April 29, 2010
April 26, 2010
It's quite possible that I work with the world's biggest Beatles fan of all time. She knows everything there is to know about their recordings, personal lives and a boatload of other trivia that most would never retain. She's given me a knew appreciation for their music. I'm not exaggerating on the biggest fan thing, either. Her license plate reads ABBEY RD. Thanks to her, A Day in the Life is officially my shit.
Guilty Pleasure #328: Overhearing sex or arguments from my neighbors downstairs. Lately, it's either one of the two every other day. Sometimes one directly follows the other on the same day. No lie. It's kinda like catching a double feature at the matinee without having to pay. Mighty entertaining when there's nothing on TV. Don't judge.
I don't know why, but now that every minute of the day is accounted for, more things seem to be adding themselves to my To-do list. The endless running is taking a toll. The clothes I bought to fit because I lost weight are now loose on me. I barely have time to eat and sleep is something I've heard normal people do for at least 7 hours. Right. Meanwhile, if you cut me- I'll bleed Red Bull.
It occurred to me the other day that a new beginning is on the horizon. I have mourned sufficiently even though there will never be another Logan. Bottomline: I'm ready for a new fish. It would be really cool if I could find that bowl above. Like, really. Cool.
Just as I was considering a nice little spa vacation in Arizona, it's looking like Lake Tahoe instead. I'm not going anywhere that Jim Crow laws are being installed only it happens to be Anti-Latino now instead of Anti-Black. At the same time, being harassed and arrested for being a possible 'suspect' is as close to home as it gets in my native New York. Call it what it is. Racial Profiling. Gotta love it. Secure the borders and break out the apple pie.
So here's what I've learned from the side hustle in a few short weeks: The women with the biggest feet try on the ugliest shoes and refuse to put them back. I mean, they will leave a plethora of size 11 boxes strewn all over the place. I know deep down they're just mad because once they get that big ass shoe on, the whole style done changed and it's not even cute anymore but still...It's taking everything in me to not get a running start and clothesline one of those Sasquatch bitches at least twice a week.
Lately I've been running into people who have very different if not unrealistic ideas on how to get rich quick. Far be it from me to knock down any one's dreams- but most of the time I've found that they are quite delusional. Then they sail off to Never Neverland with your good idea when all you did was simply make a suggestion born of common sense. What part of the game is that? Hustle harder and smarter, People.
Okaaaay...It's been over a month since I called to cancel my landline. I simply don't need it anymore. Here's the thing: I still have a dial tone and can still make calls. And for some odd reason, the bill is correct. You won't catch me complaining, tho. Nuh-uh. Now I know why Verizon's slogan is "We never stop working for you."
What's funnier than catching someone out there looking at inappropriate video sites with supersized headphones on at work? Let's see, the look on his face perhaps? Maybe the fact that he didn't even pick me up in his peripheral vision until I was two feet away because he was so
engorged engrossed in what he was viewing. Or the fact that up until that day, he was a complete and total asshole to me and now he's sweet as pie. He lives in perpetual fear of my mentioning it to someone else...every day. Right place. Right time. And just like that, the universe rights itself. I love my life.
April 22, 2010
Righteously violent prone. My words bring winds like cyclones."
This is not a Throwback. And it just happens to be Thursday. And my heart is heavy with the loss of yet another legend. Keith "GURU" Elam is gone from this earth. From Hip-Hop. From us. When I heard the news, I just sat back in my chair and read the words repeatedly, trying to ingest what I was seeing. Numb. I knew he was not well. When I first wrote about his coma scare a month ago, I was hedging my bets and hoping for the best in terms of his recovery. To hear that he passed away as a result of cancer hit home for me. Read: Not close to home. It hit home. Having lost my own mother to the same affliction, I can tell you that no amount of knowing can emotionally prep you for the loss; no matter how eventual you make it out to be in your head.
