February 27, 2009

My, aren't we the Fortunate Ones?

I usually don't do fortune cookies. Normally, I have one of those crumbly almond cookies or a slice of orange to freshen my palate after I dine on Chinese cuisine. But every now and then, I crack one of those bad boys open and entertain the thought that it was meant solely for me. Today was one of those days. Sure enough, that little piece of paper held some relevance.

It read: It's never crowded along the "extra mile."

True. So true, indeed. Since I made up my mind that I will give my all to the goals I have set, I find that I am alone and quite alright with that fact. While professional opportunities have been presenting themselves, I am astute in seeing them through. It's a snowball effect and I love it. Does that make me lucky? Fortunate or favored? Who knows. I'd like to think that luck favors the prepared. It wasn't until I made up my mind to close certain chapters in my life and open myself for the best that life had to offer-did these serendipitous events materialize. I deserve it. In my eyes, we all do. I no longer feel the need to ruminate on what went wrong, or rehash events with those from my past. There has already been a dirge for a moment's loss. I have focused up. I'm ready to shake out. No stopping me now, Champ.

By the way, my lucky numbers are 2, 3, 11, 32, 38, 23

The word Spring in Mandarin is Chūn tiān.

You can't say This Bug never taught you anything.

February 26, 2009

Throwback Thursdays

As promised, This Bug is bringing you another blast from the past on this fine Throwback Thursday. I know it's probably going to get harder and harder to stay with me on some of these but alas- I have to do it. They are my joints and my memories- I just want to share.

Not very many people may remember Antexx or his underrated single Understand Me, Vanessa. Honestly, I may not have either but the year was 1991 and without anyone pulling my coat to the importance of this Hip-Hop thing- I recorded tons of videos in an effort to preserve what was taking place. I knew the movement was special. This was one of those videos. The beat was cool, the storyline was interesting enough and the sepia toned film made for a unique look of videos at the time. Sidebar: There's also a very Trini lookin' boy rocking a Marvin the Martian shirt in here. I. Freakin'. Loved. Marvin. Understand? I had about 8 of those shirts with him in various poses brandishing his "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator".

Anyway, we all knew that stuck up girl that gave dudes around the way no time but then suddenly changed her tune when one appeared to sweat her. Well, in this case it was Vanessa- and Antexx was NOT havin' it. Favorite line? "Call yourself on Sunday and on Monday pay the bill." Ha!

February 24, 2009

I'll be in the corner if you need me

Okay, so some of you may remember a previous entry about This Bug being free of the shackles of smoking. Well, I always strive to be a woman of my word- and when I falter, I think it's fair to share that also. I never said I was infallible or anything. So recently, I've jumped from what some might say is the frying pan and into the fire. Yes, This Bug is lighting up again- and this time it's cigars. I actually tricked myself into thinking it was a good weaning method off the cigs, assuming I would smoke less. Um...that hasn't actually been the case and I am ashamed of myself. Hold on, I have to go find an ashtray...
Anypuff, I just wanted to address that in case anyone was looking to me as inspiration to quit smoking. Don't be discouraged. My will power always had a lower threshold than most. I'll be giving this quitting thing another go as soon as this five pack is done. Damn you, Black & Mild! Damn you!

Bug's One Hundred and counting...

So here I am, at my 100th post. When I first started This Bug's Life- it was a combination of personal and professional necessity. Last year I attended a writers' workshop seminar and the one piece of advice that stuck with me was: There is no excuse to not have a place where someone can see samples of your writing. It rang in my ears and everything that followed sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher. The very next day, I started this blog.

Honestly, I needed it more on a personal level at the time. I have countless notebooks, odd pieces of paper and poetry scrawled onto napkins and receipts laying around. I am surrounded by my writings. I bleed from my pen. I breathe through my pen. I share via keyboard. Months later, I realized that I write to get it right in my head- and if someone should take the smallest iota from what I share, that's a nice Maraschino on top.

