November 25, 2011

Thankful Pt. 2

So here's the thing. I didn't think I'd write through this medium again for a long, long time. But that's the thing about writing. You don't move it; it moves you. In the past few months the trials and tribulations enveloped me like quicksand. But suddenly I can breathe. It occurred to me today that one revolution around the sun changed more than the seasons. It changed my perspectives, my outlooks, my outcomes. It changed me. As it very well should. This same time last year I was grateful to be alive. I came within what I resolutely believe was within inches of my demise. I was wild with fury and prepared to fight for my life. But it went the other way. I lived.

I've never been a religious person. Spiritual yes, but far from pious. My moral compass has hardly ever pointed due north- but it has steered me where I was meant to be. It's what I call faith. I've experienced enough loss to know love. I am wise because I've been foolish. I'm compassionate because I've known suffering. At my most honest hour, when I question the landslide like Stevie did, I can say that I've handled the seasons of my life to the best of my ability. I'm a work in progress and I will make no apologies for who I've become along the way. It sounds cocky but truly- it's me at my most humble and imperfect.

Kanye had the right idea. In a sense, we all live by our own scripture borrowed from others. We apply what we need to our own existence. I've never fully known what to hurl and what to hold, so I keep it all to survive. Experience. Memory. Intuition. Compassion. Instincts. These are what I hold close. It's why a term like 'No Church In the Wild' resonates with me. Because every thing can flip in a New York minute no matter how unfathomable; and your mind is decidedly your own personal Heaven or Hell. In one revolution around the sun I've learned to be equipped. And to be thankful.

September 9, 2011

Overdue Conversation

Lately, the entries have been sparse. The ideas have been cluttered. I know when it's time to bow out. I know there is reason for the departure of my creativity. It's time to get back to center, redirect and refocus. Rather than fill this blog with useless drivel- I'm making the decision to close up shop. The next thing anyone will read by Jayne Neverow will be my book; a dutiful collection of my firsthand experiences in laughing, loving and living. I know I have an incredible story to tell in its entirety. It's time.

And so it goes; one journey ends and another begins. Every step of it has been authentic and fulfilling. I appreciate you all for taking a walk with me through This Bug's Life. With all that I am- I thank you. The faithful Bug readers, the passers-by, the quiet watchers and the vocal commentators. You have all made it worthwhile. Feel free to re-live the misadventures and musings through past entries. Stay tuned for Conversations with a Ladybug. Farewell thee well.

August 2, 2011

On a bright night

"You'll always know the reason why we could have had the moon and the sky."~S. Adu

Streisand once sang that on a clear day you can see forever. But on a clear night- I've seen never. All the things that could never be; just by looking up at the bright night sky. It's a terrifying gift. A blissful tragedy. A beautiful cruelty. And it never ends how it starts. Blooming dreams vanishing to stark nothingness. But it was more than that. It's always more than that. More than two spread legs. More than a handful of troubling backward glances or plates of lovingly prepared food gone cold. It's the ocean in your bedroom. It's the rainbow in your jail cell. The realization that everything good and right and happy will hurt like hell once it ceases to exist. Because none of it is yours to keep; not when it was never yours to begin with. Frida Kahlo knew it. I know it now. We all know it when the moment of truth arrives. But somehow that doesn't make it any easier, does it?

July 29, 2011

The Listy List

It's that time again. You know what time. When I fill you in on all the random and ridiculous things that occupy my life and times. The odds, ends and off the wall stuff that comprises This Bug's Life. Without further ado... The Listy List.

Hot Like Cajun

So the mercury climbed big time in NY a few weeks ago for two long days. It was hotter than the devil's balls out here; hitting record-breaking temps of up to 110 degrees. Now picture that with no AC. That's right. I have no air conditioning at my place by choice. I always got through summer with a spritz bottle and a high powered fan. But this heat was life changing. I had an epiphany- or I might have just been delirious from the heat, I dunno. I got through it with popsicles, multiple showers and more creative uses for ice cubes than Do the Right Thing. Oh, the pool helped too til I almost drowned. More on that later.

Let Me Out

I've had some time to ponder it and without the aid of a very expensive therapist I realize I have some serious trust issues stemming from my childhood. You see, my two older sisters thought it would be fun to zip a six year old into a suitcase. (Honestly, I thought so too.) They just didn't bank on my hair getting caught for two agonizing minutes. When they finally got me out they convinced me that our trip to Disneyworld the very next day would be nixed if I told my parents what happened. Those lying bitches...

Got ta Got ta , Na Na Na!

Okay, I really don't see what everyone is so open about when it comes to the new Kanye West and Jay Z song, Otis. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's wack. I actually like the energy they both came with but the sample for Try A Little Tenderness is damn near the whole song. C'mon already! I like hip-hop samples to be a bit of a brainteaser. You sort of recognize it but not quite until you look into it. Now that's a song. Call me overly critical but production-wise they should have tried a little cleverness.

