January 31, 2009

And if ya don't know- now ya know

The following was written under duress. Well, that's not entirely true. I've been low on energy, mojo and blog topics lately. There. I said it. And then my bee-yoo-ti-ful Cuz sends this my way. I've been tagged and so, here we are. A special thanks to Kari for greasing the wheels. Let's do this.

20 random things, shortcomings, facts, habits or goals this year:

1. It's not impossible to feel like a Queen without having a King at your side, but it surely makes a difference when you do. Everywhere begins to look like your kingdom.

2. I have always been insecure about my smile. Always.

3. Tending bar taught me more about the human condition in 3 short years than I could have hoped to learn in a lifetime.

4. (Spoiler Alert) I am moved to tears every time I watch the last 5 minutes of the movie Hair.

5. The very first time I got stumbling, shitfaced drunk was on Manischewitz wine. I was 11 years old. Shhhh...

6. It is my personal mission to meet Cee Lo Green and beg him to cover War's The World Is A Ghetto. If you know the song...and his voice- then you know this is right for the Universe.

7. My first kiss was with a boy in school who is now an openly gay man. A ridiculously irrational part of me still wonders if I was responsible for this in some way.

8. I've decided in 2009 that I don't want to get paid to do anything but write. Yeah.

9. The sign should simply read "Hot Crack Now". Krispy Kreme is the devil...and I need Jesus.

10. When my hair is straight I feel very astute- as though I look like I take myself too seriously. When it's wild or curly- I feel free-spirited, sexy and breezy.

11. Going to Jamaica and not sampling the "chief" export would have been like going to Paris and not trying the Champagne. Why would I do such a thing?

12. The quickest way to turn me off is to talk about money in attempts to impress me.

13. FYI: Nas and I share a beauty mark in the same place. Yessiree.

14. Unless I'm at a Day Spa, manicures and pedicures feel more like a chore than pampering to me. Ugghh!

15. Car accidents and rodents frighten me beyond human comprehension.

16. I've found that when most people say that I favor a celebrity, it's less about facial similarities and more about my hairstyle that particular day.

15. This Bug has never been arrested charged for a crime in her life. Knock wood.

18. In 2001, I stopped reading palms because I felt like I was interfering with the natural order of certain things.

19. Whenever I see something painful, my chocolate starfish hurts for just a millisecond. Wait, was that TMI?

20. I firmly believe there is a Muppet equivalent for every person out there.

And now, in keeping with said tagging inspiration, I nominate the Sweetest Tea from over at the Lion's Share. She may or may not comply...

January 28, 2009

I (never) got busy in a Burger King bathroom

Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune.' -Carl Jung

I know a lot of people. People from different walks of life. Far be it from me to judge others and their dealings. Once I was driving through Queens with my dad and pointed out just about every strip club I had visited or planned to. I know that may sound strange, but I have the coolest Pops ever so that sort of thing is not so left of center to discuss when it comes to us. If anyone has been paying attention, strip clubs are nice little diversion from the average sports bar to This Bug. Nothing more. He joked that I have friends in both high and low places. To me, I just have friends in all over places. Period. What one person does, the next may not- but that has no bearing on who they are at the core to me. And truly, the core is all that I'm interested in.

I say that to say this: Freaky antics are not a deal breaker for me. There is a time and place for everything under the sun. I subscribe to the school of thought that there is no such thing as "never" and no such thing as "always". More often than not, if you want to make sure that something actually happens- be sure to preface it by saying you would never do it, whatever it may be. In my eyes, never is promise that cannot always be kept. By the way, I don't want anyone to be mislead by the title of this post. There are a lot of things that I have not done...yet. And there are a few that I just don't ever see myself doing. I do not see myself getting busy in a Burger King bathroom like Humpty any time in the future. Aside from public restrooms being germ-ridden and the least attractive place one can get intimate, I usually just want to get my Whopper Jr. with cheese and keep it moving.

