December 31, 2008


"I was dreaming when I wrote this. Forgive me if it goes astray." Prince

As I reflect on what the year 2008 has been, I find that I'm just slightly floating above myself watching all of the past events unfold. There was Barack and bailouts. Bill Gates stepped down from his daily duties on my birthday and Heath Ledger turned out an astral performance as The Joker. But there was so much more. I took a long, hard look in the mirror and discovered a remarkable woman looking back at me. She had been through so many changes in such a short space of time- that I marveled at her talent for survival.

Now, I know I promised to keep it real with the readers, but some things are just too personal to share. Others you can find throughout my previous posts. I will say this, though. I managed to regain my footing after a year and half of several knockdowns. None of it was simple. All of it was challenging. Starting this blog was one of things that I did to keep my wheels turning and not continue with a downward spiral. I find that when I write I am able to exorcise those demons that can take up residence in an otherwise peaceful mind. It's the only thing that makes hours slip by like virtual seconds. It is my life's work- even if the compensation is not (yet) monetary.

Honestly, I started writing this with quite a downtrodden feeling. There is something about New Years Eve that makes you think the entire world is having more fun than you if you're not out and about. But the truth is I needed this time...this quiet to reflect on everything the past year brought to me and everything I plan to bring to 2009. So it matters very little where I am at the stroke of midnight. What is of the utmost importance to me is continuing to grow as a writer and as a woman. No longer the little girl that everyone wants to look at and no one cares to listen to. I found my voice. Many doors have been closed. New windows have been opened. I am thankful for everything and everyone that has brought me to this wondrous world of awakening and calm place of understanding.

I live. I love. I write. I am.

Flaws and all,

December 29, 2008

Give me Couscous, Love me Good

Now there he goes again, the Dopest Ethiopian. I'm talking about Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Mmmm...there is something about a man who looks like that AND can cook. Tasty and talented? Whoo! He had me at Hello. As I've said before, I'm a bit of a foodie so I've been known to follow the careers of some of the top chefs in the industry. Marcus is a bit of an anomoly. He was born Kassahun Tsegie in Ethopia before he lost his mother to Tubercolosis and was adopted by a couple who lived in Sweden, hence the name change.

He apprenticed at the Culinary Institute in Austria and Switzerland before he came to New York to work for Aquavit Restaurant. Quickly, he became the executive chef and at 24 was the youngest chef ever to receive a three-star restaurant review from The New York Times. In short, the man is the Tiger Woods of the gourmet world. His cooking combines international influences with traditional cuisines from Sweden to Japan and Africa. He never lost his roots to strictly European cuisine. In fact- he pimped the system when he introduced his own cultural dominion to what was usually "snobbish" food. Now, I could go on and on about his accomplishments but seriously- I just want to talk about how good it is to know that a man that fine can also cook.

One of these days, I'm going to make it to Aquavit to sample some of his delectable goods...and I may even order some food, too. In the meantime, I'll put my own spin on his Seared Salmon with beets and potatoes and feed someone just as- if not sexier by far than Chef Samuelsson. One thing's for sure. I don't need his recipe for Chocolate Marzipan Terrine with Pistachio Ice Cream. I have some Milk Chocolate just within reach that is smoother than Nutella. Some desserts need no spoon... and got flava like prailines, Yahnahmean? Damn. I just made myself hungry.

December 27, 2008

What the Bleep!?

As the New Year approaches, This Bug is not just looking to turn over a new leaf. I'm looking to shake the whole tree. The time of resolutions surrounds us as we try to part with our vices and become better people. My personal quest begins with something small. I'm going to try to clean up my speech. Those who know me well (and those who make the grave mistake of cutting me off while driving) know that I can have a venomous tongue with little provocation. It's not that I lack the vocabulary to express myself like so many believe. Sometimes, nothing will do but a well placed four letter word.

Lately I've been thinking about just how unladylike it is to curse. Don't get me wrong- I do not judge others for using profanity. But I'd be lying if I said it doesn't turn me off slightly when I hear someone drop the F-bomb in public as if children are not within earshot. I know. It sounds hypocritical considering how prone I am to do the same, but that is the very reason I am striving to curb my vulgar verbal habit. My ears have a selective immunity to certain words. It's weird. I've always said that when someone can cuss...I mean really cuss, something about it is endearing. Take my girl Sue Simmons for instance. I know the network and FCC were all over that little snafu, but I really didn't see what all the hullabaloo was about. If she peppers her talk with a few expletives, we can probably relate more than I thought. Here's the truth: If This Bug ever runs into her- the drinks are on me.