I have often wondered what I would write about once my blog hit its little centennial stage. At the moment, it only seems right to acknowledge that I love doing this and I appreciate the readership and feedback. To Brooklyn's Finest, the Sweetest Tea over at the Lion's Share, thank you for always staying abreast of my heartfelt sentiments, pointless rants and everything in between. A special thanks to the beautiful and talented Kari who authors A Mi Ver. She is my blood, my inspiration and a gift to all whose eyes are fortunate enough to meet her words. She has shown me what a proud name we bear. And to Soups Malone, who has yet to shine his own light in the blogosphere- but always has a positive, encouraging energy woven throughout his praise and opinions. It cannot be bought nor taught.

And to my all readers religious or random, avid or happening by- thank you for taking a peek into This Bug's Life. I do this for you. I do this for me. I do this for us.

Signing off,
This Bug

February 23, 2009

The Ugly Truth About Cyber Creeping Pt. II

Hello Boys and Girls. If you're just tuning in to the Cyber Creeping discussion- stop. Click here to see where it all began and then head back over. Okay, now let's resume our topic.

If the communication eventually leads to meeting up in person- this 'innocent' little correspondence has already snowballed out of control. Let's examine a few things.

1. Both parties know full and well that their significant others would not appreciate this little tete-à-tete.

2. Harmless flirting = Huge oxymoron. Whether the intentions are to boost your own ego, see if you "still got it" or manipulate the flirtee into something more- the flirter is fully aware of those intentions and possible consequences.

3. The parameters of cheating differ greatly from person to person. I've heard some ridiculous justifications in my adult life. Things like oral sex not being considered cheating because actual intercourse did not take place. Then there are the folks who think secret emails are a form of cheating. Whatever the boundaries may be, these definitions usually aren't drawn until that forbidden Blow J or Inbox thrill takes place. By then the damage is already done.

4. If you are constantly covering your tracks by clearing internet history, password protecting every movement, feverishly closing tabs or abruptly shutting down the PC when Hubby or Wifey walks in- you know you're up to no damn good.

5. Sooner or later- this online subterfuge comes full circle. Someone, if not all everyone connected is bound to get hurt.

Now, This Bug is of the personal belief that an emotional affair is just as harmful as a physical one. An online correspondence can spring into something deeper if those involved are not careful. Why? Because if you are already in a "real life" relationship- you have unwittingly invited a third party into it with simple flirting potential. The truth is that there is no escape from reality. While you're busy fantasizing about the person on the screen- real life is going on at home and that is probably what requires most of your attention. If there's trouble in paradise, seeking an outlet with that online flame is not the answer. Don't make the mistake of discussing your real life relationship issues with your Cyber Buddy either. This gives them an even greater foothold into your dealings. The danger in that is that this person starts to look a lot like the solution to your problems- when nothing could be further from the truth. This person can make you feel like you're walking on sunshine when in actuality- they can be whomever they want to be with you. I mean, we all know the dangers of strangers in chatrooms- but it doesn't stop there. You stand to open Pandora's Box with someone you think you already know.

So the next time you run across someone and decide to innocently play catch-up, be sure that it stops there. No need to exchange IP addresses or any other address for that matter. Remember Boys and Girls, before you hit send- trouble can be just a mouse click away.

February 22, 2009

Slumdog Has Its Day

The question: Should you see it? When I watch a film, I like to immerse myself in it. Slumdog Millionaire has so many facets to get lost in- I still have not come up for air. I don't want to give away too much of the movie so I'll keep this one short. One word. Wow! It's ironic that I saw this movie just three hours before the Oscars- and thank the Movie Gods that I did. I have no doubt that it will sweep the Academy awards. What I am most amazed by are the children whose acting was nothing short of brilliant.

This is not so much a love story as it is a shining example of the triumph of the spirit. The lead character Jamal carries you through just why he knows so many answers on the famed game show. He relates the most personal experiences to the questions presented to him. Proof that you do not have to be well read or a MENSA approved genius. Life is the best teacher...and Jamal has retained his education.

A four star movie to me is made up of several components. Stellar performances, eye-catching cinematography, memorable dialogue and being left deep in thought with long-lasting emotions way after you've departed the theater. Slumdog has it all.

