Monday, February 3, 2014

My Top 13 of 2013: For those with a short attention span!

As you know I always write a stupid long Year End Review, but for those of you who have lost your desire to read I have compiled My Top 13 of 2013.  So check it out and if you are curious about more you and always check out the entire 2013 Year End Review: Musicga!  Thank you for sharing the year with me. Big things ahead!


My Top 13 of 2013

1. I wrote over 356 Haikus! (I will post some soon!)

2. Attuned two more students to Reiki!

3. Was featured on the Sony Christmas R&B Hits Compilation.

4. Rocked Michfest with my rendition of "Invincible" by Pat Benatar.

5. Played Mamapalooza and Pussypaolooza.

6. Hosted two blaKbüshe Wellness Days.

7. Shot a video with Rebellum for "Heart Seed."

8. Taught lots of yoga and hosted a yoga workshop/show with M'Balia (MB) in Philadelphia.

9. Wrote and directed my first comedy sketch with American Candy.

10. Was part of the "Medusa/Asudem" video with Kelly Horrigan and Lee Free.

11. Played at BAM Café two times (blaKbüshe and American Candy).

12. Debuted Phellatio Gonzalez feat. Jeff Jeudy, Jerome Jordan, V. Jeffery Smith, Matsu, Akie Bermiss, Sharief Hobley, Shawn Banks and special guest Garrett Shider, Jr.

13. "blaK Girls" is featured in the independent film Homecoming directed by Eugene Ashe.

Click HERE to Read the full 
2013 Year End Review: Musicga!

2013 Year End Review: Musicga

Year End Review 2013: Musicga

Often when I come to the end of the year I can’t believe that it has gone by so fast, but I actually feel like 2013 took its time. A lot of things happened in 2013 for sure. As you know, I graduated from Kripalu in 2012 so 2013 was all about getting my yoga teaching going. So without further ado here is my 2013 Year End Review:  Musicga (Music & Yoga)!

I kicked off the month writing my first Haiku of the year. I gave myself a Haiku a day challenge, which turned out to be lots of fun and insightful to say the least. I will post them all on my blog so you can see them ASAP!

I began the year teaching at Shambhala Yoga & Dance Center and Hip Dhamma. I also started taking aerial class with my girl Kiebpoli aka Black Acrobat, which was amazing! If you are thinking about trying it out I highly recommend her. That lasted through May, but I really hope to be able to get back! The rope and silks are no joke. The power involved in making that look effortless is not a game. I had so much fun!

This month I also played with Burnt Sugar at the Million Man Mosh. It was a great night to raise money for Donovan Drayton who was battling for his freedom. Donovan was in the house that night and I’m happy to report that he has been cleared of all charges! Give Thanks! That night we had the pleasure of sharing the bill with 24-7 Spyz, Nona Hendrix, Living Colour and Ronny Drayton. Also Big Mike from the Sugar Hill Gang and Melle Mel from the Furious Five were in the house and graced the stage as well.

At the close of the month I stared to feel a little under the weather, but I had no time to be sick because Burnt Sugar was heading to Paris on the 31st. So I boarded a plane to Paris with one of the worst head colds I’ve had in my life. Before we all got to the airport we found out that our original flight had been cancelled and our new flight was moved up! Not cool! Well, we all made it, but I was not looking forward to that flight with the head cold. My saving grace was that the flight was empty so at least I could spread out and really lay down. Next stop, Paris!

Although I spent most of the Paris trip in bed trying to get myself together to perform, it turned out to be really fun time. The only downside was the Gestapo at Heathrow that took my coconut oil when we had to change planes in London. So the only thing I did in Paris besides, eat, sleep, soak and sing was get some lotion! Anyway, for the show we did the Steely Dan Songbook conducted by Vernon Reid and a few Bowie tunes conducted by Mikel. Thank Goddess I was able to pull it together and give the best show I could give. [Blog: Next Stop Paris! ]. We didn’t get to stay in Paris this time as long as we did last so there was no sightseeing for me, but I’m still so thankful for the time spent there. I love traveling with the Sugars!

This month I began teaching yoga to the kids at Little Sun People a pre-school where a lot of my friend’s children attend. That went on through May and was a great experience.

