bomb
Tomorrow is another day
Today is another bomb
Tomorrow is another day
Today is another
(Boom boom ba ba ba ba boom ba ba ba ba boom ba ba ba ba ba) (x4)

Lick off a
Never Station
Another shot another shot
The tender make the pressure pop
The heart is cold the gun is hot (Shot)
I'm not sure if they done or not
I'm not sure if they wanna stop
The gun is cold the blood is hot (Shot)
(Sha Sha Sha Sha Sha Sha Shot)
The hearts are weak the guns are not

You hear a whistling overhead
Are you alive or are you dead?
It's only Thursday (What time is it? )
You feel the shaking on the ground
A million candles burn around
Is it your birthday? (What time is it? )

Tomorrow never comes until it's too late
(Get tomorr' on the phone Tryna be smart Get tomorr' on the phone)
Tomorrow never comes until it's too late (I need to see tomorr' Tryna reach tomorr')
Think tomorrows come .
I think it's too late


Boom boom ba ba ba ba boom ba ba ba ba boom ba ba ba ba ba

Tomorrow is another day (x2)

Bring it ON!
Bring it ON!
Bring it on cuz there's gon be some shit tonight!

November 22, 2010

No Business Like Show Business

"Kid, ya gonna be large!!!"
Underground.  Underestimated. Undervalued. Golden Era.  Those are the words that come to mind when I think of EPMD. Never in the history of Hip Hop has there been a duo who stood the test of time like these two. And yet, I still don't feel like they get the proper credit they deserve.  Last week, I was blessed with a live performance by them at the Knitting Factory- and it was everything I expected from this legendary pair.  Eric Sermon and Parrish Smith have always literally been about their business.  Check the resume: Strictly Business (1988), Unfinished Business (1989), Business As Usual (1990), Business, Never Personal (1992) Back in Business (1997) Out of Business (1999) We Mean Business (2008).  And nothing has changed.  They still  make it their biz to command a crowd without being extra. They give the people what they want. No theatrics. No pyrotechnics.  Just dope beats and lyrics coming out of Long Island, NY.

Of course they did what they do best. Rough Rugged and Raw.  Eric and Parrish launched into Please Listen to My Demo and the hits didn't stop coming.  Backed by the equally legendary DJ Scratch on the turntables, they ran through their catalog of singles that hits just has hard as it did back in '88 and beyond.  There's something about how the beat to Strictly Business starts up that just takes you somewhere.  I looked around at the sea of faces and watched as they recited every lyric in sync with them.  A part of me was waiting for LL to jump out during Rampage, or even Redman for the Headbanger but it wasn't even necessary.  They held it down- just the two of them. Going line for line on joints like You Gots To Chill, Crossover, Jane and So Wat Chu Sayin', they haven't lost their touch.  Not by a long shot.  That effortless flow and the easy way they exchange verses comes from years of really knowing one another and knowing what works. They are tried and true crowd pleasers because they've mastered that formula. And they understand how important it is for that brand of Hip Hop to remain relevant.  The Green Eyed Bandit kept it a hundred when he said onstage that he's not a broke ass hater.  Make no mistake. It's just that most of what you hear nowadays is wack.  That's how he launched into Da Joint. And I quote, "It's not about me fallin' off. I'm good. It's not that I don't have money.  Matta fact...I make a million bucks..." Ooh wee...that was hot.

Still, it would have been nice to hear the classic Gold Digger before they departed. Or even the lesser known It's Going Down off the Juice Soundtrack- just for the die hards such as myself.  I mean...they were among the patrons gettin' stuck up by Blizzard in the bar at like 11 in the morning.  Ha! Remember that?  Shout out to my peoples, Dinco D who I saw up in there. I'll be back in the building next month to check his performance with Leaders of the New School  and Son of Beserk.  All in all, it was a really good show. They closed with Just Like Music off Eric's solo mission and everyone left satisified. It made me realize that when it comes to Eric and Parrish Making Dollars, I'll always make it MY BUSINESS to show love. 

Now press play...