See it. That is my final answer.

February 20, 2009

The Ugly Truth About Cyber Creeping Pt. I

Hello Boys & Girls. Today we're going to talk about cyber-flirting, cyber-cheating and the thin line in between. Technology allows for those lines to be blurred significantly and some of you may not know how to discern the two. No worries. This Bug has a few theories.

Let's say you create an account for one of those nifty online social networking sites a'la Myspace or Facebook. At first it's okay. You're still learning how to navigate the damn thing and don't spend much time on it. Then gradually you begin to have many blasts from the past. People you haven't seen hide nor hair from in eons are suddenly a keystroke away. What fun! This is kinda cool after all. It's all going along smoothly- just something you log on to when you're bored. And just when you think it's safe- that certain someone pops onto the scene. You may just be going about your everyday business, or you may be secretly hoping this person has gotten with the times and also signed up. It may be an Ex from back in the day or someone who always ran in the same social circles as you- but you never quite crossed paths. Whatever it may be, it starts out harmless enough.

There's the whole "Hey! How have you been?! Wow. It's been forever!" catch-up followed by glossing over some very pertinent details of one another's lives. This person may be married, engaged or involved in a committed relationship. It may or may NOT be common knowledge...Now pay attention because this is where it gets tricky. Playful banter can easily slip into something more serious.

If one or both parties are in a "real life" relationship- no matter the state of it, they may find themselves escaping real life through this cyber connection. Suddenly, they are logging on at inopportune times to check their messages. Signing on late at night because they simply cannot wait until the coast is clear. They may send thinly veiled signals to each other that may not be visible to the naked eye. And just like that; the birth of the Online Affair.

The trouble with the Internet rendezvous is that the gravitational pull may be too strong for one or both parties. Sooner or later, plans to meet up in person eventually come up...

*************Stay tuned for Part II*************

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

February 19, 2009

Throwback Thursdays Volume I

This is the first installment of Throwback Thursdays. For the sake of continuity, This Bug solemnly swears to lay some treats on you every fifth day of the week. Unless of course, there is something more pressing that calls itself blogworthy on that day. Yet and still, I may just double up on the posts- cuz ya girl goes in. Anyway, I'll be sharing a song and my memory of that time going forward.

This vid comes by way of Da Bush Babees. The year was 1995. Back then you could find me in my post-Gulf War fatigue jacket, rockin' my Beef and Broccoli's. Incidentally, an older woman of the Caucasian persuasion stopped me in the mall one day and asked if I had a family member that was in Desert Storm. I can still remember her look of bewilderment when I told her it was just for style. I think I saw some tears well. Whatever. I threw my headphones back on and let my mind float to the melodic sounds of...

So...What do YOU remember about '95 ?

Surviving the Dystopian Times

There's a huge difference between a job and a career. A job pays the bills. A career is (hopefully) your life's work in which you're successful. I'm going share something with everyone. Right now, either one will do. It's no secret that This Bug has been hit hard by these economic times. I managed to survive two rounds of downsizing at an international firm before my number was up. Where the hell was my bailout? I went from being a Woman of Leisure back in 2008 to Hustle Woman of 2009. I won't front. I lost my job in Human Resources some months back and viewed it as a blessing in disguise. It gave me time to travel, spend quality time with my family and an open space to get my writing going. Needless to say, I was not going hard with the jobhunt when every other day consisted of going to the beach and chillaxin'. I had a good amount of savings as a foundation to still live independently. I am woman enough to admit that I foolishly rested on my laurels.

Then reality started to sink in. I began harassing my ING agent. I started going over bank statements with an eagle eye. I even bought America's Choice brand Grated Parmesan cheese. Now, if you know what a foodie This Bug is- you'd know that is something that would only occur during catastrophic economic times. Oh yes, I splurge on the finest recipe ingredients (and the occasional shoe) when the paper is stacked. But it hasn't been stacked for some time. At first I was only singling out jobs that were in line with my writing career. The way I saw it- if I annoyed enough publishing companies and magazines, someone would eventually just give me a job so I would leave them alone. No such thing happened.