There are some folks out there who claim that they just like to do their thing. That's fine with me. I've seen a lot and heard most of it. It takes a helluva lot to make me clutch my pearls. What I have an issue with are those same people projecting their own self judgments onto others when they are not so proud of their own behavior. When reputations start preceding folks rather than following them- I find that they are on the defensive unnecessarily. A guilty conscience can wreak immeasurable havoc. Like Andre 3000 said, "Whatever floats your boat or finds your lost remote..." Embrace it. Live it. Rock out with your cock out. (Okay, blushing just a tad) But please- don't assume that everyone is whispering just because you freak off on the regular. Just examine your own truth and make the proper adjustments as needed.

Now if you'll excuse me, This Bug has to go make change of a $20 bill.

Photo Courtesy: Corbis

January 23, 2009

Black Magic Eclipse

It is quite possible that
the Voodoo Man saw her
before she saw herself.
Third eye opening slowly
against the night's revelries.
An eclipse moving across
all sensible space and time.

Dismissing the unnecessary-
observing the undeniable.
Breaking ice, atoms, careless waves
and conventional wisdom.

It is quite possible that
the Gypsy Lady saw him
before he saw himself
in the year of the
gathering moon.
Speaking healing words
of which there is
no rhyme or recollection.
She listened.

Come come, now. Come closer.
Together in daylight-
but the night loves anything
that moves

Casting spells and sparking forest fires
in each others name.
Drinking from inspired wells-
for what is more precious
than water?

Stirring only sweetness
into galvanized cauldrons.
Weaving perfumed music.
A mass of warm energy
holds them perfectly.

Seeing well above perforated skies
and far beyond
flesh failures.
Darting in and out of secondary worlds.

The Voodoo Man.
The Gypsy Lady.
Tomorrow's children
in unexpected playgrounds.

January 17, 2009

Ya'll Gon' Make Him Lose His Mind

(Sigh) Where do I begin? It's 17 days into the new year and DMX is scoffing at the idea of wearing pink prison issued underthings and socks. He finds it "ridiculous". Looking soft should really be the least of his worries. If I were him, I'd be trying to figure out what wrong turn I made that landed me in an Arizona big house. I've seen his most recent interview. He doesn't seem to know where he went wrong, either. It's crazy because I look at him now and he's just plain ole Earl Simmons to me. All of that growling bravado is gone. At this point, he just seems lost and truthfully a little bugged out. He reminds me of the dude from around the way back in the day that could just never get right. You'd hear about him robbing a Blockbuster or something , get locked up, come home and then go right back in for doing something even more foolish. Wash. Rinse. Repeat cycle. Yeah, that guy. It's actually sort of heartbreaking. All I know is that he's the same dude that went to JFK airport to carjack somebody by stating that he was a 'government agent'. C'mon now, DMX may look like a lot of things, but a federal agent of any denomination sure ain't one of 'em. Unlike one of his previous videos, that was no case of mistaken identity. He did it. I can't call it- but it sounded like some real "crackish" behavior to me. So let's Party Up for DMX since he's busy decrying the injustice of having to wear what should be tightie-whities but are now an emasculating shade of Cherry Blossom. I just know he's barking at somebody for that shit. Now would be a good time for Cam'ron to send DMX a kite and let the god know that real dudes can rock the shit outta some pink, Fam! Killah...

January 14, 2009

To All the Toys I Loved Before

Recently I was strolling down Memory Lane via some old photo albums from my childhood and it was pointed out to me that every year Christmases were good to me. Really good. Like, every year. At first I protested but the longer I looked- the truer it became. On almost every page are pictures of me surrounded by mountains of festive wrapping paper. You have to look closely to find me at the center of all of it- proudly brandishing the next new indulgence. I have to say that by no means was I a spoiled child. Let's clear that up right now. I just so happen to be the baby, which ordinarily by default would mean I was spoiled. Not so. You see, there is a considerable age difference between myself and two older sisters (who are only one year apart) and for that reason, I was left to my own devices. My parents seemed to understand that, which explains why Christmases were so good. They just didn't want me to be lonely or bored. Lord help them if I got bored. Kidding!