Sugary Coco Goodness

This Bug is officially addicted to Coconut M&M's. I know I'm late but I don't care. I'm about to cop a lifetime supply and stash them in the freezer because I know that 'limited edition' means they're testing it out on folks and it may never see the light of day again if the sales disappoint. I usually hate all coconut related chocolate. Mounds and Almond Joy sounds more like a movie I'd like to watch when no one else is around. But those little brown, white and green beads are what I believe little girls are really made of. Sugar and spice can't hold a candle to them. It's Yumma!

Dip, Dip Dive..

Let me start by telling you all that I know how to swim. Got that? I can swim. So no one was more surprised than me when I took a dive off the board and didn't have enough air to get to the surface. I went from assenting to struggling in seconds flat. Then I panicked. From underwater I heard the whistle blow and before I knew it- a really hot lifeguard came to my rescue. Really. Hot. I came up dripping wet, gasping for air, my string bikini top heaving between breaths... He held me up from behind against the corner of the pool until he was sure I was okay. Rumor has it that I did all of this on purpose just to get felt up by the Adonis statue with a pulse...but really I still don't know what happened down in that deep water. Truth is- I was scared shitless.

Fiyah Burn, Ya Betta Learn

A word to the wise: Smartphones are stupid. For all the fantastic apps and convenience they supposedly provide- it hardly seems worth it when my overly sensitive touchscreen calls people at ridiculous times of the night, shuts off all of my networks whenever it feels like it and uploads pictures to social networking sites that are not fit for anyone's eyes. Try not to harp on that. Just know that my phone is appropriately named the Torch because there's some hot stuff in there and sometimes...that's exactly what I'd like to do to it with some lighter fluid.


Speaking of social networking-I almost never entertain ignorance online but a friend of a friend (and I use that term ever so loosely) made me pull out the big guns last week. Foolishly drawing comparisons between someone reacting on instinct and a group of adults publicly abusing a child was worthy of my wrath. I'll spare you the details but I will say that I verbally kicked her soapbox right out from under her. I didn't want to do it but she was so blissfully ignorant that I was forced to make her miserably knowledgeable about what's right, wrong, racist, funny and not fucking funny at all.


I don't know if it was the sexy strappy leather, the jewel and pearl embellishments or what- but when I saw them, I had to have them. They're ethereal- if one can even describe a pair of shoes in that manner. It's kinda like what a mermaid would wear on her feet. If she had feet. Either way, this mermaid has them now. I know what you're thinking. Mermaid, Schmermaid. But did I mention that I really can swim?

Subtle, My Ass...

I wish I could tell you that this ad isn't from a real catalog that came to someone at my place of business. I wish I could tell you there is no such thing as adhesive patches to stick in your panties so you don't clear the room out after having Cheddar Broccoli soup for lunch. I wish they didn't seriously charge $19 dollars for a trademarked product they had the nerve to name SUBTLE BUTT. I wish the tiniest part of me didn't wonder for a split second what that patch must smell like at the end of the day once peeled from its right place. I wish these wouldn't make a great stocking stuffer for some people I know. I wish...

And now, a peek into This Bug's twisted sense of humor. Enjoy or be offended. Either way, blueberries are the bestest!

Peace Out, Cub Scouts!

July 26, 2011

We Only Said Goodbye with Words

Amy Jade Winehouse
Sunrise: September 14, 1983 Sunset: July 23, 2011

There's something to be said about knowing that a tragic end is coming. It's one of those inevitable things that you don't want to be right about. Amy Winehouse is gone. Was I surprised? Not entirely. Was I hit in the heart by the news? Absolutely. Because knowing someone will go eventually doesn't make it hurt any less. Because Amy's Back to Black album nursed me through one of the most difficult times of my adulthood. Because for all the naysayers and mudslinging she remained to me, an unpolished diamond worth a hundred times more than the rhinestone pop stars who dotted the charts. Ms. Winehouse wrote and sang from a broken place that longed for healing. She was pissed. She was tired. She was indignant. She was vulnerable. She was me- sans the battles with alcohol and substance abuse. But to say I haven't come close to the edge and heard ominous pebbles kicked down a scary cliff before I caught myself would be untrue. I identified with that in her. That- and not wanting to fuck myself in the head with stupid men. She was honest and unabashed in her music. Her flaws made her priceless but sadly, a prime entrée for the media feeding frenzy. I'll miss her big beehive hairdo. The tough girl tattoos. The wantonly applied eye make-up that made her face like hard candy- bad for you, but still so sweet. Mostly, I'll miss knowing her haunting voice which sang my own truth when words eluded me is still among us. She's gone but her music is here to stay. It stayed with me and will for all time. I can only hope she has in death what seemed unattainable for her in life; some peace from all inward and outward demons. As my brother-from-another put it, "She was family to my family." So the loss is felt that much more. Just for her I'll pour a neat shot of Vodka into a chilled glass and go back to black, if only for a moment.