Anyway, the desire to lessen my use of curse words dates back to something my father said to me years ago. "Your speech is littered with foul language, Jayne." Interesting choice of words, don't you think? As though I was a litterbug who wantonly dirties the air with my words. Yes. I curse around my Dad. It's not that I don't respect him; I do. We just happen to have a rapport where he is not offended by my colorful lexicon. So like I stated, my attempt is to tidy up a bit. Like many of my previous undertakings- I just want to see for myself if it can be done. It won't be easy. Being an avid fan of Hip Hop, I am inclined to recite what some may consider explicit lyrics in everyday speech. What can I say? It just nails it. I hate when people use the words 'Potty Mouth' to describe others. To me, that term is more disgusting than any obscene language being scrutinized. Just because someone opts for a crude word here and there- does not mean they are filthy or beneath anyone else. I'm willing to bet the Queen of England can curse someone out behind closed doors and no one is questioning her capacity for classiness. So, we'll just have to see how this goes. Baby steps, you know?

Operation: Self Improvement. Day Fucking One.

And now...some inspiration.

December 26, 2008

C'est la Vie

Let's pour out a little of our finest libations for one remarkable woman. Eartha Kitt represented style, grace and 'sticktoitivness' that can only be compared to the likes of Josephine Baker, Ruby Dee or Nina Simone. Truly women of a different ilk. Before she was Lady Eloise she was the original Catwoman... and she did it purrfectly. They either adored her or feared her. With girded loins and a passion for life- we can all learn something from this fabulous chanteuse of whom Orson Welles once said was "the most exciting woman in the world". Make no mistake. We have lost one of the greats, but this is what happens when the flesh is unable to keep up with so much spirit.

To the Grand Diva, Ms. Kitt...Rest In Peace.

December 23, 2008


Disclaimer: The following lists have been compiled in no particular order and directly represent the views and opinions of the author. We can agree to disagree. Alas, it is This Bug's Top 5. Ya heard? Cool. Let's go in.

Top 5 Cans of Whoop Ass To Be Opened In a Movie

Training Day: Yes, Denzel put in work but proved that when you don't fight fair, karma can make Swiss Cheese out of you all of three minutes later. King Kong had nothing on him, but that sexy Russian vamp lighting the cig had the drop on him from first glance.

Harlem Nights: Eddie Murphy vs. Della Reese. That old woman would still be whooping Quick's ass if he didn't blow that black, crusty, dead gnarled motherf*cker off her foot. Quotable: " wanna hit people with garbage cans. Now I got to cut ya." Priceless.

Foxy Brown: Pam Grier put it on about four white chicks at once; complete with platform shoes and razor blades stashed in the 'fro. Does it get any better?

Layer Cake: What happens when a Trini man does a 10 year bid for a slouch who wants a free breakfast they day they meet again? Perhaps one of the most brutal beatdown scenes (without showing any true violence) I've ever seen in my life. Ever.

True Romance: Tony Soprano vs. Patricia Arquette in a motel room. Damn good fight. Almost hard to watch. Though it's amazing how fast order can be restored with a lighter and a can of hairspray.

Top 5 Fads That Should Never Make a Reappearance

Gumby Haircuts: Um...not even Gumby looked cool with this one, Fellas.

Hammer Pants: I feel tears sting my eyes like Nettie in The Color Purple when I look back on this horrible Hammertime trend. "Why?! Whyyyy?!"

Loud Colored "Oaktree" Suits: Let's be real. The Kenny G reject from Color Me Badd was not sexin' anybody up in that tacky teal green get-up. For some reason I never remember to BCC Steve Harvey on that memo...

Acid Washed Denim: It was dead wrong then. It would be felonious now.

Banana Clips: The ladies are not off the hook here. If you had a lot of hair, you looked like a wild pony. If you didn't have enough, it looked like something painfully caught in a bear trap. Either way these colorful plastic bits of evil should go back to the hell from whence it came.

Top 5 Things That Go Together Like Peanut Butter & Jelly

Strippers and Clear Heels: I don't know if it's the universal uniform for exotic dancers or what, but these plexiglass platforms can be found at a titty bar near you. *Glittery thong contents sold separately.

Ghostface Killah and Raekwon the Chef: The alchemy of these two is comparable to none. The Dynamic Duo- hands down. Meth and Red know it.

Holidays and Family Meltdowns: It's all fun and games until your uncle brings up the fact that he used to talk to your Mama first. Didn't know that, did ya?

Myspace Attention Whores and Bathroom Pics: Don't you know we can SEE the toilet seat in the background? Not Cute.

Long Island Iced Teas and Regrettable Sex: I've heard. Ahem...

Top 5 Things that will NEVER make sense to me

Nas and Kelis: I know. It sounds like I'm hatin'... but how does one of the realest cats to walk the planet hook up with this Space Cadet? Even the Sphinx is baffled.