I rounded out February by attuning my fourth student to Reiki! That is something that I’m going to do much more of in 2014. Congrats to my girl Po-Hong on becoming a Reiki I practitioner. It makes me feel go great to be able to teach people this healing tool. It’s such a blessing.

Looking back at this month, a whole lot happened. I went to Buffalo and Canada with Burnt Sugar. That was really an amazing trip and one of the best parts was finding Betty’s restaurant. That food was amazing! We are still talking about that food and how we can get Betty’s downstate.

Early in the month blaKbüshe played at Mamapalooza, which was my friend Rick’s 50th b’earthday party. We did the show as a 4-piece so Matsu, Jeff, Ganessa and I hit it. The place was packed and we had a blast. We made a few blaKbüshe converts that night and we also met another Jeff who would be instrumental down the line. Jeff James, a friend or Rick’s, works at Sony. That night he asked me if I had any holiday music and as you may or may not know, the answer to that is yes! If you recall I made a holiday album for my mom a few years ago, so I have music. He asked me to send him a couple of things because he was putting together Sony’s holiday compilation. I sent the tracks, but I have to admit that I didn’t think anything would come of it. Silly me.

We played Mamapalooza on the 11th and then played BAM Café on the 16th. It was another packed house at BAM and we had a lot of fun as usual. I tried out a new song that night and it seemed to go over well. Win or lose it’s great to have the audience feedback. [Blog: BAM Café Show Recap]. I really live for that!

I think the highlight of April, which has nothing to do with music, is that I got my stuff out of storage. That was nothing short of a spring miracle. I am so glad not all that stuff in my life anymore. I kept much of it, but I also did a huge book and magazine giveaway. It felt so good to lighten my load. Try it!

This month I also started recording the Rebellum project with Greg Tate at Luqman’s studio in Harlem. At the time I thought it was another Burnt Sugar project, but I later found out differently. I now it must sound strange that I didn’t know the project I was recording, but many of the same people in Burnt Sugar are in Rebellum and at that time I’m no sure the new band had a name yet. When you are rolling with this crew you just have to be open to the changes. LOL!

This was a pretty big month. I had my first blaKbüshe Wellness Day on the 19th. Thanks to Po-Hong, my partner in Scorpionic magic, it was a great success. My mom and aunt Helen also took the drive down from MA to support and my cousin Ashley and his girlfriend Emilie came though. It was a rainy day in Brooklyn. So rainy that they even cancelled one of the days of the Great GoogaMooga concert in Prospect Park. But a little rain didn’t stop our show. It was beautiful day.

Po-Hong & I! Scorpio Power!

Earlier in the year my girl Nucomme asked me if I wanted to play at the Williamsburg Music Center. When I agreed it was going to do a blaKbüshe show, but Ganessa couldn’t make the date. So instead of cancelling it I had another idea. I have so many wonderful men in my life that I thought it would be great to play with all of them, or as many as possible, in one night! So I called on Jeff Jeudy, Matsu, V. Jeffrey Smith, Akie Bermis, David Pilgrim, Sharief Hobley, Jerome Jordan and Shawn Banks who collectively became Phellatio Gonzalez. Then as a cherry on top was, Garrett Schider, Jr. who happened to be in town and in the house! He happily sat in with us! Whoa!

The night was a kind of round-robin type of evening and everyone was really amazing. All the fellas took a turn and then I chimed in with a couple of my tunes. Fun, fun! I was hoping to make that happen again in 2013, but clearly the year was packed. But stay tuned because Phellatio Gonzalez will ride again!

The men of Phellatio Gonzalez!

This month kicked off with me joining the Soulfolk Experience at Le Poisson Rouge for a Prince tribute on the 7th and since there is so rest for the wicked, the next night I hit with Burnt Sugar at Ginny’s uptown. We had lots of friends and fam in the house for that show. It was great to see Helga Davis, Daniel Carlton, Somi and Vernon who sat in with us that night.