Rest in Paradise, Ms. Winehouse.

July 13, 2011

An Instinctive Travel to the Movie Theatre

"Before Quest, did you really know what live was?"
Every now and then- you're blessed with a film that's more than a film. It's an experience. It draws you in, takes you to familiar places and then takes you somewhere you have never been before. It answers questions and it raises some. That's what Beats, Rhymes & Life does. Michael Rapaport's documentary on A Tribe Called Quest feels like equal parts homage and exposé. From the start, I was instantly reminded about what I have always loved about ATCQ. It's all in the music. Rapaport doesn't introduce you to these Queens natives in the customary way. The vibe allows them to introduce themselves. And if you've been a lifelong fan such as myself- it's akin to meeting up with close cousins for the first time in years. A reminder of your youth and what made you who you are. It's an overwhelming love for family. Q-Tip. Phife Dawg. Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Jarobi. Or as the mechanical yet lucid tour guide of Midnight Marauders so eloquently spoke it; A. E. I. O. U and sometimes...Y. Viewing this film, you'll learn just how essential that elusive Y has always been, too. One of the many revelations of this gem.

No two ways about it, their catalog is stellar. Save for the final album where it was obvious to me upon first hearing it that the chemistry between Tribe was dwindling- everything they put out prior to that is unforgettable. When Tip shows how he came up with the beat for Can I Kick It- you can literally feel it move through you. Rapaport blends archival footage with real-time sound and trust me, it never disappoints. It documents the formulation of Tribe with an even hand for the most part. Twenty plus years of soul stirring beats and conscious rhymes through a life (and sometimes wardrobe) less ordinary. Very few talents have ever been so misunderstood while being fully embraced simultaneously. For posterity and the sake of nostalgia there are times when the music simply speaks for itself; making it impossible to forget how important the Native Tongues were and still are to Hip Hop collectively.

And then there are other times. Times that are particularly difficult to watch but are engaging nonetheless. Phife's grueling health issues and its effect on the group as a whole is just one of those moments. Q-Tip's reasoning behind engulfing himself in music- never to look back. Jarobi's unconditional love; and the discomfort you can feel watching Ali Shaheed's stoic neutrality while his brothers-from-another feud are all heartfelt. To say that any one of them are painted in an unfair light is up to you, the viewer. There are no identifiable villains in this one. Only reluctant, if not unintentional heroes of a movement unbeknownst to even them at the time. To date, only Phife has publicly endorsed the film while the remaining three withdrew from the premiere and all press junkets in support of it. One source stated that Rapaport originally wanted to title the movie Beats, Rhymes & Fights- an overt reference to the crew's upheaval before their eventual split. Whether that was an aim to sensationalize their differences for box office numbers or just his personal assessment after two years of being up close and personal- we'll never know.

What you will know is this: Native Tongues got rhymes galore. There are firsthand accounts of how vital this group is from many of their contemporaries. They are celebrated so widely because there's nothing but pure love for Tribe at the core. One of the most memorable scenes of Beats, Rhymes & Life is Questlove's spot on description of Phife's opening line to Buggin' Out. This is not a movie review. Make no mistake. It's not no Parkay, not no margarine...Yeah, I'm in the zone. But truthfully, I am not recommending that you see this documentary. I will only say that it is required viewing for anyone who knows where Tip left his wallet or what kind of furniture Phife can provide if allowed. Those who know that babies babble on when looking for excuses. For the heads who still know Bonita's measurements to this day- this one's for you.

July 7, 2011

Take A Bow

Take a bow, the night is over
This masquerade is getting older
Light are low, the curtains down
There's no one here
(There's no one here, there's no one in the crowd)
Say your lines but do you feel them
Do you mean what you say when there's no one around (no one around)
Watching you, watching me, one lonely star
(One lonely star you don't know who you are)

I've always been in love with you (always with you)
I guess you've always known it's true (you know it's true)
You took my love for granted, why oh why
The show is over, say good-bye

Say good-bye (bye bye), say good-bye

Make them laugh, it comes so easy
When you get to the part
Where you're breaking my heart (breaking my heart)
Hide behind your smile, all the world loves a clown
(Just make 'em smile the whole world loves a clown)
Wish you well, I cannot stay
You deserve an award for the role that you played (role that you played)
No more masquerade, you're one lonely star
(One lonely star and you don't know who you are)

Say good-bye (bye bye), say good-bye

All the world is a stage (world is a stage)
And everyone has their part (has their part)
But how was I to know which way the story'd go
How was I to know you'd break
(You'd break, you'd break, you'd break)
You'd break my heart

I've always been in love with you
(I've always been in love with you)
Guess you've always known
You took my love for granted, why oh why
The show is over, say good-bye