I grew up with Guru. Granted, I might not have literally come up with him, but I listened to enough Gang Starr coming up to be sincerely shocked and saddened by his death. 1989. Manifest. 1991. Check the Technique. These songs reached me in a way that most didn't. You see, I grew up in a household that emanated jazz from the floorboards and walls. What I heard from them was pure music that just happened to be Hip-Hop. The combination of Guru's lyrical talent and DJ Premier's signature beats was like nothing that ever came before it. And on the real, there's been nothing like it ever since. Think about it. You know a Primo track when you hear one- but none of them sound similar. No small feat. As far as Guru, you'd be hard pressed to find an emcee with such a monotone voice that kept you riveted on his rhymes- and he did it for the most part using little profanity, if any. How many rappers can you say that about? His vocabulary, eloquence and capacity for knowledge could damn near fill the Grand Canyon.
When I was in Chicago a while back, I caught Monie Love's backspin show on Sirius Satellite. She spoke about his illness and kept it a hundred about not knowing all the details but wished him the best. She said she spoke to Premier about his being kept in the dark about Guru and his health. And this is why I love Monie. She asked the burning question that I feel most true heads were asking. Who the hell is Solar and what gives him the right to stage his own lock-out from Guru? When I read the alleged final letter that was penned, singling out Premier to not do any tributes- it just didn't sit well with me. I don't care how much dude defends it. Who knows? Only Primo and Guru really know what caused their fallout and perhaps Solar is just an innocent party trying to do right by a dearly departed friend. But at the end of the day, I'm looking at this new jack like ' Who the eff is you?' To keep family and friends at bay hardly seems like a noble act to me. But that's just my opinion. I know this much- and Mr. Cee echoed my sentiments surrounding this on his show this past Tuesday: Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot love someone and mourn for them how you see fit. It is your birthright to feel a loss and express that in a manner which is conducive to healing.
Love and respect to Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal. To me, you still shine. Bright.
Now, Who's Gonna Take the Weight?
April 15, 2010
April 12, 2010
"If I could find a souvenir just to prove the world was here- And here is a red balloon. I think of you and let it go..." - 99 Red Balloons, Nena
Every day, on some scale- we all encounter disappointment. Whether it's minor, like the CD you've been 'jonesing for' being recently sold out or a best laid plan not coming to fruition by the expected deadline, we have all been there. But the important thing is that through disappointment, we can learn how to strengthen our resolve. Undoubtedly, it makes us wiser. At certain times, it causes us to go back and re-examine whether or not what we so hoped for was truly meant for us all. We can explore the possibilities of miscalculations, mistakes and setbacks with 20/20 hindsight.
Sometimes the fulfillment we sought may have be an illusion, while our reality is hard at work- plain as day for us to see. Or sometimes it means we should work even harder towards our endeavors. Ultimately, it is up to the individual and the goal at hand. A colossal disappointment should not diminish hope. Discouragement should never be nurtured to the point of complacency. Every obstacle you overcome brings you that much closer to the person you are constantly evolving into. These lessons should serve as tools to better understand our surroundings and ourselves.
A letdown can be taxing on your spirit. Anyone who ever went in for their dream job and never got a callback can attest to this. But as long as you know where you stand and where you plan to go from there- that same letdown will prove to be the necessary fuel to carry you on to where you are truly meant to be.
That being said, the universe and a greater power will always have a hand in what is happening, what is going to happen and decidedly what may never happen. The key is to respect that power while still handling your business. QB's crowning jewel of emcees once said, "He never planned to fail, he just failed to plan." Nasir Jones understands that without a blueprint, you are more inclined to be at the mercy of these elements and thus meet with your disappointment face to face.