So this stroll I took made me think of all the toys I had over the years. A few stand out to me and it's those that I want to share with you. I can't be the only one who delighted in these 80's throwbacks so...let's do this, shall we?

Simon Says

I attribute a lot of my hand-eye coordination today to this nifty little gadget of yesteryear. What can I say. It made cool noises and had primary colors. Kept me occupied for hours... or so it seemed.

Cabbage Patch Kids

Okay, I'll be honest here. These dolls were ugly and I never liked them. But they were all the rage and my parents seemed to think I deserved one. It came with an official birth certificate and a signature stitched into the ass for authenticity. Not making that up, Folks. I could have lived without this mush-mouthed doll but I was never ungrateful. They also had a very specific smell. It was weird. Like that new car smell you come to know as an adult. They were probably pumped full of chemicals for all I know.


This was my shit! Another coordination honer. I loved this game! The toughest removal was the Charlie Horse. The Funny Bone was no cakewalk either. It was this game that made me realize that my father missed his calling as a surgeon. He made it look effortless. Seriously.

Atari 2600

This was more like a gift for my sisters than myself, but I still got a lot of run on it. I was sick with Pitfall! and Missile Command. My middle sister was the reigning Pacman queen in our household for a long time. She had a way of laying in the cut and letting all the ghosts get right up on her before she ate a power pellet and took them all out in one fell swoop. Sometimes she took too long. They ate her. She got pissed. We laughed at her. She got really pissed. We laughed harder.

Teddy Ruxpin

This adorable storytelling bear was so very charming. The best part of his charm was when I took out the story tapes he came with and popped in my sister's UTFO tape instead. To watch his lips rhyme the words to Roxanne, Roxanne was something that made my day. Ditto for Doug E. Fresh's La Di Da Di. "You can't have me. I'm too young for you, B*tch." His eyes rocked back and forth like he was really feelin' it, too. Ah...good times.


Try as I may, I was never able to master this one. I recently played with one my nephew had and I still cannot create anything more recognizable than the New York City skyline. And by skyline I mean two identical buildings that resemble the Twin Towers and one on a slant that passes for the Chrysler building if you close one eye and hold it upside-down.

Plastic Charm Necklaces

Mannn...Listen. You couldn't tell me nuthin'! I was a Fly Girl when these hit the scene. I had every charm you could think of. It made no sense. This is when my mild OCD started revealing itself to me by the way. I didn't care if they were different colors. I couldn't have the lipstick charm right next to the tennis racket. You had to have a theme, Dammit! And that took some time to make happen. Perhaps too much time.

Anyway, I can go on but I think that might nullify the point I was trying to make about not being spoiled. For the record, my definition of a spoiled child is not one who has a gaggle of toys to play with and wants for nothing. It's a child who is never satisfied and believes that they should have something simply because they desire it. I was no Veruca Salt. That was never my mindset as a child. I was always pleasantly surprised and very grateful inside and out. Except for when I got that hideous Cabbage Patch Doll. Shhh...don't tell anyone.

January 13, 2009

Dogs are great. Change is better.

I have always said that there are two types of people in this world. Dog People and Cat People. For the better part of my life I preferred the former. See, my rationale is that people who like dogs are more loyal and trustworthy than sly and sneaky cat...people. I know I'm painting things with an enormously broad brush, but it's just the way I felt for a long time. Let's examine the traits of cats for a moment. They are quiet. Which is fine...until you catch them lurking silently in a corner, eyes glinting and just clocking...you. It has happened to me before and I can honestly say it freaked me the hell out. Cats are moody creatures. I hate that. At least with a dog, some consistency is shown.. If they look mean and bark like the three-headed Cerberus today, chances are that's what you'll get tomorrow. But cats will let you stroke their coat for what seems to be forever in your lap and then suddenly turn around and hiss at you. You may even get a scratch or two. Scary stuff.