Say good-bye (bye bye), say good-bye
Say good-bye

July 6, 2011

Cookies or Comas

Jean Grae. Cookies or Comas. The mixtape. I will not steer you wrong. To say this girl has lyrics for days would be borderline disrespectful. The punchlines. The metaphors. The all-encompassing rhyme spitting phenom that is pure..Jeanius. I just had a listen at and I'm ready for more. I fux wit Jean. When she's not dropping the most random thoughts from the mind in 140 characters or less- she's dropping jewels on her blog. This latest mixtape is a testament to her talents, witticism and way-the-fuck-out-thereness. Her reflective answer to Kanye's Blame Game was a sweet surprise. And if you need smelling salts to revive you after listening to Killing 'Em featuring Pharoahe Monch- don't feel bad. I damn near passed out when it hit me in the eardrum; for the MC Lyte sample alone. Wow. I didn't even peep 'til just now how those two admissions allude to the very title of her mixtape, but I'm telling you the truth, People. And the last track? Ho Lee Shit. Download it now. Thank me later. This is Jayne Neverow and I endorse this message. Peace.

"a super jerk, call me Clark Kent at sperm bank, with girl mags,
I'd be like SPIT if I burned tags,
I burn flags, burn, man, not books or bras, Fam.
Swing bars, multiple partners, Tarzan,
marzipan, that's it no reference, no depth shit,
Breathe and let the bars stand." ~Track 1. Casebasket

July 3, 2011

True Monuments Don't Fall

When I first viewed the above video some months back, my first thought was immediately this: They couldn't have chosen a better name for this collaboration. Monumental was poised to be a much anticipated blend of talents. Smif-N-Wessun plus Pete Rock equals pure unadulterated sensory overload at its finest- in my humble opinion. Something to be celebrated and lauded in these dystopian Hip-Hop times. What passes for dope these days mostly inclines me to shake my head in disgust. But this was a breath of fresh air I couldn't wait to inhale. So much so, that I had no idea I would be shaking my head in disgust where this collaboration was concerned. But not in the way you would imagine.

On June 28, producer Pete Rock and partners in rhyme, Smif-N-Wessun gave a show that served as their album release party at NYC's Tammany Hall. According to a press release later given by the trio, the venue got packed quickly and other supportive fans were turned away at door. A minor tiff between would-be attendees and security arose but was settled without incident. Approximately half hour later- New York's Finest showed up, rushed into the venue and began dragging some patrons out and macing them. This spilled out into the street where all hell proceeded to break loose. The footage below captures only in part the melee that ensued. Billy club swinging, choking, roughing up of women and at least four officers on one man at once.

Contrary to previous reports, no one who performed was hurt that night but several people were in fact assaulted at the hands of NYPD. I watched the above and other videos from that night with such incredulity until it hit me that this is in fact New York and therefore this is nothing new. I could have easily been at this event. Any one of my peoples for that matter could have been. Any one of us could have suffered a similar fate. Shit, that IS us. Period. I take issue with any abuse of authority. Be it Parent vs. Child, Teacher vs. Student and especially Police vs. Civilian. Never has the adage 'Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely' been more true. Only punks find strength solely in numbers. They took every opportunity to taint what I believe would have been an otherwise peaceable gathering and turned it into pandemonium. When all is said and done, Hip-Hop is left holding the bag. Further bolstering accusations that those belonging to this culture are violent by nature and cannot come together long enough to keep the peace. But I know the truth.

I personally know a few people who will say that the cops were in fact provoked and justified in their barbaric actions. That all of this could have been avoided had the crowd simply dispersed, but all that does is excuse the injustice of what unfolded that night. I refuse to believe that with all the rigorous training that is required of law enforcement; that they still cannot come up with a more effective method of diffusing a crowd without resorting to swinging wildly at it with their issued weapons. They boldly abuse their authority under the guise of protecting and serving. After viewing the footage- it's clear to me who they served and the people's protection seemed to take a backseat to unleashing their own wrath. Being recorded by numerous onlookers did nothing to discourage their assault. I was incensed by the sounds and images of what took place that night. But moreover, I was hurt.

I'm hurt because if one is familiar with the vibe, you know that Pete Rock and recently even Smif-N-Wessun are far removed from anything that would incite this type of violence. Though I doubt those who purported this nonsense can even name a song by any one of them. I'm hurt because what was supposed to be a monumental event was toppled by corruption and ignorance. Because evil never seems to take a holiday once NYPD officers suit up for work. Quite simply, because my people were hurt; for showing up and showing love to three artists they deemed worthy. Now where, pray tell, is the justification in that?

June 27, 2011

This Day is Mine

It's been a while. Trials, tribulations and a virus-ridden computer kept me away for a spell- but not for long. When I finally had a chance to be in my element again, I was at a loss as to what to write. The words escaped me. But now I'm found. Today marks the anniversary of my birth. I've been blessed to see another year of life, love and laughter. This time around, I'm filled with purpose in more ways than one. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn't change a stitch of it. I'm here. I'm grateful. I am. Alive.