So I'm back to square one. In about 12 hours I will be interviewing with someone in the medical field- something I never thought would happen. It's not that I have anything against it, I just didn't see it in the cards for me. It was between that or the local Car Wash- they need an Armor All® girl...Kidding! Hopefully it goes well. Either way, I am not my profession. At this point, the dream job may have to take a backseat while the bill paying gig takes the wheel. That doesn't mean that I've lost hope. Nor does it mean that this blog will suffer my absence once I am gainfully employed. Now... be vewwy, vewwy quiet. I'm hunting pantyhose. No seriously. I'm sitting here writing this and have no idea if I have so much as a thigh-high for tomorrow. Gotta run. (Let's hope there's none in the stockings.) Wish me luck!

Photo Courtesy: Corbis

February 18, 2009

Who me? Bossy? No way.

Bossy is a state of mind. I can recall being very young and hearing the words, "Jayne- you like your own way too much." This always confused me because my response (in my own head, anyway) was always- "But who doesn't?" I could never understand if it was possible to get one's way in a situation why someone would choose otherwise. As long as getting my own way was not at the expense of someone else I saw no harm in it.

My life has taken me through many trials and tribulations. I have been the Sacrificial lamb in plenty of my journeys. I have fought battles that were not mine to fight. Mainly because I had a short fuse and was not willing to let some minor stuff slide. Or the infraction was on someone very close to me. I am of the humble opinion that there are some beatdowns that hold no statute of limitations. It could be years later and This Bug can still get it poppin'. I don't care how hood that sounds either- it's the truth. But I digress...

As I got older I realized that having my own way does not make me bossy or a brat. I just know what I want and how to make it happen. Nothing wrong with that. I'm a grown woman so I don't resort to tantrums or batting eyelashes. I simply make a case for why my way would be a better way to go. More than likely a compromise is reached and everybody's happy. Well, This Bug usually is, anyway.

My point is that everyone is the architect of their movements. To paraphrase Nasir Jones, no one plans to fail- they just fail to plan. Everyone wants to be a boss. I personally never had an issue with authority or taking direction- but I always try to make it work for me. Very recently, opportunities have been presenting themselves to me and I truly respect the experience of those presenting them. But make no mistake- once I embark on these new paths, it will be done my way.

February 12, 2009

Two Can't Play That Game

I'm quick to tell anyone who will listen how much of a competitive person I am not. It never bothered me when my side lost a volleyball game in gym class. I never huffed and puffed when I lost a Chess match, Spades game or any other competition. Mostly because I know that whatever I took on, I gave it my best effort. If it was not meant for me to win- so be it. Better luck next time, Champ. It does not mean that I'm not a winner of my own account by any means. That being said, I wish to delve into another realm in which I absolutely refuse to compete.

This Bug will not battle with other women for one man's affection. I find it futile mainly because if a man wants to be with you- he will. I see no reason to jump through hoops, give ultimatums or convince someone why I would be the better choice. If you're not at the forefront of his mind- chances are he's just not that into you. I have to shake my head when I hear songs like Mary's I Can Love You Better or worse yet, Mokenstef's He's Mine . Really? "You may have had him once but I got him all the time." That's what it's come to? Damn, are pickings that slim? I should hope not. To me, there are so many men out there, that to focus on one who has no idea which side of the fence he'd rather be on is not worth the stress. Somewhere out there is a person that knows exactly where they want to be. No strings attached. No cake and eating it too. As a matter of fact, that type of behavior takes the cake and comes back for the plate. To paraphrase Gordon Gekko, greed is not always good.

I don't want to come across as self righteous, either. This Bug is not ashamed to say that I have been the other woman in a previous life. I wore that hat. It's not cute. It wasn't until I realized my self worth that I put a cap on vying for a taken man's love and affection. Suddenly, 'playing my position' was not an option unless the position was the star player. Waiting around for a man to decide that he wanted to be with me and only me seemed degrading. I'm an all or nothing type of girl. I know what I deserve. Anything less than that is unacceptable. When someone really wants to be with you- they will clear a path to make that possible. And once that path has been cleared, they will not jeopardize it with outsiders of any denomination.