Soon blaKbüshe was back in action as the musical guest for the African Voices 20th Anniversary at the Schomburg Center in Harlem. The event was also in honor of author/poet/professor Tony Medina. He was in the house along with Bonified Rojas, Willie Perdomo and Asha Bandele. I was also surprised to see Mike Ladd in the house, in from Paris. One of the highlights of this event was Willie mentioning The Tea Party. For those of you who know don’t know, before that name was taken over by the far right, it was an amazing arts organization in Brooklyn.

Post Schomburg show glow

The ladies and the gentleman of honor

I had to hurry home from that event to pack to hit the road with the Sugars the next day. We were heading to Cleveland to play for the Summer Solstice event at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Trevor, V. Jeff and I took the long journey with Ben and met the rest of the crew in Cleveland. I got to see my sands Shay while I was there and also my friend Katrice and her family, which was great. But the highlight for me was going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! [Blog: NYC to O-HI-O ]

Beam of vocal light in Cleveland at the Summer Solstice jam

Soon we were headed back to New York and I had to get ready for two more shows just a week later. The first was Burnt Sugar at Marcus Garvey Park for the Harlem Arts Festival. It was ok, but the person who went on before us went way over and there was no stage management so no one stopped her. It takes us a “minute” to set up so between the pervious set ending late and our set beginning late I think we only 20 minutes to play. For Burnt Sugar that’s about two songs. LOL! That show was on the 29th and then Pussypalooza was on the 30th. I have a lot to say about this show, but I’ll just let you read the blog. Well, I will say one thing. I was really excited about the show and then quickly disappointed. It was an amazing show. One of those nights where I was so angry before I went on that the show was EPIC! But it was also the show that made me take a break from doing any full band shows for the rest of the year. [Blog: Pride and Prejudice]

I love to make music. I love to play shows. I love it so much and I’m sure the artists out there can relate, but sometimes you have to pull back and take a look at how things are going. Regroup. Pause. That’s what I did after this gig and I’m glad I did.

This month I started my second to last fundraiser of the year. It was a silent auction, which brings us to July.

I kicked off the month with the Silent Auction fundraiser show, which featured Ganessa, Chaney Sims, Ashley Phillips and myself. We rocked out the Rockbar and helped me get that much closer to reaching my recording fundraising goal.

This month I also found that that I had been selected to be on the Sony Christmas compilation. I was so shocked! Although I had been contacted about possibly being on it I never had an attachment to it. So when I saw Jeff from Sony at the fundraiser and he told me he was going to make it happen, I don’t think really heard him. Soon there after I got the email! It was great news, but I needed to re-record the song. Jeff gave me two weeks to do it, but my Jeff (Jeudy) was going to be out of town for one of those two weeks! So I really had a week to do it, but we got it done. Matsu, Jeff and I recorded “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” with Lionel at his place one evening and the rest is on the CD!

Another highlight of the month was shooting the “Medusa/Asudem” video with Kelly Horrigan and Lee Free. That was so much fun! Kelly is an amazing designer and stylist and Lee is an awesome musician. Together they make a great team and I was honored to be the first artist to do a video for their Seen & Herd blog. Artsy videos! Yeah!

In my Medusa gear ready to shoot!

Finally I closed the month teaching yoga at Socrates Park in Long Island City. I was subbing for my friend Monique who was doing an art fellowship out of state for a few weeks. It was so wonderful to teach yoga in the park by the water. It was hot as hell those weeks, but since class was early and in the shade it wasn’t so bad. It’s kind of tricky to get to that park so I decided to bike from Brooklyn to Queens. In the morning, which was great, but by the afternoon it was literally hell on wheels! I think I damn near melted on the way home.

