September 30, 2009

Throwback Thursdays

Today's Throwback is dedicated to all the fly guys (and fly girls) out there. This one comes by way of Superlover Cee and Casanova Rud. I don't have a huge background story for Girls I Got 'Em Locked. What I do have are countless memories from having this video on VHS. Do me a favor and just peep the hairstyles, the dancing, the outfits. There was nothing like it and there won't ever be anything of the kind to compare to that time. I remember dudes around the way doing 'The James' in MCM suits. Rockin' two cuts in the eyebrow. (It was fly when Kane did it.) I hear this song and instantly recall dookie rope chains and asymmetrical Salt 'n Pepa haircuts with one side shaved. My Pops was not having the gold spray designs even though he financed my weekly hair appointments. Nefertiti earrings where the jewel was her earring and two-finger rings. I was there, yo. It was a feeling. An era like no other. Either you lived it or you didn't. So what have we learned today, Boys and Girls? Short and sweet: Fly is a lifestyle. Nothing beats confidence. These dudes had it on lock. "Now c'mon. Get on. Get some. Stop yellin' it."

September 24, 2009

It is real if it's only in your mind

It was a marathon of a conversation and I quickly lost track of time. That's how it is with us sometimes. For what seemed like an hour, I read aloud the zodiac traits and characteristics pertaining to myself...and then to him. Water signs are so peculiar. So alike and so different. We talked about these things. Positive vibes and what we invite. Knowing yourself before attempting to deconstruct others. Warding off negativity despite being surrounded by it. It's what we do; relate and debate. And then a beep. I move the phone away from my ear to glance at the Caller I.D. The name on the tiny lime green screen has become excitingly familiar in just one week. "That's the firm! Lemme call you back." I don't think I waited for a response before tapping the flash button. Her voice was calm with a hint of merriment in it. I assume she was happy the hunt was over. She can safely assume I was happy to be caught. "We narrowed it down...If you're still interested..." Formalities ensue. Where. What time. She signs off with the same whimsical tone. I. Am. Ecstatic. I hit the last number dialed and hear seven notes chirp in rapid succession. I take a deep breath. "Baby. I got it!" And humbly speaking, this one felt like mine from the giddy-up.

September 21, 2009


The truth is
you cannot fault
the maelstrom
for doing simply
what comes naturally.

Cannot address the sky
in accusatory tones
for being overhead.

You shouldn't hate
the serpent
for striking.

How can you not love
the purity of a child's laugh
meeting the air?

Because all of it
is right as rain.
And we laugh
at unlaughable things.

Bear up against the swallower
that is time
while it has its way
with us.

We unlaugh our murderous thoughts
and stand in the rain
that feeds the maelstrom
under the sky
overlooking the serpent.

Loving the children
whose laughs are so different
from our own.

September 19, 2009

Yes, It's Getting Clearer

Yes, I see it. My weekend will consist of putting away laundry that has been folded for week now. Eggs scrambled with cheese. Salmon cakes. Whole wheat toast. I see Grey Goose and Cranberry in stocky, masculine low ball glasses. Pizza. Skinny jeans. Cute heels and a heavier jacket... because it's cooler these days. Patron shots. A fight party. Mayweather winning. Yes, it's getting clearer. I see...I see...I see my kind of weekend on the horizon.