November 18, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

Big budget videos are nothing new to Hip Hop.  In fact, they are so widespread nowadays that folks hardly notice just how many wasteful dollars are put behind these onscreen images of excess.  It's just a given. The custom cars. Helicopters. Yachts. Plush locales, etc.  Don't forget about wardrobe, hair and make-up for the slew of video vixens who decorate the scenery.  All of which costs a pretty penny. But This Bug remembers when it wasn't a given.  I remember when some of the best songs had simple videos that didn't employ all the smoke and mirrors to wow the audience. The music spoke for itself.  And don't talk to me about how it was oh-so-different when it came to bragging on material things. Case and point: Today's Throwback.  In 1989 Special Ed debuted with the album Youngest In Charge. At  just 16 years old, this Brooklynite had a flair for the finer things and the lyricism to match.  His imagination ran wild as he painted a picture of an opulent lifestyle. We knew full and well it was an exaggeration. But so what?  It captured us and it was dope. Period.  You could picture in your mind all the luxuries he rhymed about. Without the benefit of a huge budget, Special Ed had a video that remains a staple; nothing short of a bonafide Hip Hop classic.

Take a good look at the vid.  No lush backdrop of Tahiti. No shiny new cars.  He didn't need anything of that to validate his existence. He's in a junkyard talking about owning 74 Honda scooters, yo.  How fly is that? And peep the Potato Alligator Soufflé. It's a dish of mashed potatoes with a toy dinosaur tail stuck in the middle. Hilarious...and imaginative. This joint came long before the need to impress the masses with mostly unattainable objects that is so rampant in today's music- at least visually anyway. The Roots went on to spoof this sad trend in What They Do years later.  But the Magnificent One made it cool to not have any of these things while articulating what made him so fly. This Bug's favorite line? "I never lost cuz I'm the boss / I never will cuz I'm still / The champion - Chief one won't lose until I choose / which I won't cuz I don't retreat / I run you over like a truck and leave you dead in the street / You're invitin' me, a Titan to a battle, why? I don't need your respect cuz / I Got It Made." 

And just like that- he got mine. Nuff 'respect.

November 16, 2010

Green Light

I miss coming and going
as I please.
Stop. Go. Stop. Stop.
Go.Go. Go.
I miss having enough change
to do simple things,
like buy myself a silly 
pair of slippers.
I miss the days of sleeping late
and catching early movies.
I miss talking to my father
across a cup of instant coffee.
It was no Starbucks but it was just...good.
I miss logging on and writing to my heart's content.
I miss the days of early December
when nothing mattered
but lunch.
Now everything does.
Every bit of minutia making shreds
out of my peace
like ribbons.
Like pretty frayed crosscut ribbons
curling on the wind.
Now my days are filled with wondering
where the time will come from.
Where the money will come from.
Where the peace of mind
will come from.
I'm giving myself the green light
to start it all over again

November 12, 2010

Four Women Revisited

I love a good tribute. Some people, myself included, say that certain songs should be left alone if the cover cannot do it justice.  But every now and then- I can appreciate when artists pay homage with respect and without trying to replicate the original.  They bring their own style to the song while staying true to the essence of it.  Well that's exactly what Kelly Price, Marsha Ambrosius, Jill Scott and Ledisi did for Nina Simone's Four Women.  Check out their tribute on BET's Black Girls Rock 2010.

Now, let's not forget the original from the Queen herself. Nina's version has no peer. It's melancholy.  Truth bearing.  Unflinching. Unapologetic.  She introduces each woman with grace even if their lives sound graceless. Life is hard but they are not victims.  They are not martyrs. She allows us to meet four women who have lived through remarkable circumstances. It's one of her crowning achievements and let's be honest; pluck any song from Ms. Simone's catalog and you can say the same for any one of them.  I dedicate this to my dear friend, the Lioness, who told me she held the honor of being Sweet Thing in a dance interpretation of Four Women when she was a little girl.  Such a grown up theme for them to do- and I know she nailed it. 