What was supposed to be one of the big highlights of the month was swiftly postponed and then cancelled. That was D’Angelo and Williamsburg Park. Something told me I should have went to go see him in Philly in July during the Roots Picnic weekend. I had seen him in March at Brooklyn Bowl with Questlove and it was off the chain! They did it again in July in Philly and I really wanted to go, but I didn’t. Then the show came up in NY. I was excited, but honestly something was nagging me. Then it happened, the show was postponed. It was supposed to happen on August 1st, but when it was postponed I wondered if I would be around for the rescheduled day. The original plan was to go to the show on the 1st, then home to MA for a couple of days, come back to BK and head to Festival for a week and then to my friend Shirley’s for a week. Well, it turned out that they cancelled the show and a bunch of others due to D being “ill.” Honestly when I heard that reason it scared me. Notice we haven’t heard a word from him since. There was all sorts of talk and speculation about what really happened to D, but let me tell you that I am still convinced that a brotha needs a hug…from me! Look out for Shelley’s Celebrity Hug Healing Program. Coming to a town where celebs live near you. I also need Kanye's number immediately! [SoundCloud: Quest & D'Angelo at BK Bowl]

At the Brooklyn bowl show Quest said something about D that has really stuck with me. When we were all clapping for an encore Quest said that we better keep clapping because he “gets love every day, but D needs to know that ya’ll really love him or you may not see him again till 2042.” We all laughed, but I totally got what he was saying. Although we were clapping and cheering for him to come back, the real deal is that D’Angelo needs to know deep within himself that he is loved. It makes me sad because the brotha is a genius and I don’t throw that word around at all, but he is truly gifted beyond measure. Sending much love to my brotha. Love and peace within.

August is always about Michfest and this year was no exception. This time I went to the festival as part of the ladies version of Hanifah Walidah’s band St. Lô, which included Hanifah, Julie Wolf and I. Of course you know there is a blog all about it. So if you missed the Michfest update, give it a read [Blog: Michfest 2013].

When I finally got home from Michigan I had to jump right into gear and get ready for Afropunk After Dark. I just did a broken down show with Jeff and Matsu at Putnam’s Pub in Brooklyn. We had shared the bill that night with Shae Rose and Adam Falcon. Thanks again to Trevor Gale at SESAC for inviting us out that night. If you haven’t read the Afropunk blog [Blog: Afropunk: Put Down the Hate] now is your chance.

Somewhere in the middle of all this I took a break and went to see Pete Rock vs. DJ Premier in one of the last Summerstage shows of the season. They were battling at East River Park by the FDR Drive. It was a serious trek to get over there, but worth all the trains, buses and footsteps that it took me. The place was packed and it was just an all out good time. They were spinning the music of my youth and clearly that of many others, but it wasn’t just a bunch of grown folks reminiscing, there were people of all ages there. People who really love hip-hop and respect the pioneers. We sang and danced together into to the night. It was probably one of the best days I had of the summer. There was so much love was in the air.

Closing out the month, the newly formed band Rebellum had our first photo shoot at the Village @ Gureje in BK. Thanks to photographer Nisha Sondhe, we took some great photos and set the group on its way. I know it might be a bit confusing because many of the members of Rebellum are also in Burnt Sugar, but trust me it’s a different band and a different sound.


This month saw the official release of the “Medusa/Asudem” video and the opening of the exhibit at Pratt Institute. Yeah! I can officially say I’ve been part of an art show! I know that doesn’t seem so huge, but stand by and see what happens next.

I also hosted my final blaKbüshe Wellness Day/Album Fundraiser. I’m sure I will do another wellness day because people really liked them, but that was my last fundraiser of the year. I want to thank Freebrook Spaces for allowing me to host my event there. I also want to thank Julie Brown and Dayanra Marte for coming to speak to us on the Fall Equinox. It was an amazing way to jump into the new season. I’m very thankful.

Rebellum closed the month for me. We had an album release show for our debut album The Darknuss at Joe’s Pub on the late night tip. Ronny Drayton sat in with us and Vernon Reid stopped by with his axe, fresh off the road. We a rockin’ good time that night. The fall kicked off lovely.

I took a big leap of faith in October and kicked off my yoga workshop/show in Philadelphia. The workshop and show were happening on a Saturday, but I arrived in Philly on Friday to do an interview on WRTI radio with M’Balia whom I was sharing the bill with.

M'Balia and I ready to Chill & Burn

When I got to the radio station I ran into artist Sherman Fleming who I had been on a Full Spectrum panel with in New York about a year or so ago. It was great to see him and hear about what he’s doing on Philly. We had a wonderful and fun interview that night with J. Michael Harrison host of The Bridge and I’m sure we’ll be back to WRTI in 2014.