Selfish People: Look, I know all about taking care of self first- but the "whats-in-it-for-me" individual immediately loses my respect. If you have to be convinced to do a favor for someone, don't bother. Just keep goin' for dolo til you find yourself in need.

Gospel Rappers: I know there's a positive message in the music. I know this. But rap is not meant to be heard directly after Shirley Ceasar.

The Reality TV Craze: Newsflash! It's scripted, People. And oh yeah, your votes don't actually count. Stop texting. I'll stick to The First 48, thank you. At least those are real people.

Gay Thugs: No way you're that gangsta if you're kissing another dude's chest, Man. I'm just sayin'.

December 20, 2008

How You Like Them Apples?

In keeping with my previous posts on pet peeves (try saying that 5 times really fast) I decided to devote an entire entry on something that really pisses me off. For some reason, I tend to notice this a lot more during the holiday season. One Car, Two spots. Not to be confused with Two Girls, One Cup- which This Bug has managed to steer clear of since it hit the internet. I'm talking about the assholes who are so hell bent on no one parking close enough to put a ding in their precious little vehicle. Yeah...that asshole.

I don't know what it is, but this really makes me livid. Who the hell do they think they are. Why is it OK to inconvenience the rest of the world just because they don't want a scratch on their car? Whatever the reason may be- This Bug finds a way for the Universe to right itself when these "higher-than-thou parkers" strike. I have been known to administer my own little brand of parking lot justice once I eventually find a spot of my own. I make a mental note as to where this Spot Hog is, keys in hand...and do my bidding as I casually walk by. To the naked eye, I am simply happening by- innocently making my way into the store. A closer look reveals my handiwork. I know this sounds morally reprehensible. Guess what? I don't care. There's a little part of me that gets all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that the owner will come out to the very result he was trying to avoid when he parked like such a F*ckface.
I hardly miss an opportunity to execute this little gesture. It just so happens to be one of the things that makes me who I am. It may not be right...but it's real. Please refer all questions, outrages and laments to the footnote of this blog: "Because an imperfect existence is preferable to an inauthentic one." Sidebar: I once overlooked this pigheaded move when a Maserati was parked parallel across two spots at the Mall. But it was a Maserati, Man. Even I could understand that one. The driver of that sweet little ride can thank G Rap for me not keying the shit out of his car. I'm serious.

And if any of those assholes happen to be reading this, gritting your teeth and hoping you catch me in the yourself a favor and just take one spot.

Don't let this be you.

December 19, 2008

The Main Ingredient

This Bug has always had a passion for two things. Writing and cooking. While the writing may be obvious, you'd have to be better acquainted with me to really experience the latter. By the time I was seventeen, my friends would come in droves to sample some new recipe I tried out. There was something about feeding everyone that made me happy. There still is. And I found that whenever I was dating someone, they seemed to think that I was auditioning to be Wifey when I made dinner, when in actuality I just loved to cook. It wasn't my fault if they wanted to go home and slap their Momma after having one of my plates.

I am the consummate foodie. I watch Food Network. (If were married to Bobby Flay he would have to detach my feedbag just to hear me speak.) I have dozens of cookbooks and I have been known to travel for rumored good food. Like, out-of-state travel. I used to go to restaurants, try something new and go home and put my own spin on it. Usually it came out better than what I originally ordered. But in the case of Thai food, which I absolutely love- I've learned I'm better off leaving it to the experts.

I'm passionate about food shopping and preparing food. I employ all of my senses and just lose myself in the act. To me, food should be an experience. It can be comforting or sensual or just plain gratifying. There is something so wholesome about that to me. It let's you know you're alive. And when I do in fact cook a meal for someone who truly appreciates it- that is something that I savor long after the 'wares' have been washed. What can I say? I'm a Trini woman. It's how I'm built.

December 18, 2008

Be Desired. Stay Inspired

Once again, I find myself at a crossroads. As some of you may know, I write to get it 'right' in my head. Many times I sit down and just let flow what is within. Other times I struggle with what I want to say or articulate. There are some things you have to hold a little closer to you. I feel like if you bare your soul- what else is left for you and you alone? While some things I share are deeply personal, I tend to share it anyway so that someone knows they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings on a particular subject.

Lately, I've gotten an extra push to be great. But every now and then I have to tap into that inner belief that whatever that greatness is- it is in fact possible for me. Hesitation starts to slow my steps and I become so weary of what may happen to me if I jump into anything with both feet. I've expressed this again and again but for some reason it still happens. I'll confess something right now: I worry about losing myself in success. I think about who was great at whichever profession they were known for and instantly think about what life was like for their loved ones. I think about the genius of Miles Davis and his penchant for perfection. And then I wonder what it would be like to ask his children, "What was Daddy like when you were growing up?" He was obviously revered by the world, but chances are he was hardly there for his children. I can recall an interview I saw with Gordon Parks. He said he called his wife in St. Louis from Paris the first time he was there for a photo shoot. He went on about how beautiful the city was before she cut him short by saying, "That's nice. I'm frying potatoes for your children. Have fun." I always feel that if one aspect of your life is bolstered by success- another, sometimes more important factor suffers as a result.