So what can we do? We all like our own way, but think about it... if we each had it our own way, convexly, logic says that some of us would be required to not have it our way. Just think of it like this: When you get your way, there is someone out there enduring the adverse effect of your upswing. It is how the universe balances itself out. One man's failure is another man's success. It's best not to ruminate too long on who is gaining from your loss. It's up to you to decide what you will do from that point on, once faced with your reality. And this goes for any aspect of life. Sometimes conclusions have to be drawn and rationalizations have to be accepted. If you can't be with the one you love; love the one you're with. Sometimes it means the career path chosen may have to take a backseat while your back-up trade takes the wheel. As long as you know where you're headed, in the end you should be alright.
Missed chances and setbacks are a part of our lives. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. It is what we do afterward that counts. Forget regrets or life is yours to miss.
That's the official two cents from the Ladybug.
Think Freely. Love Greatly. Live Unrepentantly.
Author's Note: Originally posted 5/6/2007 on Myspace
Photo Credit: Artwork by Banksy
April 8, 2010
The days, I mean.
A change of clothes in the trunk.
The clock set 8 minutes fast. (it helps a little)
Running between where I'm supposed to be
and where I'd rather not be.
My mind is tired.
Apartment hunting. Cold calls. No time. Rushed appointments.
And security deposits that might as well be a million dollars.
Fitful sleep stealing the few hours I have to myself.
Toss, turn, toss, turn. Alarm.
Do it all again.
Every minute of the day accounted for.
So the days have been.
Promising nothing but more of the same.
My bones are tired.
Who said it would be easy? Lie to me some more.
And I'll walk this walk alone.
Weeping is for weaklings.
It shouldn't be this way.
April 5, 2010
The moniker was Lady Lightning Bug. I chose it for two reasons. The first one is obvious. My affinity for all things small, red and dotted. I have always felt a strong pull towards ladybugs. Butterflies are nice but ladybugs are among my favorite of all living creatures. They brighten everything in their tiny, crimson and onyx glory. A stroke of luck, a quiet wisdom. I can relate. There have been so many times in my life where serendipity and luck (if you believe in such things) played a starring role. Certain events caused me to look back and breathe a sigh of relief, count my blessings and thank a nearby ladybug. Sidebar: Once, I was outside on a smoke break at work when I saw a ladybug land on my lapel. It flew away as soon as I laid eyes on it. (Or so I thought.) Minutes later in the ladies room, I brought my skirt and silky unmentionables to my knees to handle my ladylike business. And out flew a ladybug! True story. So, clearly we're connected in some fashion. I don't think they hang out in just anyone's panties.
The lightning component was equally relevant. Lightning is as quick as it is captivating. Anything that beautiful has to be dangerous. It strikes haphazardly. Awkward but deliberate. Like myself, it is prone to random acts of violence. I wish I could say why, but asking me that would be like asking why lightning strikes so indiscriminately. It just does. There is no rhyme to my movements but plenty of reason. It's hard to explain. An odd sensation takes hold when I can no longer sit on my hands, grin and bear it, that sort of thing. There is a need for reckless relief- and usually with seismic after effects . So much so, that I was coined "Erratica" by a close counterpart. I can't lie. I kind of liked the sound of it. It was like my superhero alter ego. "Look! Up and down the street. It's a bird. It's a plane!" No. It's Erratica: Flippin' cars and tippin' buildings with involuntary ease.
Yeah, that pretty much summed it up.
Anyway, nom de plumes withstanding, I will always love the quietness of ladybugs and I may always possess a volatile approach to certain endeavors. The duality makes no sense- but what ever really does? Just about anything or any theory can be plucked apart or cut to ribbons given the proper circumstances. Besides, it's not what you're called. It's what you answer to. Lady Lightning Bug. Jayne. This Bug. What's in a name? Google can say better than I can on some days. And then there are days where it's all crystal clear. Those are the days I share a piece of myself through my words for all to see. Deserving or not. Jay-Z was on to something. I can't see it coming out my eyes, so I gotta make the pen cry. I only write to get it right. Ever changing. Ever striking. One keystroke at a time.
Over and out.