Live at WRTI, Philadelphia, PA

The workshop on Saturday happened at Soft Illusions Fine Art Gallery and included a yoga class and an artist talk with Diane E. Vaughn, whose art was hanging in the gallery. We had a small turnout, but big energy so for me it was a huge success. It took a short break in between and then had to get ready for the show in the evening.

After my yoga workshop in Philly

MB’s (our nickname for M’baila) husband went to get Jeff from the train while we finished getting ready. My friend Damon had arrived earlier with the sound so that was good to go. Soon MB and I arrived at the gallery and the gang was all there. We set up the evening in a round robin style with MB and I going song for song, or maybe it was two songs and then two songs. We also sang our old Women of Bogolan anthem “What Can You Do For Me” by Labelle, which was appropriate being in Philly and all. All of the weekend’s events went so well that I, as well as MB and I, have been asked to do it again. Also MB and I were reminded of how much we love singing together so this year that will be happening again. I’ll keep you posted for sure!

The end of October was a busy one. Burnt Sugar played for three nights at the Apollo as part of the James Brown Dance Tribute by Philadanco (Philadelphia Dance Company) and right smack in the middle American Candy did our Silly Song Show at BAM. So I did the Tuesday and Saturday show at the Apollo and Friday night played BAM. That is really the way life should be all the time. All of those shows were really fun. We had a packed house in BAM on Friday night, which was amazing. It was the first time American Candy did those songs with a band, which was special. Nice way to close the month.

Note: I just found out at the end the year that Homecoming, an independent film directed by Eugene Ashe, came out in October. Why is this key? My song “blaK Girls” is featured in the film! So if you would like to check it out click the link here [Purchase Homecoming or Watch on Demand] to see how you can purchase or view the film. This is the first release from Seven Letter Word Films and is distributed on digital platforms and Video On Demand through RLJ Entertainment. Check it out!

November started off so great. I had two b’earthday hangs on the 6th with Po-Hong and on the 7th, and had the nerve to get a whole lotta tipsy at the former. I had dinner with my good friend Rha who I hadn’t seen in a LONG time on the 8th and then played at BRIC with Rebellum on the 9th, which was also a mini Wonder-ful (Stevie Wonder) party with DJ Spinna.

On the 14th the Sugars became the Sun Ra Arkestra for a staged reading of a play that’s in development about his trip through space and then on the 20th Rebellum shot our first video at Paris Blues in Harlem. Things were going really well and then I got the call.

On Friday the 22nd I was working in Harlem with Greg on his book. My plan was to go to his place, work for a while and then go to see my vocal coach Jeremiah, for a lesson, and then go to see Danni Gee at the Blue Note late night. Greg said he would come with me to the Blue Note so after my voice lesson I went to back to his place.

Shortly after I arrived back, my phone rang. It was my girl Saba telling me that she was planning to go home to see our friend and my cousin Kim who was batting cancer. It sounded urgent. She had a feeling she needed to go now. I asked her if she needed me to go with her. I really needed to see Kim myself anyway and she said if I could come she would want me to be there. So that’s what I did. Greg and I still went to see Danni and strangely enough before going into the Blue Note we ran into Ian Friday in the Village. We all chatted for a while and then Greg and I went into the club.

Danni gave a great show, but I couldn’t stay till the end. I knew I had to get up early to get on a train to Connecticut and I had to take the subway home that night.

The next day I took the Metro North to CT and then Saba, Michael, the twins and I drove to MA. No big announcements. I didn’t even tell my mother I was coming. We drove straight to Kim’s place. We called shortly before we arrived just to let someone know we were coming and to give Kim time to get ready if she needed, and that was it.

When we arrived my cousin May was with Kim and they were both surprised to see us. May stayed for a little while longer and then it was just Kim, Saba and I for a while. We had a great time! We laughed and joked. I gave Kim Reiki and let her hold my crystals. When I went upstairs to use my phone she joked with Saba about dying, which was crazy and hilarious! She also told Saba that when I was giving her Reiki she didn’t feel anything, which I also thought was hilarious. I can see Kim thinking, “This ain’t doing a damn thing!” LOL!