Anyway, this is less about a person's pet preferences and more about how growing older purports change. It may be something on a definitive scale or it can be something gradual. Either way, inwardly you feel a shift and just know that you've grown a bit. Certain things require more of a thought process than say, ten years ago. And then there are those other things in life. Things that fly in the face of all conventional wisdom but somehow makes perfect sense. Lately, these things are revealing themselves to me in increments. I once asked someone I knew what defined them. Their answer? Time. I must admit I found this reply most off-putting. It annoyed me. In my mind, we are ALL defined by time. What we do with it, what it does to us and everything in between. It seemed like grab-bag answer at best, but it makes sense to me now. Some things deep within are only revealed with time.

Now, I must say that I have been and will probably always be a Dog Person. Puppies are cuter than kittens and at the end of the day- I can't have anything around me that I don't trust. That holds true for cats, people, situations...you get the idea. But I feel a shift. Perhaps I am a little bit of both, simply shape-shifting between this functional world of conventional wisdom and a world of unfathomable astral circumstance . And while I may never be a Cat Person per se, I have to marvel at how much I now appreciate the feline's talent for balance and soundless movement. Time has shown me that I have the instinct to land on my feet. That I can climb as high as my own autonomy takes me. Time has done nothing to dull my loyalty, but a cat's independence is something to admire- and I feel the same way for the first time, just beneath the surface. Only time has revealed that duality to me. I can only wonder what else is in store. Those brave butterflies that flutter by in your ribcage when you realize that you are getting closer to your purpose.


January 9, 2009

For the Fallen and Heaven's Ascenders

This post is not political. This post is not post-racial. This post is not meant to stir the pot. I write these words to make sense out of the absurd. I write these words to bring myself closer to comprehending atrocities that did not begin yesterday; and will not end tomorrow. I write these words, heavyhearted and dismayed for yet another life cut needlessly short. I write these words for Oscar Grant. If you have never heard of Oscar Grant, you can learn about him here. His name may be forgotten less than a year from now, but there is a permanence about the manner in which he died that marks us all. This is the ugly tear in our social fabric. It has yet to be stitched. Oscar Grant. Amadou Diallo. Anthony Baez. James Byrd. Sean Bell. Names. Just a drop in the well of lives that were drained violently by racial injustice. So whether it was a fatal choke hold or 41 shots- one thing remains true; these lives were expended with little or no accountability whatsoever. This is our past. This is the future. This is the reality. As brusque or dismal as that may sound- it is the undisputed truth. This much I'll say. Yes, I am angry. Yes, I'm wide awake. No, we are not extinct. We have lived to count another day. I understand all too well that today may be all we get. Through my veins pulses the blood of resilience that my people possess. All we know is how to push on. There is no 'quit' in us. We know no other way. And there is a sobering, tragic beauty in that. FOR OSCAR FOR US LEST WE FORGET

January 8, 2009

I see you, Playa

There is something to be said about the advancement of technology and its effects on human behavior today. Virtually everywhere you turn, there's an eye in the sky or some sort of tracking device in place. We are lead to believe that it's there for our security and safety- but really all it does is invade the privacy of our lives and make our worlds a lot smaller. Rather than rage against this intrusive machine- I opt for turning my own eye back at it. It's my way of saying, "I'm watching you watch me- and there is nothing you can do about it anymore than I can." One of two things will happen. They can stop watching or try to cover their tracks and continue to watch. Either way, there's now a ghost in the machine. It won't quite function the same way in the knowledge that it is being monitored as well. That kind of makes me want to laugh.

In any case, when you 'walk good' you really shouldn't care who is watching that walk- should you? I liken it to passing a cop while doing just above the speed limit. As long as there's no clip in my astray, open Becks bottles on the backseat or a dead hooker in the trunk- why should I fear driving by a squad car? I might look suspect just trying to maintain the speed limit and get pulled over anyway. But I digress. My point is that if you aren't doing anything wrong- you'll have no desire to hide your deeds. Seems simple enough to me.