I've spent so much time in life trying my best to be a good daughter, sister, aunt, wife, friend that when it comes to my own professional life I hardly know where to begin. I worry that all these things that essentially make me who I am will fade to black as the proverbial spotlight shines brighter. I have a very tangible fear of losing who is important to me if I throw myself into my work. A fear of not being a good enough daughter, sister, friend, etc. Very recently it's been brought to my attention that all things are possible. I've heard it before but for the first time, I actually listened. I actually believe it. So much so, that I feel the fear of being great at whatever I choose to do starting to dissipate. And I can't feels damn good.

December 15, 2008

Shoe Fly, Shoe!

A message to George: Go Away!

So just when I thought it couldn't get any funnier...Looks like Dubaya can add shoe ducking to his extensive resume. It was 'Boots Over Baghdad' for Bush when a reporter took dead aim and hurled his size 10 fury at the president during a press conference this past weekend. Apparently this gesture is the Iraqi equivalent to someone walking up and taking a piss on your Momma's front porch stateside...then resting to have a smoke and a glass of your lemonade.

Honestly, I can't say that I wouldn't be tempted to throw my own Anne Klein stiletto if I was merely 12 ft. away from the man who is responsible for so much (inter)national suffering still taking place. Anyone else notice the shoe only hit the American flag sandwiched between the other two? Whoa. Well, at least his reflexes are good. Can you imagine someone like McCain trying to sidestep a shoe coming at him at light speed? He would have been laid out. And thus- the end of one Administration and the beginning of a new one, thank goodness. To me, Bush and his daddy will always be the ones who publicly blew chunks after sushi and had to dodge shoes like it was open season. Who said politics can't be humorous?

There's Something About Mary

I just don't feel Mary the way I used to. I was discussing this fact the other day and realized that I've felt this way for some time. The last time I saw her perform live- I quietly decided it was the last time I ever needed to. It was much like wordlessly saying goodbye to a friend you can no longer grow with. Rather than tell you how much I cannot relate to her music anymore, I invite you all to take a rather personal walk with me and the Queen of Hip Hop Soul through my life, her music and the ties that bound us together for a time.

What's the 411

I was fifteen. Fresh-faced and invincible. What stands out most to me about this album was how much my sister- pregnant with my first nephew at the time, absolutely hated to hear this tape being played. She claimed it made her nauseous. Along with my Paul Mitchell hairspray which she forced me to apply in the driveway each morning. Did I care? Hell No. You could still hear Changes I've Been Going Through at the highest decibel everyday from my room. That is still the standout track to me. That and Reminisce. There's nothing quite like those innocent make-out sessions in the basement before your parents get home, is there? Ah, the memories. The 411 Remix Album drops and I'm right in step with her. As the needle drags across the original You Remind Me Greg Nice is infatuated and in love...and I think I am too.

My Life
It's my senior year and Mary is telling me that she knows it's hard but we will get by. And not a moment too soon. It was a harrowing year. My first love had abandoned me for the military just when I needed him the most. Shortly thereafter, things unravel with blinding speed. I found my entire family disbanded for a moment. Bills go unpaid. I bounce between staying with friends and my sister and keep mostly to myself. I am living out of suitcases. No one understands but Mary. For the first time in My Life, I visit my father at a modest hotel room which he calls home for roughly a month. It crushes me. I cry nightly, get high daily. I'm Goin' Down. I get called down to the Guidance Office and am told I am not looking at a June graduation. I nearly give up. All I want to do is Be Happy. Things eventually turn around; my family all under one roof again. Months later we drive to my high school graduation- tears in my eyes as I secretly thank Mary for pulling me through.

Share My World

This album finds me three years out of high school and no closer to a plan for success. While most of my friends are off at college- I hang on the hope of a student visa in order to attend. I work. I go home. I work. This pattern becomes so mundane that I take up Tai Chi just to break up the monotony. To hear Mary tell it- Love Is All We Need but I feel enormously removed from that credo. I'm Searching for a deeper purpose. She is asking the same questions I am, but with a smoky-voiced elegance I can only dream of during my shower concerts. (The acoustics are always better in there.) I'm just living the day-to-day and I decide that I'm Not Gon' Cry about all the unfairness that seems to have consumed my young life. There had to be more in store for me.

