January 31, 2010

Give the Lady A Hand

Better late than never is what I always say. I saw this Infomercial a few months back late one night. I sat there, jaw on the floor at the spectacle I was witnessing. My first thought? 'Hmmm, suggestive much? I can't be the only one that sees the hilarity in this.' Then I figured who needs to spend $19.95 on this contraption when any appendage will do. Sure enough, the comments on Youtube let me know I wasn't alone. Judging from the smiles on the model's faces, clearly everybody is happy in the ending. To be fair, there's a thin line between ridiculous and genius. Let's applaud one man's attempt to improve the quality of life...one Manual Gig at a time.

Absence Makes the Mind Go Yonder

A lover's angst is like none other.

'Tis not born of awkwardness
like that of a teenager.
Does not circulate proud blood
throughout the frenzied patriot
that will run cold
from schism or death.
It is devoid of final hour
hand wringing.

For there is no final hour to fretfulness
of this sort.
It lurks in doorways.
Follows you out to get the mail.
Waits at the window-
just like you.
Kills time
while knifing expectations.

When it leaves, it promises to be back in a fortnight.

Which is more
than you can say
for they.

January 28, 2010

The 5 Ws (and 1 H)

Who: This Bug at your service.

What: Blogging like a bandit on Half Fruit Punch/Half Sprite with the ashtray close at hand.

When: The time is now!

Where: Everywhere.

Why: Preservation of my sanity. A responsibility to Hip-Hop and to all those who aren't seduced by what might be behind Door #3.

How: With excellence.

Let it commence.

Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursdays are here again, People! It feels so good to be back. It kinda feels like a sunny day back in High School with all my friends. Chillin'. Crackin' jokes. Playin' games. So it's only right that I return with a tasty treat that puts you where I am nostalgically. De La Soul always puts me in the right frame of mind. Relaxed but focused all at once. This joint encompasses that entire vibe. Lyrically, they deliver artful metaphors and witty quips. But what I always loved was the video. It was shot at a High School and the cameo list read like a virtual Who's Who of Hip-Hop at the time. To me, every artist that appears holds their weight. Look closely and you'll see Organized Konfusion stickin' up the chubby kid for his lunch money. Monie Love holds it down with Trugoy in the schoolyard. Jungle Brothers, Prince Paul, ?uestlove and Black Thought of The Roots, Lords of the Underground, Yung Zee from the Outsidaz, GURU, Kid Capri, Pete Rock and the lovely ladies of Zhane. Even Li'l Neek and DJ Jus joined in the fun. (They were so cute.) And OMG, Comedian Drew Fraser as the Lunch Lady...Priceless. Seen him live more than a few times...He is the truth. I'm sure there are few that even I missed. The cool thing about this is that they're not even on the track. They just all showed up for the love of De La. It looked like a lot of fun to make. This Bug's favorite line? "While you actin' all spicy and shiesty, the only Italians you know is Icee!" I always wondered how the Firm pseudo-gangsters took that one back then. Anyhow, every now and then a video comes along that makes you like the song that much more. I can definitely say that about Biggie's One More Chance and I can say it with ease for Itzsoweezee. Just some good people having a good ole time...and who doesn't need more of that these days? Enjoy.

January 26, 2010

Taxi Cop? Aww Hell No!

So I'm driving home today from work and traffic is backed up in my turning lane. I'm getting antsy and inching my way up. Ever. So. Slowly. After what seems like five minutes at a standstill, flashing lights come into view. I'm thinking, 'Okay, Po-Po got somebody. What's the hold-up, Man.' Aside from making sure it's not the vehicle of someone I know, I usually keep it moving. But as I got closer, I saw what all the fuss was about. This was not your regular police cruiser with all the bells and whistles. This wasn't even an unmarked DT car like one of those Mustangs that pulled me over a few years back. (Damn, they got me good.) This was a yellow Taxi. Do you understand? A fuckin' Crown Vic yellow Taxi. What part of the game is this?! The ironic thing about seeing this today was the fact that I was discussing this very situation with a woman I know just yesterday. She got a call about someone who needed legal representation after being arrested by a uniformed officer in a yellow cab. I told her that I'd heard they do that in NYC but I'd never seen it locally. She swore it was a mistake.