May 21, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

It's an hour and a half since the world was supposed to end. But lo and behold- here I am typing this. No worse for wear. Birds are chirping outside my window. I can hear the whir of my temperamental computer and someone is practicing piano in the apartment across from mine. It rained a bit and then the sun shone again. The sky didn't fall. The world as it turns out- has not ended. The world as we know it, anyway. Today is decidedly not Judgment Day. I wasn't worried. It's not the first time some crackpot claimed to know the exact date and time of the "rapture". And even if there was some merit to it, things are good with me and my Creator.

For those who were anxious or disturbed by this pseudo impending doom; now would be a good time to take a long, hard look at your life and how you live it. Make a change. Purport a deliberate difference. It doesn't have to be some ground-shattering spiritual awakening. Start small. Smile more. Curse less. Be kind. Make a list of endeavors and check it off as you accomplish them. Try a new cuisine. Write a book. Hold a baby. Take a trip. Take a class. Teach a class. Call your Mom. Build something. Whatever it may be- do it with the intentions of bringing yourself closer to what is right for you and your soul. The rest will fall into place because the universe wastes nothing. I try to always prep for rain and wish for sunshine. Well that's my plan, usually. My sky is still blue no matter the talk of obliteration. Recreate the world as you know it. It's a new day so to speak... so why not make it count?

May 14, 2011

How Sweet It Is

It's the age of the digital download. These days it's all about iTunes this, podcasts that. Look here- This Bug has an affinity for the classics. And whenever homage is paid to the classics, I have to give a respectful nod. I miss the days of vinyl and liner notes. If you've ever watched Erykah Badu's video for Honey and like me, wondered exactly which familiar album she was paying tribute to- wonder no more. She recreated some of the most recognizable and some more obscure but memorable album images in music history. Brilliant! And if you know anything about Badu, you know she wouldn't have looked to emulate any bullshit music. Every original album holds countless gems for your listening pleasure. Even the Rolling Stones magazine cover was a nice touch. Sidebar: I love me some Lennon. Hmm...Yoko? Not so much. Props to @fatbellybella on the concept of this visually groundbreaking vid. Like the classics she replicated- it never gets old. Enjoy.

Honey Video - Erykah Badu

Rufus & Chaka Khan - Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, 1975

Diana Ross - Blue, 2006

Funkadelic - Maggot Brain, 1971

Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full, 1987

Ohio Players - Honey, 1975

Minnie Ripperton - Perfect Angel, 1974

Labelle - Chameleon, 1976

De La Soul - Three Feet High and Rising, 1989

The Beatles - Let It Be, 1970

Nas - Illmatic, 1994

Olivia Newton John - Physical, 1981

Grace Jones - Nightclubbing, 1981

Earth, Wind & Fire - Head to the Sky, 1973

John Lennon and Yoko Ono's January 22, 1981 Rolling Stone Cover:

April 27, 2011

A to Z or the Gamut Pt. II

Almost instantly, the shift was felt. Because in more ways than one- it was always waiting in the wings. Carrying on is more a duty than an option. Doing what's right can be a curiously foreign concept to some. Everyone handles it differently. For some strange reason I welcomed both the fire and the ice. Going your own way is fitting once you tried other routes but wound up hungry and lost. Higher ground is sought but water always seeks its own level. I knew it had to be that way. Justifications became paramount. Kisses gave way to sealed lips and deaf ears. Longing for what was and never will be never felt so empty. My mind plays hide and seek with the memories. Now we know for sure. Once it's all said and done- we'll be better than before. Places everyone! Quiet on the set. Roles are played out and carelessly improvised. Surely- this wasn't in the script. Today I took my last backward glance. Underneath it all we bear the scars of fallen stars. Visions of what might have been plow their way through an obstruction of crowded actualities. What would I have changed had I known it would come to this? Xeroxing past moments to look them over later with coffee and the Daily News crossword. You were the apple of my optic but still you had the nerve? Zealots cannot even fathom that brand of adoration.

Author's Note: Inspired by a writing exercise where each sentence begins in alphabetical succession. Also inspired by the poem, The Gamut by the incomparable Ms. Angelou.

April 20, 2011

Death be not proud

"One short sleep past, we wake eternally." -John Donne

I once read that if we didn't have endorphins, we'd all be junkies. I'd never thought of it like that before- but it makes sense. Sort of. You see, endorphins block out pain. All day long, that's their function. To block out pain, physical and otherwise that would likely turn you inside-out and keep you in a fetal position. They say if you take opiates long enough- your body stops producing endorphins. And what happens when you stop taking the opiates? Well, all you feel is pain you wouldn't ordinarily feel. Everyday pain. The pain of living. Which I suppose on any given day is better than the pain of dying. But I wouldn't know. Not for certain, anyway. What I do know, what I've become familiar with, is the pain of surviving. Since the year began I've been to three wakes and funerals. I have another one to attend by the end of this week. Don't get me wrong. I'm well acquainted with loss. But it has me on the ropes lately. I'm not ashamed to say that I've taken a beating this time around. So much pain and loss in such a short span of time. Bad news phone calls and utter disbelief. Tragic intros and mournful outros. Tearful goodbyes. I had no idea it could hurt so badly. I feel wrung out. You hear it all the time: "Life is fleeting" "You just never know" "Here today, gone tomorrow" "God makes no mistakes" I've heard it all and seen too much in the past few weeks. Back-to-back deaths. Mothers burying sons. Children who won't know their fathers. It's not natural. It's not right. But who am I to say? I'm so numb at this point; without the aid of opiates. And I feel that maybe, just maybe, my endorphins are slacking on the job... because I can feel it all.