To the ladies I say this: If he wants you- he'll do what he has to in order to make that possible. You are the prize. If he cares, he will not allow you to feel insecure about other women floating somewhere in the background. Don't wait around for him to decide how spectacular you are. Know it already and treat yourself as such. It is more than okay to parry a guy's advances if his movements are not genuine. And please, keep it grown and ladylike with other femmes. While it may be true that some things are worth fighting for- scratching and hair pulling should be a very last resort. That will only make you look silly and you're likely to break a nail. It should never be a competition. Even if it means totally removing yourself from the equation. Be mindful that if you step aside and he does nothing, it simply wasn't meant for you. Don't play games.

To the fellas I say this: Be honest...with yourself first and then with others. While the juggling act may work for a while- sooner or later, everything can hit the floor if you're not careful. Leaving you empty-handed (and dry-Willied, at least for a while). Whatever you do to get the girl is what you'll have to do to keep the girl. Let your actions speak for themselves. If you're not willing to give a girl what she deserves, don't waste her time. It's not fair to her, and you stand to rack up demerits in the karma department. Don't play games.

Anyway, this one's for guys and gals...There is still hope for those who play their cards right. Wait, did I say cards? That implies games. Scratch that. Just watch and listen, People. You too can feel this way.

Just do the right thing. At the risk of sounding redundant, I implore you all not to play games. Unless of course, it's Naked Twister with that special someone who knows exactly where they want to be. Right hand blue, left foot rrrred... and just like that; everybody wins.

February 10, 2009

Let me get back to you...

I try my best to be a woman of my word. At the end of the day, it's all I have. Whenever I have agreed to do some sort of favor (no matter how inconvenient it may later reveal itself to be) I follow through because I gave my word that it would be done. For some reason though, when engaged in one of my guilty pleasures I find this difficult to execute once I utter the words, "Let me call you right back." I've been saying that a lot lately. For those who have been on the receiving end of this half-truth, let me apologize now. Suffice to say that when these ill-timed calls come in, more than likely I am indulging in one of the following guilty pleasures. Or maybe I'm just genuinely busy. It's not like I'm gonna actually admit when it's one or the other.

A Good Book

I can't help it. I get lost. There is something to be said about traveling without moving to distant places. I seldom admit that I'm reading and wish to be left alone because I always feel that most folks won't understand.
A real page turner gets me going. It can easily be hours before I return to the real world.

Although I may sound exasperated when I get calls in my kitchen, the truth is that one of my favorite pastimes is being intruded upon. It is my way of relaxing. Pots and pans bring me joy. Except for when it's time to wash them. In that case, I will be happy to lounge around on the phone. Anything to stave off the dreaded clean-up. I should hope that no one gets too upset about this one, mainly because they are more than welcome to stop by and get a plate once I'm finished.

The Office

Okay, let me be clear. If it's 9 p.m. on Thursday, don't even bother calling. I am too busy getting my Dunder Mifflin fix. Here's the thing: As much as I hate(ed) everything about Corporate America, there's something I relate to enormously. At some point or another, I have worked with virtually every character on this show. I just never had Michael Scott as a boss and that sucks. He's the coolest boss ever... In TV land, anyway. Maybe if you're lucky, I've missed the original showtime and will catch it on hulu.com later that week. As a matter of fact, scratch that. I won't answer phone if I'm playing catch up online, either.

Shoe Shopping

This task requires my undivided attention. Be it online or in the actual store, I have tunnel vision when this is taking place. Also, I'm usually so giddy after the footwear purchase that I've forgotten who called me and it will take a few hours before I return that call. Unless I want to gush about the hot new pair. In which case, I'll probably be yanking you from whatever your guilty pleasure is. Sidebar: True story. I once called an amiga of mine at 1 a.m. to lament ruining a pair of boots that were not even 24 hours old with some friggin' Papa John's garlic grease. You see? The pendulum swings both ways.