The year 2000 brings her self titled album- and with it, my own stroke of independence and self declaration. I feel stronger than I have in years. Time and circumstance has shown me where everyone fits into my life. Much like her album cover, my scars are also visible but I find it beautifully human and strong. I wear it proudly. And even though I was Not Lookin' , I meet someone who adores Ms. Blige in same fashion as I do. He tells me her voice speaks to his soul. That she is the truth and when truth like that exists, it is not only heard but felt. Suddenly, I'm In Love again. "Never felt nothing that so good before- Only you can open the door." All That I Can Say is... loving him is wonderful. And that almost carries me through for a time.

No More Drama

This is where things start to take a turn. Mary sings of letting go of everything that has weighed her down. Over the Young and the Restless piano keys- she tells of freeing herself from the negativity. I feel her on it. I'm just sorta caught up in my own personal stuff a bit too much to wholeheartedly relate. I spend my nights tending bar and skipping songs on the jukebox when this CD is selected. Plus, Ja Rule taking the ride with her on Rainy Dayz turns me off a bit. I miss her collaborating with the likes of CL Smooth and Keith Murray. It was raining for me and it seemed Ms. Blige was stepping into the sunshine. Was I stuck in the past? No. Was I hating? Absolutely not. But I didn't feel moved by the album.

Love And Life

While this album should have been my soundtrack at the time, it was actually just a painted on layer of what I projected. Ooh! finds me singing along to an Ed OG and the Bulldogs beat, promising to cook and clean. And why not? It was damn near Love @ 1st Sight. Below the exterior however, I learn that married life can be a rollercoaster. But I find myself Willing and Waiting for my other half to catch up to my level of commitment. It feels like an uphill battle. Amid that, my closest friend loses four family members in one horrific night. I feel helpless. I experience nightmares. There is no comfort in music, but it is not Mary's fault. I take a good look around and realize that it is no one's fault. There is love. There is life. And some things so tragic in between that not even songs can remedy.

The Breakthrough

Though I never owned the album, I knew that Mary was telling someone I can't Be Without You. I do remember feeling that way once. At about this point is where we unofficially parted ways. We simply weren't seeing eye to eye anymore. I was happy for her new found love and marital bliss, but mine was slowly winding down to discord. Actually it was at this concert tour that I decided there would be no need to get alerts from Ticketmaster when she was in NYC. This night was memorable due to a very specific incident that remains forever bookmarked for me. One thing was true, though. You can't keep a Good Woman Down.

Growing Pains

Time brings inevitable growth. It brings blossoming and withering. By this time, I'm a Grown Woman. Apparently, my girl Mary is doing Just Fine and even makes me do a double take past the mirror and appreciate God's design! How about that? This CD was actually a Christmas gift from the man who I once joked was more than welcome to run off with his honey, Mary- because she...and she alone was woman enough to take him away from me. Things are awkward, but we manage to keep it cordial that holiday- no longer sharing a home or a life for that matter. Only a surname. I continue on my path alone. On my darker days, I too wish that I could Fade Away. "And it feels like joy. And it feels like pain. Feels like sunshine, feels like rain. An excuse for dying. Reason to live. And if you don't know..." that's What Love Is.

A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.-- Anonymous

Mary J. Blige and I have been through the best and the worst of times. Leggings and combat boots. Baseball caps. Classy coats, fly shoes and numerous hairstyles. Lonely holidays and sleepless nights. Quests for love and self discovery. She told me that You Gotta Believe, and I did. Mary is woven throughout my life lessons of friendships and relationships. And like many of those in my life- we walked our path until we could no longer go on together; each knowing that there once was a time when we truly connected. No regrets.

December 14, 2008

Short Story, Long Skirt

The long, olive green peasant skirt
swings ‘round my ankles when I twirl.
SoHo and bohemian with embroidered ivy
curling up the side.
Clinging just there, free-falling here…

I am a gypsy in this skirt.
Able to move mountains, cast a spell.
Make you fall in love.
Make you want to die.

I am irresistible in this skirt.
Not by what it reveals,
but what it conceals.
Dainty ankles,
Gold toned calves,
Sumptuous thighs…
The tempting nectar held within.

He is powerless.
Moving on sheer instinct, he pulls me close and slowly
hitches the skirt up
until it hovers just above my hips.
Proclivity to contact-
weakness evolves into strength.
His hands move freely.
Under the fabric.
Over my skin.
Skirt way above my waist,
a thumb strokes the front of my throat
while remaining fingers
curl behind my neck.
An unassuming…but so very
deliberate touch.

Bewitching in its embellished splendor,
I can hear the gold coin decals
jingle at the hem with sensual movement.
The long olive green peasant skirt
in a pile on the floor...

I am a gypsy still.

December 13, 2008

Please. Make. It. Stop.