We are living in the times of the unseen hand. It would not be honest of me to say that I don't make use of these particular devices for my own satisfaction at one time or another. Everyone does it. No one wants to admit it. Make no mistake. We are a nation of voyeurs. Everyone wants to know what everyone else is doing. Consult your basic Twitter or Facebook activity if you don't believe me. But it's interesting to see how differently people behave when they think they can no longer be seen. Do they hitch up that skirt to adjust a thigh-high? Would they run after the person before them who left their cell phone at the ATM ? Will they continue to shadow someone long after they've erased all traces of their following? I suppose it's not for me to know. This Bug is smirking at the subterfuge. All I can do is keep doing what I do. Who am I to stop them from enjoying the view?

"So I keep one eye open like C-B-S. Ya see me stressed, right?"
Jay Z - Can I Live

January 7, 2009

Let's talk about text, Baby

This Bug has something to confess. I'm a severely harsh judge of those who have a so-so command of the English language. It's true. If I hear a word used grossly out of context or see a misspelled word; I'm on it like white on rice. I don't know why. I am a card carrying member of the Grammar Police. And I pack a mental red pen everywhere I go. That being said- I want to elaborate on how much botched speech or writing irritates me; and this has never been more prevalent than in the good ole text message.

Awhile back- I received a text message that went something like this: Oboma is hott in dah debates rite now. Lemme hit you bak later.

This may sound neurotic. I may even be nitpicking just a tad, but seriously...WTF?! Let's start with the misspelling of Obama's name for one. That's just wrong. The man himself is history in the making and you can't even spell his name correctly? I personally know third graders that would not have f*cked that up.

Next was the useless addition of the extra 't' in the word hot. Word, Son? Is that supposed to tell me how much 'Oboma' is on fiyah while he outshines McCain? Gett out!

Here's my real problem. If you are going to take the time to type 3 characters any damn way- just type 'the' instead of 'dah'. Even 'da' would have been mildly excusable but this shit just really put me over the top. Never mind the last line. Needless to say I was totally unavailable when this mangler of diction finally got 'bak' to me and have been ever since.

It's crazy, I know- but I really can't stand it when people talk stupid, type stupid or look stupid. As I've said before- what comes out of our mouths (or fingertips in this case) is just a distortion of the pure thought we had to begin with. So if that stupid thought has executed itself onto my LCD screen, I'm rolling my eyes and containing the urge to text back: You are a moron.

Anyway, as an officer of the Grammar Police I have to say that is has not been easy for the men who approach me. I am merciless when it comes to how much of the gray matter they employ during speech and rhetoric. A well read and well spoken dude has the odds slanted in his favor. Point blank- there will be no peeks at the peaks if you cannot differentiate which is which in a sentence. I don't want to make it sound as if I write Pulitzer Prize winning text messages. I still utilize a lot of brevity when it comes to texting. But nothing I send is unintelligible- and I expect the same in return. Best case scenario: I will call you out on it. Worst case: I will auto-delete your dumb ass. Period.

January 6, 2009


Four Words: I hate being sick. This is so not how I wanted to start off the New Year. I'm trying to recall what might have caused this. Perhaps it was pumping gas with no hat or gloves on the coldest night of the year...which happened to be the last night of the year. Maybe it was standing outside with no coat the very next day while I chatted with an officer of the law. Yeah, my year has gotten off to an interesting start to say the least. And no- I am not disclosing why I was exchanging verbs with said officer, either. Just know that This Bug's life does not consist of dull moments. Ever. For now it's all about downing shots of Nyquil and being slathered in Vick's Vapor Rub. (Note to self: Don't hit panic button the next time a grain of rice comes out in the tissue after blowing nose.) Good God- that was scary. So the world keeps rotating while I lie in bed feeling like a huge Peppermint Patty. Actually I feel more like Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. All I need now is for Ferris to come talk me out of bed and right into some misadventures to let me know that I'm truly alive. Until then it's back under the covers for me.