April 13, 2011

Atlas shrugged

There's no such thing as catching up when it feels like not a day has passed. Not with him. He's not unfamiliar with judgments. He just never cared to dole them out or let them stick. It's not to say he hasn't been called everything but a child of God. He has; simply for living his life how he saw fit. But still, he is one. Underground the sounds of the E train occasionally drowned out his sentences- but never once his sincerity. He looked weary but not worn. A resolute certainty replaced the whimsical look I've grown to know in his eyes. "I fucked up." The words came from a proverbial punched gut on the mend and for an instant- they sounded like my own truth. No more crestfallen than I was when it all happened to me on opposite sides; in parallel universes. A similar collapse in a different time. But it was my time to listen. And I did. I owe him that much after years of spilling tears into my cup of International coffee and his open ear. After years of overflowing ashtrays and heartbreaking songs on repeat. But he never judged me. Not once. And when he admonished me, it was from a place of such genuine love that I was better for it. Always. We stood there on that platform doused in separate antidotes of saki and sangria, years wiser but still so young. Still vulnerable and imperfect. Still brother and sister despite lack of DNA and regional closeness. I heard every word as I studied the flecks of gray in his goatee. My own wiry grays quietly outlining my freshly washed mane. I used to joke and say, "Quick! Smell my hair!" He never would, as big brothers don't do that sort of thing. He couldn't be caught off-guard. Once though, when there was nothing left to do but hold me close as I broke down- he told me this was a fucked up way to get him to finally smell my hair. His plan worked and I burst into laughter. It doesn't seem that long ago. Now we both have strains of gray. Shit.. when did we get so old? When did the problems become so real? As his train roared in there was so much I had to say. That time is the healthiest elixir, no matter how bitter. That it was okay to lose it after holding it together for so damn long. That these things tend to work themselves out. That I love him- pure and simple. Instead I looked at him and said, "Atlas shrugged." He agreed. And as we walked our ways from a rushed goodbye- he seemed lighter. We seemed lighter. Unburdened, at least for the moment.

"And tell me, in the world have you been?"

April 1, 2011


Been rockin' this one on repeat for a minute now. It's so melodic. So hypnotic. So effin' true. Enjoy..

Taxi - Ski Beats ft. Mos Def & Whosane

En garde…bang bang it’s a war of the hearts
We could either make love or we could spar
Either way we hollerin’ out “Good Lord!”
Either one won’t solve the problem at all
Spent the first half tryin’ to get it on
Spent the next half tryin’ to get gone
“What’s wrong?” “Nothin’ at all…”
Watch ya head girl, that lie is too tall
Don’t go, eff it do what you want
I’m out the front door, I’m waitin’ on ya call
Forgot it took place, rememberin’ it all
Feel like forever, the moment’s so small
Your eyes soft, you go hard, your kiss warm
Your cold heart, fresh frost
Tryna melt it off
Bags packed at home, lookin’ lost
Trippin’ out, endin’ up where you start
Carousel at the merry-go-park
Pretty horse, let me off
Shed a tear but I’m too tired to mourn
I…do it tomorrow, when ya gone
And ya can’t see me at all
Boulevard, love and hate, we at the cross
Buckle up…rough course…TAXI!

March 31, 2011

Throwback Thursdays

Peace B-Boys and Girls. This Bug is back I'm sorry to say, with a heavy heart. Suffice to say it's been a really rough month. But the beauty of music, Hip Hop music especially, is that it can take you to a good place. A comforting place. It's been a while since I've even heard Today's Throwback. But I was at a wake for the brother of a high school friend yesterday and I found it both odd and fitting that this song came up during words of tribute and remembrance. A cousin of his approached the mic amid the brokenhearted and spoke of a memory he had of this tape first coming out. He spoke of how amped they both were while it played for the first time in his boom box. Those who could relate all smiled, because we knew exactly what he meant. I guess for that moment- we were all united in our grief and in being Hip Hop Junkies. It was nice to know a feel good song by Nice n Smooth had its place in the fond memories of the departed. Especially because this song is so full of life; just like him. May his spirit travel forward in love and light. This one is for Big Keith. R.I.P. Kito. Much Love.