This is why I don't listen to the radio. It's the Attack of the Auto-tune and nobody is safe. I just want to know how the hell this happened? Alright. It's catchy, we can all agree. Computer Love is still my shit. Even Tupac's California Love wouldn't quite be the same without Roger working his magic on the hook- but it really should have ended there. Wait- I really didn't mind Cher working her Auto-tune skills on her song Believe, either. What can I say? She rocked it. But c'mon, Man...

Now every time I turn on the radio, my eardrums are assaulted by the twangs of T-Pain as if he invented the shit. To make matters worse, Kanye West just released an entire album of mostly Auto-tune assisted songs instead of singing. Really, Kanyeezy? You mean to tell me nobody on Robocop's Mr. West's team asked him how the hell he expected to perform these songs live? How wack will that sound? Apparently there are only a few songs on 808's and Heartbreak that doesn't use this nifty little program to ride out. Whoever that album is dedicated to should take offense that he couldn't go it alone when it came to expressing his sorrow. Man Up!

Okay, I think I'm done venting. I just want real beats and authentic singers again, even if they don't hit all the right notes. Think Blu Razberry or Tekitha on some of the Wu Tang songs. Nobody said they could give Patti LaBelle a run for her C.R.E.A.M. , but at least it was their actual voices without that annoying, reverberating racket trying and failing miserably to pass for skills.

Anyway- I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Photo Courtesy: Corbis

December 10, 2008

No Gift? Yule Be Sorry.

Christmas approaches and I am not in the spirit. Period. Like most other holidays, I've seen it transform into a huge over commercialized production and I want no parts of it. Don't get me wrong- I always appreciate having food and family abound, but I get that every Sunday anyway. What bothers me most is how lost most people are on what Christmas is truly about. In the past few weeks- I've heard some of the most ridiculous viewpoints on gift giving and the holiday on the whole.

Someone I know received a text message inquiring if they knew when their birthday was. Apparently, those who got the day wrong are off the twice-checked list for a present. Another person I know penned a carefully thought out wishlist of what they specifically wanted from certain people. Also, when a grab bag was suggested for what I call my ever-expanding family, one member suggested everyone write down three things they wanted under their name to ensure everyone got what they wanted. Huh? What happened to simply giving something from the heart? Granted, my pockets are not as deep as Christmases past- but it has nothing to do with that.

I see nothing wrong with offering up cooking for someone once a week for a month or taking care of some other minimal task someone may not have time to do themselves. Call it cheap if you want to- but I call it thoughtful. I don't mind receiving handmade gifts or just some small token that shows how much the giver thought about me when they spotted it. I still have drawings and little notes my nieces and nephews crafted for me when they were much younger. I can't say the same for that iPod I got two years ago. I can't even make wishlist because I don't know what I want until I see it- and then I just buy it for myself.

By no means am I a very religious person. It doesn't ruffle my feathers that the Christ in Christmas has been recently replaced with an X. It's easier to write. Eff it. I don't care that most businesses wish people "Happy Holidays" instead of Merry Christmas so as not to offend anyone. I'm a borderline nihilist on those matters. But what does bother me is the fact that some people think they cannot show their faces somewhere on December 25th without a gift in tow or worse; believe they won't be receiving anything so why show up. I can only shake my head. The older I get, I understand that Christmas is found in the heart- not under a tree. That is the spirit I'll be in when the actual day arrives. Later for braving the crowds at the mall and fighting over parking spots. I know this much: On that day I will be surrounded by the people who matter most to me. Parang will be blaring. Food will be plentiful. Smiles will be shared. That's all I need.

December 9, 2008

In My Element

So, the ice has been broken.
Started with unexpected
snow on the pavement.
Watch your step.
Not so easy to maneuver
on 4 inch stilettos.
The ice has been broken.
Melted by close conversation
and warm libations in
shot glasses.
The movement suddenly
too fluid to imbibe.
Water. Water everywhere.
And way too much to drink.
Now there is steam.
Condensation on the windows.
The tide is coming in.
I watch the floe within me dissolve.
Newness shouldn't feel
so much like home.
But the ice has been broken.

December 8, 2008

Water, water everywhere and way too much to drink.

I don't really subscribe to the truth of zodiac signs. So I have no idea what it means to be born on the cusp or ruled by the Moon or any of that other nonsense. While astrology may touch on certain similarities I find most of that stuff purely coincidental where personalities are concerned. That being said, I can agree that someone born under my sign is clearly in her element when it comes to water. It's calming. It's serene. It's vital. And it only sucks when you find that your cell phone has been submerged in it for 8 hours plus. Don't ask. Luckily though, that's what I pay insurance for. I wanted a new phone anyway- so it will be here any day now. And with that, Boys and Girls- This Bug encourages all of you to drink responsibly. Cheers!

December 5, 2008

Aight- You Got That.