Apart from a remake, I think it's astounding what Talib Kweli did with Nina's song.  His interpretation is called For Women and I love it because it is in fact for us. Lyrically, he goes beyond the surface. He goes beyond the names and colorfully illustrates what makes these four women who they are.  Aunt Sarah.  Saffronia.  Sweet Thing.  Peaches.  Their stories are expounded upon. Their histories and realities are brought to life in the most articulate and esteemed manner.  It's deep. It's a labor of love and it's beautiful.

Respect to a true gem, Ms. Nina Simone

November 11, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

Hello B-Boys and B-Girls. This Bug has a very special treat for you today.  I'm pulling a video from my own personal VHS archives today.  Yes, I had this video on tape and can recall very clearly which video came right after it. It was Understand Me, Vanessa by Antexx which I already featured when I first started Throwback Thursdays.  Go watch it over here when you're done with today's feature.  Why not? Anyway, 1991 was an interesting year for Hip Hop.  I can actually mark that as a cusp where conscious music like this, street chronicles (think Kool G Rap)  and even party music (think Heavy D) shared the same space and time. But none of it was irrelevant. It all had its place. I wish I could say the same for what passes for Hip Hop today. (Sigh) So I bring to you today, one of the most slept on posse cuts of all time.  The line up is something you're not likely to ever see again, realistically.  Harmony, Kid Capri, Freddie Foxxx, LL Cool J, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, KRS-One, Ms. Melodie, Big Daddy Kane and Run-DMC joined forces to bring food for thought to the masses with H.E.A.L (Human Education Against Lies) Every emcee seemed to complement one another on this single that still is so very important when you listen to the lyrics.  LL is noticeably missing from the video but that's okay. The video still evokes good feelings for me.  Summertime in NYC.  The Do The Right Thing poster behind Kid Capri.  The classic Jeep. The fashion, the vibe, the messages and sense of community. This Bug's favorite line? "Everybody I present to a jet black crowd, What it's like to be black and proud..." Call me stuck if you want-but I'll never let go of such a positive time.  So glad I hit record that day. So, so glad.

November 10, 2010

Bug Behaving Badly

Where there's smoke...

Lately I've been tempted to be a bad Bug.  A very, very bad Bug.  This list of misdeeds includes but is not limited to: cursing out the driver of a utility van that was headed straight for me and my little hooptie, waging an all out war for approximately 24 straight hours with my lover and flicking my tongue at some old man in a car Manolo (from Scarface) style for no decent reason. What? He shouldn't have admonished my driving.  He's lucky I didn't give his pacemaker a kick start by licking my window. It's my way of settling the score since I wouldn't flip the bird to an elderly person.  C'mon, I have some home training. Then there's the other bad behavior I've indulged in lately.  Boredom + Camera Phone = Reasons I should never go into teaching or politics.  But that's another story.

I can't explain it- this recent odd behavior.  It just happens every now and then.  I'm a good egg for the most part but once in a while...I can be a deviled egg. Hot, spicy and way more interesting than your average.  Call me Paprika the Wild Child. I can be what some may call a handful. The scary thing about this- is that I literally check out while holding minimal accountability for my actions.  I'm fully aware that my actions may exact a less than a desirable reaction but at the moment, I just don't care.  So much so, that even if I had an entire bag of fucks- I could not give one while I'm in flip mode.  Seriously.

There's a part of me that takes a deep, dark satisfaction in casting off  the kinder, gentler Bug and unleashing a wanton force to be reckoned with.  The warrior in me thrives on it. I trade the halo for the horns, guard my grill, knuckle up and let the chips fall. No apologies. Until it catches up to me- I'll continue with my road rage induced diatribes, petulant partner practices and maybe only pixelated versions will hit Media Takeout if my Blackberry ever gets hacked. Whatever. As Method Man so eloquently stated, "We ain't acrobats but we flip on occasion."  I feel him on that one.  Hey, at least I can admit it.