March 28, 2011

The Reflex

"Four things come not back. The spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity." ~Arabian Proverb

Make that five. The reflex. A knee-jerk reaction that's impossible to stop. It has its rightful place among the spoken or rather, spat word that pierces the ear like a poisoned dart. It flies alongside the flaming arrow that may blaze an unintended target. It meanders with the life already lived; never to be experienced in such a way again. And it waits with the missed the chances that will never return. The reflex; that instinctive movement that happens in spite of itself.. An impulsive and uncontrollable creature with a devil-may-care propensity. The reflex cannot be taken back even if it wants to be. It's the first pebble of the avalanche. The red button that can't be undetonated. The statement that won't be redacted. The lost cause and the effect all in one. It is in fact reflexive- not an unprovoked action and It. Comes. Not. Back.

March 24, 2011

Throwback Thursdays

This Bug never thought she'd see the day when a throwback feature went beyond the nineties but I have to go with it when the inspiration is there. This is one of those joints that I knew nothing about. I didn't know who made it, where they were from, nothing. I just knew the first time I heard it in 2002, I liked it instantly. The jazzy horns made it feel like a Pete Rock masterpiece, but I was wrong. Sometimes you just have to appreciate the little things- because they add up and count for a lot. No one expressed this sentiment more soundly than Blackalicious. I still have no idea where they're from or who else they've worked with. I just know that back then and up until recently, hearing it transported me to good times. Memories and blessings. Things you may overlook when you get caught up in the day-to-day. And let's be honest; the daily grind and money may make you comfortable for a time- but it's not what sustains us. This Bug's line? "A bad day'll make you really notice ones that's good / And that'll make things a little better understood." It's those rare moments that you should hold close when it gets tough. The chance encounters. The unexpected good fortune. A show of kindness returned. Good times with friends and family. Or maybe just a nice tune that celebrates those things. Those things that Make You Feel That Way. Enjoy.

March 23, 2011

And she was...

Glamorous. The cat's meow. A Hollywood icon. An AIDS crusader. The original diamond cluster hustler. A friend to MJ when it was an unpopular thing to be. She was honest. Classy, gutsy, private and downright beautiful. And she lived in way that didn't seek approval..from any of us. Farewell to the violet eyes.

"I have a woman's body and a child's emotions." ~Elizabeth Taylor February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011

Where ever you may be, may your inner child sing and womanly ways float freely. Rest In Paradise, Liz.

March 22, 2011

hurts like brand new shoes

Normally I'm an excellent speller. So it's sort of strange what happened. At the side hustle a few days ago I had to fill out a damage slip for a shoe. It was quick and painless. I've done it a dozen times before without thinking. It's quite simple, really. Date. Brand Name. Reason. I got the first two right. It wasn't until I looked down at what I'd scrawled for the reason, that I saw my mistake. There, on that two inch line were the words that gave me pause. I know what I'd meant; what I was supposed to write. But somewhere between the correct spelling in my mind, my subconscious and the pen in my hand- there was a disconnect. The meaning changed. Or maybe it was a non-verbal Freudian slip. Plus, for the shoes to be so new it made no sense for the sole to be damaged that way- but it was obviously defective. Made by miscalculation. Not unlike most of us, I suppose. Perhaps my hand wrote the word incorrectly just so I could look down and process something deeper. Something I've been feeling for quite some time. And I stood there a moment; unable to move. Staring at the words in my hurried penmanship: Detached Soul

March 19, 2011

left for dead

you don't immediately wonder
what it will feel like
once your entrails have been ripped out
and feasted upon

there is no way to tell
the emptiness that will dwell
in the shell of what
you once were

'til it happens
to you
and by then
it won't matter

March 17, 2011

Soul On Ice

Nathaniel Dwayne Hale
Sunrise: August 19, 1969 Sunset: March 15, 2011

Peace Peoples. I type this right now with a heavy heart. As you may all know, hooks will forever be an integral part of the structure of a Hip Hop song. But they will never be the same again. Not when one of the best, if not the best to ever do it is gone. Gone from us is Nate Dogg. To tell the truth- I'm still numb. It wasn't until I sat back and thought about it that I realized he has sung the hook on some of my favorite songs. Many of which I might not have given a second listen if not for his even-toned vocals. He embodied a smoothness that fit seamlessly with the roughness of "Gangsta Rap". It was- and remains remarkable. It's because of him, I still know all the words to an old malt liquor ad. His voice was steady and melodic. And it added just the right ingredient to any track he blessed. Consider how nice he made the words to It Ain't No Fun sound even though it's one of the raunchiest and raw tunes out there. But he made it sound easy; effortless even. It's a wonder he was able to deliver the goods in that manner when I think of all he must've seen and possibly endured while being on Death Row Records' roster. No small feat when almost anyone who was ever employed by Suge Knight has their own horror story to tell of that time. That's no secret. Seriously, I don't know where I've been that I was absolutely clueless to his previous strokes and health issues- but this news came as a shock to me. Really and truly, with the anniversary of Biggie's death so fresh, I'm just disheartened that it's time to mourn another true talent in the world of Hip Hop so soon. So I want to virtually pour a little somethin' out for one who was "G'ed up from the feet up"... And you can do the same as long as you press play.