Okay, so some of you may recall a previous post where I mentioned that the Jigga Man has not enthused me since his first album. I would like to say here and now that I retract that statement. And while This Bug goes "Nom Nom Nom" on a savory slice of Humble Pie, you can view the very reason why Mr. S dot Carter has officially rocked harder. Wow. I stand corrected. Lemme find out trading vows with Hurricane B brought out the best in ya boy!

December 4, 2008

iTalk : Rise of the Machines

Today I was thinking about how much our technology has superseded our humanism. Every form of communication has been relegated to the lowest personal denominator. Granted, we all know the conveniences of IM's, texting, emails and even the good old fashioned phone call- but it makes me think about how we interact when we are up close and personal.

I myself have always been very conscious of body language and how I speak. As far back as I can remember, I made it a point not to lean into a car while speaking with someone who is seated in it. It never mattered whether it was a man or a woman in the car either. To me, a female leaning in such a manner always looked like 'it' was on sale and the rent was due. Call me a prig. Whatever. But the way we carry ourselves is the direct product of how we see ourselves or market ourselves, so to speak. And while the rent is always due- It ain't ever for sale. Just my take on it, but I digress. I know that what comes out of our mouths is just a distortion of the pure thought we have. To go further, that which comes from our fingertips is an even more processed division of what could be spoken, if that were the medium being used.

When it comes to how far we've technologically advanced- I worry that the common thread has been lost. I once had a friend tell me about receiving an E-card for her birthday from someone she considered a very close friend. In the time it took to browse the internet, make a selection, personalize the card, confirm whether she wanted a copy of the electronic card in question and then finally send it- she could have picked up the phone and simply wished the girl a much appreciated Happy Birthday. Everything is so impersonal these days. Like Badu, I feel a lot like an Analog Girl in a Digital World. There is a vivid disconnect between what we think, feel and actually say/type. How many of you have executed the LOL and hit send when in reality it should have been NRL (not really laughing)? We all want to believe that when we communicate with someone, the real person is shining through. Can we ever really be sure? Doesn't everything look good on paper? It makes me want to update the old adage: If he/she looks good on the LCD screen, make sure that's what you're really getting. In the age of artificial intimacy, don't be afraid to find out just how deep that keystroke really runs. Yes, these are fantastically futuristic times but don't forget to connect, People.

December 3, 2008

Say what you mean. Mean what you say.

Mos Def and I had an interesting convo the other day. I listened intently. He spoke his piece. I heard it all. And then I promptly threw him onto the highway while doing 85. LadyBug Love is at the side of the road now, where it always belonged. It's a beautiful thing when you see the forest for the trees.

Mos: Woman you know I love you
Woman you know just how I feel.

Bug: Is that a fact?

Mos: You try to tell me that you don't know When I know you know the deal.

Bug: Honestly Mos, I only know what you told me. Nothing more, nothing less.

Mos: Woman you know I love you Woman you know I care... hey.

Bug: Like I said, I only know what you told me. Only time and circumstance really shows someone how much you care.

Mos: You try to say I'm running game.

Bug: Well, if the shoe fits...

Mos: You try to say baby you don't play fair.

Bug: Well if you call broken promises, lying and leading double lives fair- my mistake.

Mos: Oh darling
If there is any doubt in your mind
I want you to be sure...

Bug: Sure about what? There's no doubt in my mind anymore when it comes to you.

Mos: If you don't ever see me again

Bug: Actually Luv, I'm counting on never seeing you again.

Mos: I want you to be sure-

Bug: Trust me. I'm sure of it, Mos. I really don't need a reminder.

Mos: That I love you Oh girl
Oh baby I love you
Darling I love you...

Bug: Heard that one before. Thanks.

Mos: Oh darling I love you... hey Turn the lights down low. Turn the lights down low...

Bug: Whoa! What you turning lights down for? Are you for real right now? Is this the part where we speak to each other like two adults who love each other? Take that shit back to counseling. You are dead in the water, Homie.

Mos:You got to understand how I feel

Bug: Oh, I get it. I have to understand how you feel. Because everything moves according to you? Right...

Mos: You need to understand where I'm coming from.

Bug: I see where you're coming from and you can turn right back around, Luv. Where you're coming from; you never should have left.

Mos: Ain't no need to be afraid- Ain't no need to get up and run.

Bug: You wanna hear something funny, Mos? You did all the running. Not me. As soon as things got hectic, I was looking at your back. I was never afraid. Can't say the same for you.

Mos: Oh darling Oh girl you know I love you.

Bug: I know. Remember who loves me most...I heard you the first time.

Mos: Oh darling
You know I know I love you
Oh baby

Bug: Are you as tired of saying this as I am of hearing it? For real.

Mos: If you never see me again,
I need you to be sure

Bug: Now would be a good time for you to open that car door. Get out.

Mos: From this moment right now
Till for ever more

Bug: Here's what you can do from this moment right now til forever more- you can get the f*ck outta my car.