I talked to Julie, Kim’s sister for a while, then her other sister Priscilla showed up and we all laughed some more. JT, Kim’s brother in law, came by to visit somewhere during the day and then soon it was time for Saba and I to head back home. We couldn’t spend the night, but it was one of the best days. I could see Kim was in pain while we were there, but she was in good spirits. It was a blessing.

I ended up spending the night in CT with Saba since I was taking the train back to New York Sunday the morning. As Saba drove me to the train that morning we were just talking about the day we spent with Kim when I got a call from my cousin Donna who told me that Kim was found on the floor that morning and rushed to the hospital. As far as we knew she was still with us, but then about 20 minutes later Donna called back crying. Kim was gone.

By this time I was on the train and it was all I could do to contain my tears. I cried. I cried long and hard and I thought I wasn’t being loud, heard or seen, but the woman across the row from me sweetly checked in with me to make sure I was all right. Give thanks.

All of this happened the weekend before Thanksgiving. So I went back to NY for two days and then headed back to MA for the Thanksgiving holiday. Besides being Thanksgiving weekend, it was also the weekend of my high school reunion and now it was also the weekend of Kim’s funeral. It was a lot to take in and take on for sure, but I did it.

I have to say that Kim’s going home service was one of the best I have ever been to. Kim had cancer and knew that she was leaving us for a while. So she wrote out her funeral program and asked certain people to speak when she was still with us, which was a blessing for her sisters. I read Romans 8: 1-8, and I wasn’t sure why at first, but the first verse reads, "There is no condemnation to them who walk in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." One of the first songs that the Fifth Sunday Singers (a group that Kim and I sang in together) learned was called “Walk Not After the Flesh.” Uh huh.  Oh Kim, even in death you are hilarious!

I miss her all the time. Sometimes something funny she said will pop into my mind and I’ll laugh. I can still hear her beautiful voice singing the house down. When she got sick I was honestly angry, but that’s another story. No matter what I always had hope. After her diagnosis she was here 10 short months, but she was beautiful and brave. I know she was scared, she told me so, but in the end I know she’s all right and as cliché as it sounds, she’s not in pain anymore. Give thanks.

Thanksgiving weekend, in honor of Kim, I went to my high school reunion. Kim asked me to take her in October, but she left before the event. It was a good time and I’m glad I went in her honor. Soon the weekend was over and it was back to Brooklyn and back to life.

Kim Nicholas (1970-2013)

Once again, in spite of everything, the top of the month was good. Sony released their R&B Christmas Hits compilation that I’m featured on, my Kirtan group Soul Sangha also released our album Sacred Geometry. Well actually it came out in November, but so much was going on that I didn’t get a chance to let folks know. Sadly you can’t get the holiday album anymore, but it will be back next season. In fact Sony is putting it out for the next 5 years! Holla! As for Sacred Geometry, you can pick up a hard or digital copy on CD Baby and of course on iTunes, Amazon, etc. [Purchase Spiritual Geometry].

I was barely back in New York after the holiday weekend, when I had to jump on a bus to DC to go to a Sacred Business Woman’s Retreat. Although it was called a retreat, it was far from relaxing. We had to do a lot of personal work, which is never easy and I was totally full of emotion from the previous week so it was hard. I had a great time though and I got to spend a little time with my cousin Kwabena and some great Ethiopian food when the retreat ended.

I was only home for three days when I got a call from my girl Yolanda in Atlanta. She sounded serious and told me that she heard that our friend Zook died. I immediately told her that was not true. Not because I knew it wasn’t true, but because she was calling me from Atlanta and I was in New York where he lived and I hadn’t heard from anyone here anything of the sort. So I told Yo that until I heard something from someone in the area then it wasn’t true. She laughed at me and said, OK! So I hung up the phone with her and called Zook. His phone went to voicemail, which didn’t immediately alarm me. Then I called Mechelle who lived with Zook and I got her voicemail too. So I waited.