September 17, 2009

Throwback Thursdays

What up, People. I'm kicking off Today's Throwback with a little story from left field. Bear with me. Last night I was on the phone with my homegirl. We were chopping it up about the regular things when I paused to ask her, "Yo. You know anyone that was ever fired by letter sent via FedEx?" When she finally got the laughs out she responded with an emphatic "Hell NO!" Laughing. I replied, "Well, you do now!" More laughs. It's true, People. This Bug's brief stint at an office came to a close by way of letter saying there was no need to return. Truthfully, I was planning to make moves anyway. And I'm actually glad I didn't have to go in- only to be told there was no reason for me to be there. So they did me a favor by saving me gas. But I can't get over the amount of bitchassness it took to execute this move. No sit-down meeting. No phone call. Nothing. Just a Fedexed letter. Hilarious. Peace Bitches! Anyway, that leads me to the Throwback since one line in particular applies to the move they pulled.
I always felt Channel Live. They dropped the LP Station Identification in 1995 and achieved gold album success. (Still a notable feat back then.) The single Mad Izm featured KRS-One and is still a classic spin in its own right. The beat is melodic but maintains that tough feel that you savor in a Hip-Hop joint. Plus, I could relate when this came out because I was sparking a whole lot of it myself back then. This Bug's ever-so-appropriate line? "That's what I'm smackin' you wit, cuz it's easy. Like Lionel Richie- your whole style in BITCHY!" This one's for you, fake-ass FedEx firing, dirty Dentist Office having punk. Deuces!

September 14, 2009

2009 VMA's: Sweet Dreams or Beautiful Nightmares

If you don't know by now, This Bug doesn't usually report pop culture. But when I see something as noteworthy as the circus that was the 2009 VMA's, you know you're going to hear about it. Understand that this is just about what caught my attention. Okay...where to start.

How 'bout that Janet?

She killed it. Like I knew she would. Pardon me if I'm still a little sentimental off the loss of Mike but this made me emotional. There's something about siblings when they do the same thing with finesse that has no comparison. Blood's thicker than the mud. It's a family affair. They are born entertainers. I remember that Scream video so well, that it broke my heart when the screen was blank behind her; because that was the part where they playfully nudged and poked at one another in the original, the way only brothers and sisters do. Outstanding performance. I felt her.

Next up, Kanye Was. Oh, I mean West.

Your boy is officially washed. We all know he's not too proud to be the biggest asshole in the room, but C'mon already. Grabbing the mic from that poor little girl to proclaim that Beyonce had the best video? Taylor looked like she was about to shit a bus. That's just attention seeking at its lowest. Aight, we know you throw tantrums. We get it. Okay, your moms passed and you lost it for a little while. We even overlooked a wack-ass Auto-tune album because you supposedly got your heart stepped on. But a no-class move during Taylor Swift's acceptance speech only shows what a real douche he is...and that's reaching because at least douche is granted access into the most prized nether regions. I mean, when ODB did it at the Grammys, it was to say that Wu Tang was fo' da kids. Kanye might have just sealed his fate as a social pariah with that dumb-ass move. He better watch out before a kinder, gentler Madonna really snatches Amber Rose's ass up while he's busy being such a dick.

Let's move on to the real star of the night, tributes and rudeness notwithstanding. Lady Gaga:

This is MY GIRL ! There is no limit to her over-the-top act. A true artist in every aspect of the word. She's not afraid to shake out. She could give a fat frog's ass what people think, and it shows. Add that to her natural born talent and that makes her unstoppable. Her performance was edgy as always. The choreography wouldn't have been complete without the bloodletting, exposing the Paparazzi for the relentless, parasitic scum that they are. Let's not even start on the fashion. Clad in a red lace get-up topped by a mask that resembled a burning building, she let everyone know she's on fire. She makes pop tarts like Brittany and Christina Aguilera look stale in the toasters of yesteryear. "It's my first f---ing Moonman." I suspect it won't be the last. After last night, the world has officially gone gaga for Gaga. She's Beautiful and Dirty Rich!

And last but definitely not least...

Welcome to New York...except for you L'il Mama a.k.a The Accidental Tourist. What. The. French Toast? The only one to be successfully ripped to ribbons on Twitter, Facebook and other online mediums simultaneously and faster than Kanye's stupid ass. This girl did not get the memo that she is simply tolerated in the industry. The look on Alicia and Jay's faces were priceless. On some... is this bitch serious? What ever she smoked before jumping her silly ass on stage with them...I want to stay far away from. She is supposed to have someone on her team to tell her to be easy. To tell her that it's not the best idea to run up there as if you're part of the performance. Someone, in short to check her. But no one came to her rescue and she wound up playing herself to the umpteenth degree. I have no sympathy. She's a bird. Matta fact, she looked like a bird that flew out of that nest Lady Gaga was rockin' on her face.