"When Cameron was in Egypt's land...? Let my Cameron go..."

January 5, 2009

Newports, Winston-Salems, Marlboro Lights...Buh Bye Now.

At the expense of sounding like I was jumping on the New Years resolution bandwagon, I chose to quietly stop smoking recently. It had nothing to do with a new beginning and a clean slate. It was just something I was ready to do, so I did it. Honestly, I am astounded by the incredible ease with which I pulled off this task. All this coming from someone who has torn off her nicotine patch in order to take a nice, long pull of a menthol cigarette. I wish I could explain how after over a decade of this nasty little habit I was able to just walk away. No gum, no patch, no hypnosis. Cold turkey. I just don't want to do it anymore. Which by the way I understand has the highest failure rate, but I'm not even worried. So far I've successfully had a stiff drink and satisfying meal without feeling the urge to light up afterward. And as for that post-coital smoke that so many can't live without- believe me, it's overrated if not mythical.

So while I'm walking this new smoke-free path, I'd like to share some of the wonderful results I have been experiencing thus far.

1. When I lie down on the pillow I am no longer overwhelmed by that "Forest Fire" smell that used to consume my hair.

2. Brighter eyes. Whiter teeth. Clearer skin. What can be better?

3. It just dawned on me that my family will really be happy once they notice I'm doing something to stick around a bit longer. Yay!

4. No need to spray my Carol's Daughter Pearl perfume from head-to-toe before entering an enclosed space.

5. Guess who won't be freezing her sweet cheeks off in below freezing weather for the sake of a cig?

6. My energy level has gone way up and I suddenly have a new appreciation for Soup for some reason...

7. No more Brokemans -rhymes with bumming for a damn cigarette.

8. I am free to enjoy a more healthful life as opposed to slowly killing myself and aging rapidly while doing so.

9. So much for wasting over $25 a week. I did the math and my savings will fund a nice little dash to Vegas this same time next year. Watch my smoke! No pun intended.

Yes, some of my reasons are a bit on the vain or superficial side but guess what? I've learned not to question positive motivation. I just moved with it and so far...so good. As it turns out, it took the Magical Amount for This Bug to walk away. Sometimes the hardest habit to break becomes the easiest one to dismiss. Life is funny like that I guess.

Photo Courtesy: Corbis

January 2, 2009

Um, You're corny. Go Away.

I have to do it. I'm going in on all the cornballs of the world. There is something to be said for these lames and here it is: You will not prosper. Everyone knows just the type of person I speak of- and if you don't, there's a good chance that you are the cornball of thee I sing.

Let's start off simple. Take Elvin Tibideaux of The Cosby Show.

This dude is the antithesis of Cool. Everything he said amounted to a bunch of nothing. There was nothing appealing about his speech, dress or demeanor. Just a Tight Ass for no good reason. The funny thing is- this is their true nature. It's not an act. They know no other way to be, even if they tried. Generally, they are pretty easy to spot but just in case you may unwittingly have one in your midst, let me give you a few pointers. The red flags should be flapping away if you witness any of the following behavior.

1. The quintessential footwear for Cornballs are Timberlands tied entirely too tight. It looks as if they should be scaling a telephone pole in a cherry picker to disconnect your Cable but in actuality, this is just their everyday look.

2. Appending to the unwritten rules of Cornball attire is anything lacking any sense of personal style. I can't say there's an exact uniform but it always looks haphazardly put together and just...lame.

3. They don't know when to give up. These individuals can't leave well enough alone. They talk too much about sh*t no one cares about and do so with reckless abandon.

4. Cornballs are constantly trying to prove how corny they are not. Why? They're not fooling anyone.

I try not to give these lames too much shine, since I have better things to do- but sometimes, you gotta call it like you see it. I know cornballs need love too, they just won't get it from This Bug.