Let me also tell you why I was not quick to rush to judgment. Besides being in total denial, my friend Greg been falsely reported dead just a week or two prior. How you ask? Well someone else named Greg Tate was killed in his neighborhood. How crazy is that?! When the word got out that Greg Tate had been killed the media, of which Greg has been a part of for about 30 years, started calling colleagues and asking for comments. Of course folks were confused and that’s when they started calling Greg who quickly informed them that, Goddess Bless, he was alive! So, with that so close I was not going to believe anything too quick.

I sat in my living room waiting for Mechelle to call back and praying for it not to be true when the phone rang. When I answered Mechelle was in tears and then I knew it was true. I wanted all the answers right then and there, but the particulars would have to wait. Zook had a heart attack and died the morning of the 12th. Craig Davis aka Zook was gone. I was nothing short of devastated. How could this be happening? Two people that I loved so much gone in a matter of weeks. With Kim the possibility of her passing was much easier to understand, yet still tragic, but Zook? I just don’t get it. There are things that I know about life and death. Things that I understand fundamentally, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. So here it is that I was still mourning Kim and I had to start all over again. The pictures, the phone calls, the confusion, the shock and the sadness.

I called Yo back to tell her it was true; then the next person I called was Ian. He was devastated. Then Mechelle called me back and I knew I needed to call Larry, so I did. Soon my doorbell buzzed and it was Ian coming to check on me and also share in our shock and sadness. Then I called Fahiym and Brad and Hakhi and then I couldn’t make another call. My heart was broken. So Ian too up the mantle and called Dawn and Brian and Wil and Mert and Mia and Micah and Derrin and the fam was getting the word.

That week between Zook’s passing and his funeral was a long one, but it just reaffirmed something that I have been saying for a while now. All of this time we spend on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram is nice, but we need real face time with people. Real time to touch them and look at them in the face to see what is really going on. You can never know what’s really happening with someone in 140 characters or even in the novellas that some write on Facebook. We need to feel each other’s breath and look into eyes. That’s the only way to really know. I know that these mediums are great for keeping in touch with people far away, but how about trying to budget in a trip to see these folks? That’s what I’m doing this year. No more excuses. I need to see my people.

Losing Kim and Zook has reignited something in me. I wish they were still physically here, but I am clear that their essence is still here. Their spirits are still here. I feel them all the time. Sometimes I’ll start laughing for no reason and I know it’s one of them. They both had great laughs.

So we laid Zook to rest in the traditional way, but a couple days later, before I headed home for the holidays, I attuned one more student, my friend Peta-Gaye, to Reiki level I, which was wonderful. That same evening I also went to my voice teacher’s holiday party and then had one more intimate service for Zook and Pep (another friend who passed in 2006) on the Brooklyn Bridge with friends.

Craig Davis aka Zook (1968-2013)
I spent 5 days at home with the fam, which was right on time and then headed back to NY to get ready to go to Cleveland for New Years Eve with Burnt Sugar. This would be our second time in Cleveland at the Art Museum that year. I guess they like us.

I had one of the best New Years of my life. I never work on NYE and I can’t remember the last time I really went out and did the party thing, but this year it felt really good to be doing both.

I rang in 2013 on stage with a glass of champagne in my hand. I took a selfie with my girl Karma, toasted up with the museum muckity-mucks and it was all good in the hood. Snow was falling outside, but we were warm and some of us toasted on the inside. My friend Hank has his artwork up in the museum and I snuck another selfie before being busted by museum security. Oops! LOL! It was really a perfect evening.

Getting down in Cleveland town. 

The next day we took the long drive back to New York. I closed the year officially by writing my last Haiku of the year. In the end I wrote over 365 Haikus! I loved it so much that I kept going. By next year I’ll have over 700. It’s officially 2014 and it already feels good.

Since the year jumped off I have had two interviews published. Sorry I didn’t shout them out right away, but a girl needed to take a real break. So here they are. One is with Kim Kirkley for her Good Energy Entrepreneur Show  and the other is with Abhita Austin for her Monday Motivation. Big love and thanks to both of these women for showing me so much love.

Thank you all for the continued love and support. Although blaKbüshe was very quiet toward the end of the year I promise you will see us soon. Here’s to an amazing 2014! May this New Year fulfill your Champagne wishes and caviar dreams!

One Love!

Year of the Horse!