Mos: Said I love you.

Bug: Word? Really? Tell your story walking.

Mos: Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you, love you, love you, love you
you, love you, love you, love you... Baby!

Bug: G'bye Mos. You gotta to go.

Mos: Woman I love you.
Woman I love you.
Woman I love you.

(This Bugs opens car door while traveling full speed ahead. Helps Mos out of the vehicle.)


Woman I love you!

Bug: Peace Bruh.

December 1, 2008

Can't Stop the Bum Rush

Shopping has never been one of my favorite pastimes. Anyone who knows me can tell you where you CANNOT find me on Black Friday each year. For some reason, there is nothing appealing to me about waking up at the ass crack of dawn just to spend hard earned cash. And don't even get me started on the people who camp out at the store from Thanksgiving night. Plus, I hate standing on line to pay for anything. I mean anything at all. I am astounded by the amount of people who lose their cotton pickin' minds at the idea of a sale. I don't do crowds unless it's Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn on Labor Day- and even that is losing its luster the longer I get in the tooth.

This past Black Friday was no different. I always felt the frenzied crowd seeking "Doorbuster" deals had all the ingredients for disaster. So much so that I was only mildly surprised to hear about the Black Friday stampede that occurred this past weekend. This is what it has come to. People behaving like animals over the promise of half priced electronics and clothing.

I remember clearly the hilarity of the woman who literally got her wig twisted a few years ago at Walmart. But there is nothing funny about a man being trampled to death simply because he showed up to work that day. In fact, it saddens me and makes me furious all at once. Especially since I have two young nieces who work in retail. That shit is downright deplorable.

I found myself reflective this past Thanksgiving because it's also the anniversary of the tragic death of two classmates I knew. Fifteen years later, I found myself very thankful for what truly matters; and I can resolutely say it has nothing to do with discounted Plasma TV's. The economy is in a slump and people want to make this holiday season special, but this is not the way.
"Bum rushin' and crushin', Snatchin and taxin'."
Like MC Lyte, I cram to understand why brothers don't be maxin'. I like a good deal just as much as the next person, but at the end of the day it's just NOT that serious.

November 26, 2008

Flash the Message. Forte's Out There.

This Bug was ecstatic to learn that John Forte had his 14 year sentence commuted by George Bush. Technically, he won't be out until December 22nd, but that's enough to make me do the happy dance. It's about damn time Dubaya did something worthwhile before he doh-si-dohs his silly ass back to his Texas ranch. This is a just a drop in the bucket when you consider how many brilliant minds are behind bars serving overly harsh sentences without the benefit of a pardon.

As far as Forte goes, I'm hoping that the game treat dat ass a li'l kinder- so there won't be any backsliding into liquid Yayo. He should start anew and cut off Carly Simon. Later for her. To me, she was his biggest advocate because she knew damn well some of that stash was hers. Oh, and if anyone runs into him, let him know he is more than welcome to eat mangoes in Trinidad with me instead of attorneys. Nah, seriously though- I wish him the best due to the challenges that will come along with his freshly granted freedom. I'm wise enough to know it won't be an easy road.

Without further ado, my favorite verse from Mr. Forte...

Just one more thing to be thankful for on Turkey Day. Yessiree.

November 23, 2008

Confessions of an all grown up B-Girl

Since it's been a key element to my existence and the soundtrack to my life for the most part, these are some of my random Hip-Hop related musings and confessions.
  • The Fat Boys were always wack to me. Always. Wack.
  • My friend to the end, Jill and I were the Sydney and Sheraine of basement house parties...Especially when BBD's Poison came on.
  • Oh, the things I wanted to do to Redhead Kingpin at just 12 years old. It made no sense.
  • Jay Z has not done anything to impress me wholly since Reasonable Doubt. When he comes with the same hunger as he did on 22 Two's- I'll think about purchasing an album. The operative word being think.
  • I'm still amazed that B.I.G. made it uncool to like Kwame with ONE line. Ouch.
  • Was I the only one that realized Common was saying, "Relax yourself, Girl. Be so clear." during the VH1 2008 Hip Hop Honors? Q-tip laid this little mystery to rest when he said the sample during Electric Relaxation is repeatedly stating "Girl, please settle down."
  • I once witnessed M.O.P. straight jack fools for stage time and the sound guy almost got duffed out for trying to disconnect their mics. True story.
  • It doesn't bother me so much anymore that Talib Kweli looks like a turtle.
  • The Rainy Dayz remix is definitely Diamond D's best production work. Hands down.
  • Part of the reason Boiler Room was such a dope flick was the sick ass soundtrack.
  • Although my two pairs of bamboo earrings have been replaced with solitary chandeliers, I still feel like an Around the Way Girl at heart.