Rest In Peace, Nate Dogg. You will be missed by This Bug.

Author's Note: Throwback Thursdays will return next week.

March 16, 2011

Figuratively speaking, of course

Oh dear, it's happening again. I want to write. I want to write something worthwhile. Something meaningful. Something that will bring me closer to where I'm supposed to be. But all I have is this. These fleeting thoughts and huffs of exasperation finding their way out of my mouth. I don't know why this happens. I call it the 'Evil Keel'. I feel nothing; can write nothing. For as long as I can remember, it's always been like this. I cannot write unless I'm on the upswing of an emotional high or at the cradle of a visceral low. It sounds so manic-depressive, I know. But that's how it's always been. And when I'm not at one of those two extremes- this even keel stalks in and hangs around like an uninvited guest, hoping I won't notice. It shows up empty-handed. No bottle of wine. No potted plant. The nerve. Yesterday I said I wanted to light my life on fire, and made it a point to preface it with "Figuratively speaking" because words have power and I don't have a fire extinguisher in my apartment. Hell, I don't even think the smoke detector works. But that's what I envisioned. Everything on fire. Melting away. Burn it all. The humdrum office. The shitty car. The paradoxical relationship. The old suede boots. The tired bones. The inflexible schedules. The unopened mail. I'd like to watch it burn. Glowing in its soon-to-be goneness. Ashes and transgressions giving way to the wind. The Phoenix can then rise from the flames. And what of the keel? The keel, I'm sure, wouldn't dare show its face at my party.

March 10, 2011

Bug is Brown Bagging It From Now On

This Bug doesn't believe in bad luck. I have no qualms about walking under ladders. I open umbrellas indoors. Broken mirrors are benign to me. Black cats don't make me nervous. You know what does? A moldy cannoli. It was my stroke of good fortune the other day to get one of these and send me into a tailspin. When I bit into it- it tasted a little funny. Funny like...oh, I dunno. Old beer and sweetened sour milk? But I didn't inspect it right away since I was driving. It wasn't until after I'd had my salad and moved on to dessert that I looked and noticed something spotted in the cream of the cannoli. It looked a little like chocolate chips and I naively thought, "That's funny. I thought I ordered a plain one." Then I saw the 'spots' were tinges of green all throughout and proceeded to completely bug the fuck out. Why does this always happen to me?

A few years back I ordered lunch with co-workers from a new seafood joint that opened up. I got the beer battered fried clam strips with a side of fries. Thank goodness I'm a chatty girl when I'm ready. Had I not been- I never would have paused between my run-on sentences just as I brought the fork to my mouth and seen a 'short and curly' wrapped around one of the morsels. I was horrified. Enough to totally forget my professional surroundings when I yelled, "OhMYGod! Is that a PUBE on my CLAM STRIP?!" Not a good day.

Listen, for those of you who don't know, Hot Pockets should remain frozen until ready for consumption. Got that? Frozen. Not refrigerated in an overpriced sandwich vending machine. So overpriced that when you finally break down and spend the money it would cost for an entire box in the supermarket for just one- that it may be black and fuzzy on the inside from being passed over for weeks. That was my lesson. Now I want you to remember it so you never have to suffer the disgust and anguish I experienced years ago in my cubicle. I used to carry a toothbrush to work back then so after a few seconds of dry heaving with no result, I promptly brushed until all I could taste was blood. But what I really wanted to do was shave my tongue, rinse with gasoline and pop a lit match into my mouth.

It's not like all of this just started happening to me yesterday. When I was 11 years old, I bought a Bomb Pop from the ice cream truck and hopped on my BMX (or was it a Mongoose?) I can't recall. While showcasing my hands-free bike riding skills between enjoying this nice little summer treat- I looked down too late to see that a gnat had landed on the tip of it just as I put into my mouth. I gagged. I spit. I dropped the popsicle. I grabbed the handle bars. I crashed into a parked car. That, my friends, is the true definition of discombobulation.

The above foods are filed under Again Never due to the trauma I experienced. Anyway, I went straight back to the deli after work to show them why I almost died at lunchtime. The manager apologized profusely, gave me back my money and then offered me a fruit bowl for my inconvenience. I asked him if it was fresh. "Of course! Nice lady like you? Fresh. Yes!" Sure. Now I'm "Nice Lady". Hours earlier though, he found me worthy of being "Moldy Cannoli Girl". Bastard. I'm done with all of it. Popsicles. Clam strips. Hairy Hot Pockets..hey, I'm seeing a theme here but I'll keep it clean (for today). And just think of all the gross things you might have already ingested because you didn't even catch it. I know it has nothing to do with luck or its flip side, either. Just eyeball your food fiercely, People.

Next time around I'll take the gun and leave the cannoli.