November 9, 2010

Sleep to Dream

All my life I've admired people who have dreamed about flying.  Mostly because up until last week, I truly couldn't relate.  It seemed that those people had a mental freedom that I lacked. They weren't afraid.  Perhaps before last week, I couldn't fathom soaring above it all.  But in the dream, that's just what I did.  Everything looked small.  Like those intricate little villages you see around Christmas time with miniature trains chugging through them.  I sailed through the sky with wind enveloping me and coasting me along.  I didn't fall.  I didn't falter.  I just flew through and above clouds without a worry in the world.  I know better than to think it may happen again. I don't even need it again.  If it does, great.  If it doesn't, at least a I touched that feeling of being completely free and unencumbered.  Light as the invisible feathers that carried me through an element that I'm totally unacquainted with.  It was beautiful. Maybe in waking life, I've risen above something I was incapable of before. Who knows? Sleep brought me a new treasure other than much needed rest. When I awoke I was looking into a  familiar face. Another dream began. I'm awake now though and like Fiona- I don't go to sleep to dream.  

I tell you how I feel, but you don't care
I say tell me the truth, but you don't dare
You say love is a hell you cannot bear
And I say gimme mine back and then go there - for all I care

I got my feet on the ground
And I don't go to sleep to dream
You got your head in the clouds
And you're not at all what you seem
This mind, this body
And this voice cannot be stifled by your deviant ways
So don't forget what I told you
Don't come around, I got my own hell to raise

I have never been so insulted in all my life
I could swallow the seas to wash down all this pride
First you run like a fool just to be at my side
And now you run like a fool
But you just run to hide, and I can't abide

I got my feet on the ground
And I don't go to sleep to dream
You got your head in the clouds
And you're not at all what you seem
This mind, this body
And this voice cannot be stifled by your deviant ways
So don't forget what I told you
Don't come around, I got my own hell to raise

Don't make it a big deal, don't be so sensitive
We're not playing a game anymore
You don't have to be so defensive
Don't you plead me your case, don't bother to explain
Don't even show me your face, ''cause it's a crying shame
Just go back to the rock from under which you came
Take the sorrow you gave and all the stakes you claim -
And don't forget the blame

I got my feet on the ground
And I don't go to sleep to dream
You got your head in the clouds
And you're not at all what you seem
This mind, this body
And this voice cannot be stifled by your deviant ways
So don't forget what I told you
Don't come around, I got my own hell to raise

November 4, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

Peace People.  Today's Throwback has no history lesson behind it.  I have no personal soliloquy or specific memory that attaches itself to this song.  All I have today is reverence for good music and a special dedication.  This one goes out to a dear friend and amazing person who had a convergence with this artist as they put one in the air.  As he tells it, Pete was just a modest and cool, down-to-earth person who hardly seemed aware of how his talents has touched others.  Which is kinda cool, since the person this joint is dedicated to possesses the same quality of  humble and unassuming character- while inspiring the lives of others in a way only he can.  This is for one of my favorite people who taught me to get it while the gettin' is good but to not rush anything. He shared this with me: 'Everything takes time but most people can't wait.' It's just a matter of time.  Just one of the many jewels I've been blessed with by a true Soul Survivor. And I give thanks. One Love.

November 3, 2010

Time and Space and In Between

You know that saying, "Time flies when you're having fun." ? Why doesn't anyone ever mention that it also flies when you're not having fun. That it flies or drags according to how busy you are and how much you have to get done. I've been dealing with that a lot lately. I'm a working stiff now. It's a far cry from last year when I had time to do what I wanted to do since I was unemployed. Sure, I had less money- but the time to myself and freedom was priceless. I could go to Hip-Hop shows. Sleep late. Write. Food shop. I could actually make spontaneous plans (as oxymoronic as that sounds). I could blog at my leisure. *sniff sniff* That's what I miss the most. It's funny- I was talking to someone the other day about time and money and how subjective they both are depending on the circumstances. Take for example five dollars. Five dollars is not a lot of money. Not if it came to say...buying a car. Shit, gimme two if that's the case. But am I going to pay five dollars for a Jolly Rancher? Hell to the no. The same theory is relevant with time. Five minutes at the DMV is akin to a wet dream. But I've heard five minutes of an asthma attack is the equivalent of five unbearable hours. So it's all relative. Anyway, read on if you want to know what This Bug has been doing with her time and moola when they both flow a little freely.