Some honorable mentions include:

  • Russel Brand's apparently painted on trousers. Sorry, that might just be me. He's a trip.
  • Pink's acrobat lessons finally paying off. She's another one that doesn't give a whut!
  • The trailer for New Moon in the Twilight series actually got my attention- even if I didn't see the first one.
  • Beyonce's classy option to bring Taylor back up on stage. Great PR move if nothing else.

Anyway, like Forest Gump said: That's all I have to say about that. All you cool hunters and taste makers, be sure to swing by again for some reviews of the outrageous, fabulous and senseless. It's not often I do a 'stop and chat' on these matters. Later Gators.

September 11, 2009

Nothing to Prove

It's been a difficult miracle, but I can honestly say that I am more than okay with who I am today. I like me. I've accepted my flaws and shortcomings and I've learned to embrace the talents and gifts that I was born with. But I'm not here to talk about those. Today I'm going to talk about the things that I couldn't do and didn't have. Things that made me think I wasn't a real Black girl while I was growing up. Things that I can look back on and chuckle at- now that I love the skin I'm in.

When I first came to this country from my native Trinidad and Tobago at six years old, I was completely out of my element. I spoke with an accent and was quickly made a spectacle of. The kids would surround me and ask me to say things like water, bird or Connecticut and break into paroxysms of laughter at my intonation. The worst was being called on to read aloud. I could barely hear myself over their snickering. Then came the issue of the hair. My mother had never cut it since she overcame her Arthritis that caused her to chop off the flowing manes of my two older sisters. With a solitary plait down the center of my back- I was told by the other girls that my hair was long and pretty, but I wouldn't be so cute without it. "Coolie Girl, Coolie Girl" they chanted. They swung it as if they wished it were detachable. I begged my mother to cut it but she refused. Their taunts would cut deep. I wanted to explain to them that Coolie was as bad an insult in my homeland as the N-word up here. That I came from a place where most little girls had the same texture and length of hair as me. That it was the norm- not a novelty over there. But what good would it have done? They were hell bent on making me feel low. And for a while they succeeded.

Part of the acceptance you can achieve on the block is your ability to jump Double Dutch. I could never jump Double Dutch. The nonstop whipping of the rope against the pavement always beckoned me but I was afraid. When I finally made my attempt, I was slapped in the face by the wiry rope and I can still feel the sting. I tried to redeem myself by turning for whoever had to run home- but soon showed myself to be "double handed" and was told not to bother. I admired the skill that it took. It had a rhythm all of its own. I wanted to learn so badly but no one had the patience to teach me; and so I quickly lost interest. But something always nagged at me. Real Black girls jumped Double Dutch. I couldn't.

A few years later I was starting to come into my own but there were still some things I couldn't do. I could not braid hair. Cornrows or even more intricate styles were definitely not my calling. To this day, I cannot even do simple twisting of locks or a French braid for someone. It wasn't for lack of trying, either. I practiced tirelessly on my dolls but never quite picked it up. This was a longing like no other, and probably the only one that still somewhat haunts me to this day. There is a sisterhood so innate to that act. It lends itself to an intimacy and caring that I have never been able to extend through nimble fingers. Even as a teenager, I hated it when a boy I was seeing had to sit between some other girl's legs to have his hair done. Hated it.