It pretty much goes without saying that while I am new to this; I'm true to this. If I'm in a creative zone, everyone benefits if I'm left alone until I'm done. The perfectionist in me goes back to edit so often that I really do need the solitude to get it right. What can I say? My public needs me. I shall not be disturbed. I kid, I kid...


I can't be alone here, People. Too much of anything can cause sensory overload, but this is a wonderful way to indulge. Whether it comes in the form of a 3 x 5 Ghirardelli bar or 5 ft, 11 inches of milk chocolately smoothness, I refuse to be interrupted. The promise of call back weighs heavily on how soon I recover from my cocoa induced coma.


Yes, all DVD remotes are equipped with a pause button. But I would rather not have to use mine. Anyone who knows me knows that This Bug is a bona fide movie buff. Everything from foreign films to documentaries keeps me riveted. It's been said that no two people ever watch the same movie. I take it all in. The storyline, the cinematography, the subtle details of a performance. Everything about it is an experience that one should be able to enjoy without obstruction. It is your birthright. I even try not to eat while watching a film because in the split second it may take to look down at my food, I may have missed something. Sidebar: It annoys me when I ask others to watch a movie I really want them to see and they look away from the screen. I know that sounds über neurotic but it's true.

So there you have it, Folks. Yet another peek into the inner workings of This Bug. The next time one of you hear me say that I'll call you right back, just know that I am simply cashing in on some serious 'Bug Time' and it's nothing personal. Of course, I could just be vacuuming. In which case I'll be more than happy to shoot the shit. Ummmkay?

February 8, 2009

State of the (Dis)Union

They had nothing to say to each other. The silence had since swallowed them whole. Ten years of loving, learning and loathing. She sat, arms folded against her crisp, gabardine suit. He watched her from across the varnished oak table. It was only a few feet, but it might as well have been a mile long. Scenes from their lives together replayed themselves in his head. When he carried her to the car. She twisted her ankle in the ‘Grand Canyon’ of potholes behind the restaurant. He saw it; why didn’t she? Those damn platform sandals of hers. He didn’t even believe she was hurt until her ankle was the size of a softball the next day. ‘Just doing the chivalrous thing.’ he reflected. But did she really need me to carry her to car? And he never seemed to hear the end of it. God, she really was too outspoken back then. She held her tongue for no one, especially not him. But he never could control her. He tried, and succeeded at times, but she never did quite bend the way he needed her to. She had no respect for him. That was it. Suddenly, all the memories came flooding back. Washing away any trace of affection he held for her. He realized she was a shrew that could never be tamed.

She meets his gaze with icy resignation. ‘Why look away? Let him see that there is no hurt left. That there is nothing left. Let him know that love can be extinguished.’ All those years wasted. So many years spent locking away all that she truly was. Stifling everything that was meaningful to her...just for him. So many years of holding her tongue to portray a united front in the name of loyalty. And for what? How many meaningless apologies and empty promises filled their years? She felt the chill of the rain on her neck of that night so long ago. “I promise. I’ll be back to pick you up when you get off.” He had her car, her keys and it was his world. She finally had to call a cab home in the wee hours of the morning. Locked out and freezing, calling and getting no response, she had no choice but for him to tire of his revelries and finally come home. And when she twisted her ankle behind the bar. Of course, he never seemed to remember that it was bar they were leaving that night. Or that he was walking so far up ahead that she had to break her own fall. The first of many in their time together. She learned to brace herself. The very thought of him left a sick, metallic taste in her mouth now.

She lifts her arm out of its comfortable place and picks up the elegant, silver pen. It is a magic wand between her fingers. Her signature is swift and final. It is over. Their representatives go through the formalities. They do all the talking. Ten years coming to a close. She feels the heaviness shrugged off of her slender shoulders like the Titan Atlas. The whole unlovely tale concluded. No longer needing to personify endurance for one so undeserving- a wisdom with no name envelops her. With both hands she rolls herself away from the table and rises. They had nothing to say to each other.