Last year it was Breakfast at Tiffany's. This year it was Kill Bill. I don't care what anyone says. Halloween is fun and I'm not too old for it. This one was a doozie. It involved a lot dying and sewing where the costume was concerned (That alone was a labor of love. My dad rocks!) and I went through two wig changes. The first wig was a platinum blond and made me look more like Diddy's moms than Beatrix Kiddo. But I got it right eventually. Note to self: Take samurai sword out of backseat.

(This Bug baked)

You know, when some one asks you to make a big ass cupcake for their child's birthday party- you never expect that many accolades for simply following instructions. But the praise was overwhelming this weekend. It's amazing the oohs and ahhs some silicone bakeware and custom made (read: freakin' overpriced) sprinkles can solicit. I swear everyone there were just overgrown kids drooling over an over sized cupcake. At this point, I'm so over it.

And speaking of over it, I am so not when it comes to the Ghostface performance I broke my neck to go see. If anyone runs into Mr. Starks, please let him know I have a bone to pick with him. First of all, I don't blame him for things that are out his control, like the show being under promoted and having a sparse crowd. I don't blame him for being disappointed with the venue. When Cappadonna asked for the lights to be adjusted, I kinda felt Ghost when he said, "They don't got no light man. They don't got shit!" It was type funny because it was so true. But his energy was not 100% and once again he flooded the stage with those Theodore Unit cats. Why? They can't rhyme for shit. How many glorified hype men does one need? I love me some Ghost, but that show was trash. I mean- Sheek Louch was drunk but at least he looked like he gave a fat frog's ass and his catalog can't compare to what Ghost has in the stash. But unfortunately, that well went untapped most of night. I would've at least felt as though my money was well spent had he freaked off with the groupies onstage like the pic above. That might have entertained me. *Sigh*

Let me say this: Role playing works wonders and shouldn't be limited to couples who think they've lost the spark. It can actually lend additional fireworks to an already sparky relationship. (Is sparky even a word? Spellcheck says yes- though my context is questionable.) So, head out. Meet up with that not-so-unfamiliar stranger and let your imaginations be your only limitation. How can you go wrong? At the end of it all, neither of you can be charged for bad behavior when you already know each other. Am I right? You may be surprised at what a mock first date can spark. And...Oh yeah, a blond wig or samurai sword leftover from Halloween can't hurt. Unless you want it to. Just sayin'...

This book freakin' rocks. And I'm only the first chapter in. I have to say that happening by this book in a Dollar Store and actually buying it for one dollar (no lie) has been one of the best things that has occurred all year. It's the little things, dig? This woman can write her ass off and she's deeper than the River Styx. It's not a self help book. It's not a novel. It has history anecdotes, admissions of every day people and a different spin on age old ruminations of self. It defies categorization and that's what I love about it. Check out this excerpt:

In 2002, Verizon Wireless debuted a service called Get It Now. This allowed subscribers to download music, videos and other entertainments onto their cell phones: "Watch sports clips, comedy, news and weather from major networks and indie favorites -- all on your phone, on demand," the promo urged. "Express yourself with colorful and stylish images.... Fight boredom with fun games."

But by the time you read this, such technology will already be ancient history. And I will look the fool for citing it, like an old rube in a cartoon trying to feed hay to a car. Cutting edges are disposable blades now, replaced incessantly. We watch, twitching and restless.

I haven't enjoyed such a milieu of ideas and stories since The 48 Laws of Power. Find it now. Read it soon. Thank me later.

Time is such a precious commodity- as subjective as it is. I'll leave you with a Tweet I saw just the other day but chose not to #RT (that's retweet for all the those who are clueless just like I was) because...Twitter just doesn't do it for me, okay? There I said it. Anyway, it goes like this: "Yesterday is a canceled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is the only cash you have. Spend it wisely."

I couldn't agree more. Today, do the things that will bring you closer to your purpose and peace. That's the space where happiness lies. Make it count. You won't regret it. I know I didn't.