Since we're talking about adolescence, I don't have to relay how much body image can wreak havoc on your peace of mind and self esteem during those formidable years. I was a twig. A whopping 97 pounds soaking wet while wearing a tool belt and holding a brick. Once, in high school I was sent back to class during a blood drive for not weighing enough. No big deal, save for the fact that everyone else seemed to budding in places I wasn't. The girls I went to school with had bodacious booties and full breasts. They commanded attention but to the boys, I was invisible. I grew to despise the word "Thick" since that was how they described the sexier, more womanly physiques that walked by. "Damn, yo. She is thick! " I tried everything to gain weight. I drank a milkshake with every meal and even ate grits right before going to bed. Because I heard that made you...thick. And real Black girls were. I wasn't.

As I said before, I've come to accept a lot about myself and learned to love who I am. I understand now that women of color come in all shapes and shades. I no longer grapple with being the quintessential Soul Sister. I don't have any hang-ups about not being Black enough in the eyes of my peers. Life has steered me away from toxic people and self deprecating ideas. For that I am grateful. I'm not the little girl who was scared to speak for fear of being laughed at anymore. It's not so bad that I don't jump (or turn) Double Dutch. I outgrew that game. One of these days, I'm going to learn how to twist some hair and make it look presentable. And honestly, I have a pretty nice chassis for those who've ever been lucky enough to steal a glance. It feels good to be me. A mixed up cocktail of exotic Caribbean blood that spans the four corners of the map. All in all, I'd say I have nothing to prove.

September 10, 2009

Throwback Thursdays

In the wake of creating a new blog strictly for my Hip-Hop heads, (see below post) I've decided that Today's Throwback will have nothing to do with a video you might have recorded back in the day. There was no video but thanks to the glorious innovation of Youtube, somebody put one together for one of my favorite joints of all time. Also, I'm paying homage to the original Purple Tape because 1. Only Built for Cuban Linx Part II dropped two days ago and 2. This Bug was at the album release party at Santos Party House. Oh. My. God. Raekwon has done it again. It's like '95 all over again. He has not lost an ounce of ruggedness. Let me tell you, he has officially cooked up something marvelous to get your mouth watering. Makes me want to walk backstage to the kitchen and give my compliments to The Chef personally. Bottomline: Go cop that right now! But wait a minute. Not so fast. You can't leave without engaging in some Verbal Intercourse which by the way served as inspiration for my new Hip-Hop blog, Dope Beats & Door Knockas This track is nothing short of magnificent. From the first verse, which in my humble opinion is one of Nas' finest moments to The Emotions' sample of If You Think It, this song is the flyest. Once again, Ghostface does what he does best alongside Rae. They are truly the Dynamic Duo. This Bug's favorite line? It's a combination of Nas entire verse and Tony Stark's declaration: "Sharpened toothbrushes. 190 mixed with Baby Oil and shit. Your man's in the kitchen stashing ice picks. Well I'ma end this with a big red cherry on top. Me, Nas and Rae got the best product on the block!" Whooo! He ain't never lied. Keep your eyes open and your wallet in your front pocket...

September 9, 2009

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

It was recently brought to my attention that I have readers from various walks of life. Or, at least the Narcissist Blogger in me would like to think so. I have no way of knowing anymore since I removed the traffic monitoring device. It just felt a bit..oh I dunno...stalkerish? Anyway, those who have been following know that I can swing in any direction on my blog depending on the day. I can go from current events to poetry to mad-woman ranting in just one week. But anyone who's been reading knows that This Bug loves all things Hip-Hop. So in an effort to concentrate those interests while still staying true to my Hip-Hop roots...I bring to you (extended drum roll) Dope Beats and Door Knockas. This way, all my true heads who want the treats going straight to the main vein without the other stuff can just peep me over there. Throwback Thursdays will still be featured on This Bug's Life, but if you want a dose that hasn't even been stepped on...Dope Beats and Door Knockas is the way to go. All previous Hip-Hop related posts can be found over there. Anyway, I'm just expanding those Pretty Wings, you know? Hope I didn't lose anyone. This is also a move to keep the focus on all the other topics you guys seem to appreciate on Bug's Life. Thanks for the continued support and readership. We now return to your regularly scheduled blogging. Deuces!

September 6, 2009

Left Hand Write

What a map of confusion that leads nowhere. Lines crossing in and out of one another on my tan palm. Digits that are too long for such a short base. "Neverow Fingers" are the definition given by my clan. We all have them. Nails that are too jagged to be considered ladylike top them off. Rings show up occasionally and resemble a polar bear in the Serengeti. No matter how deft or skillful it should be, there always an awkward gesture at work. Perhaps out of nervousness or just plain idleness. There are tiny burns on the back of it. Hot oil from a frying pan before the Tilapia made it in. Another near the wrist from pulling a frittata from the oven too hastily one Father's Day. This hand would write if it didn't lack dexterity. It fumbles mostly. Runs absently over premature frown lines hidden by carefully coiffed bangs. This hand with only the ring finger possessing what could pass for a well shaped fingernail. Peeling polish in Mauve Sunset, but well shaped nonetheless. Slight hairs on the index and middle finger are all but singed off from smoking Marlboro Menthol Lights down to the second green line that dares you to cross it. This hand is falling asleep under a heavy head. A head that rests on the arm of the couch, eyes blankly staring forward. Tingling sets in. I have not moved. This hand, begging wordlessly to run down the side of a kind face. It will come to pass, but not tonight. Tonight when the pins and needles sensation recedes, that same half dead hand will wipe away tears tasted at the corners of a mouth. The right hand steps in...dutifully takes the pen.

Author's Note: This piece was written at Gotham Writers Workshop after being given the following exercise prompt: Examine your less dominant hand and describe what you see while simultaneously writing.

September 3, 2009

Throwback Thursdays

Okay, I have to the throw the disclaimer out there early before proceeding to Today's Throwback. If you're sensitive about Mommas, I suggest you come back next week. Alright. Let's commence. Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde is still one of my all-time favorite albums. It quenches like a red Gatorade after three hours on the basketball court. When I started writing Throwback Thursdays, I had a mental list of videos I would never post because they seemed to obvious or generic by throwback standards only, of course. Passin' Me By was one. Common's I Used to Love H.E.R. and Souls of Mischief's '93 til Infinity also join the ranks. So if you're ever in the mood to vibe to those- head over to Youtube for yourself. But The Pharcyde has some other noteworthy gems including Ya Mama. Snappin'. The Dozens. Whatever you call it where you're from- they take it to a new level with an entire song devoted to dissin' Mothers. And it's hilarious. I always loved how they repeat the last insult before starting the next verse, just in case you forgot that she was naked on a mountain top tootin' on a flute. Ridin' on a horse, drinkin' whiskey out a boot. With the wings and the teeth of an African bat. Did you know her middle name is Mudbone and on top of all that...

Ah...they took it back to days of the playground where you were only as good as your last snap. That is of course unless it cut so deep that it escalated to an ass-whoopin'. Yes, even This Bug rumbled with a boy at school by the ice cream truck for talking smack about my mother. It took three heads to pull me off of him and oddly enough- people still remember that schoolyard scrap decades later. He'll never live it down. Shout out to McCoy Boy. You gave it your all but still got yo' ass bust, Homie. Love is love. Anyfist, this may seem ironic since I have nothing but reverence for Mommas but when it's funny- you have to give credit where it's due. Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta run. Quinton's On His Way....I'm about to order some food.

September 1, 2009


"Send me something real to ignore or explore
And I'll show you all the things that I saw."-Zero 7

I discovered this song in the most unlikely of places. It's from a bugged out, hilarious movie. But when it plays, it's one of the most visceral and reflective scenes in film that I've ever witnessed. I'm in a sharing kind of mood so...don't say I never gave you anything. Today.

"Today... the words don't mean enough for us to say."

Author's Note: The photographer in me loves this video.