So, the photo-journalist in me sprang to life. Of course, I took out my phone and snapped some pics as I was easing by in that jammed up traffic. I even contributed to it a bit, which is rare since I refuse to rubberneck- but it was for the cause. And these dudes weren't even in uniforms. They didn't even look like Feds. They looked like Mercs. You should have seen the scowl on one of their faces when they realized I was taking a picture. Just...hateful. Then I noticed I didn't have on my seatbelt. So I kept it moving while simultaneously buckling up. I might be bold- but I'm not stupid. I made my turn only to find a marked car had pulled over an SUV just around the corner. Yo, the block was hot, Son! I don't ride dirty (except for some frequent occasional leadfooting) so it's of no consequence to me. I just thought I'd put everyone else on, because those are some grimy tactics if I've ever seen them. If that ain't the sneakiest form of entrapment...I don't know what is. What's next- a hearse? So drive safely, ya'll. Be wary of those yellow cabs and remember THEY have the right to remain violent.

January 24, 2010

We Real Cool


We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Words by Gwendolyn Brooks

January 23, 2010

Know Thy Enemy

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." - William Congreve

Apparently Big Will knew what he was talking about way back in 1697 and things have not changed so much since then. Enter YaVaughnie Wilkins- the jilted mistress of software supernova Charles Phillips, President of Oracle. This woman went to extensive lengths to embarrass and slander her former lover. As the story goes, they had an eight year relationship while he was married. And boy, does she have the pics to prove it. Earlier this week it was revealed that Wilkins took out a huge billboard ad in three major cities including the famous Times Square in NYC. On it was the link to a website that boasted numerous photo albums chronicling years of their illicit affair. Parties, vacations, New Years Eve. You name it. According to news reports- she hired a web designer back in August 2009 to set up the site. (The website has since been disabled.) He was under the impression it was gift to her beau. If revenge is a dish best served cold, she definitely took her time to make it tasty. The proverbial shit hit the fan when identical billboards showed up in Atlanta and San Francisco. I wish I could have seen his face when he got that phone call.

Exhibit A

Here's my thing: I really don't respect what she did...but I understand. While no one knows the details of their relationship or how it lead to something so mortifying- there's something to be said for a woman with a grudge who has enough bread to make this happen. Make no mistake. If more women had the means to pull it off, Times Square might be plastered weekly with the many faces of cheaters who changed direction midstream. Too many times though, women play the role of the victim knowing full and well the guy was married. For a time, they play their position. Then something goes terribly awry. Suddenly they go from abiding side piece to- in Wilkins' case at least, a woman on a rampage. But he undoubtedly gave her the ammunition. The seeds to ruin his image and marriage were planted from the time he chose to step out on Wifey. To add insult to injury, the website included dozens of florist cards signed "Charles" with messages of "I'm sorry, please forgive me" and "We're going to have a great life, stick with me." The worst of the lot is a quote she had emblazoned on the billboard quoting Phillips. "You are my soulmate forever." She obviously believed him until events on both sides proved this to be untrue. Ouch.

Happier Times

I think only a woman hurt beyond belief would go this far to stick it to a dude. Honestly, I can identify with certain components of this story. Admittedly, This Bug experienced a fraction of what Wilkins was probably feeling. One minute you're on top of the world. You think no one understands your love except you and the one you're in it with. You tell yourself that even though the timing is off- in an alternate reality the two of you would be happy together if not for your respective situations. But the hard, ugly truth is that there is no alternative to reality. Dreamland is a nice place to visit but it is not inhabitable. And when I woke up from Dreamland- a cold, cold reality awaited. I was hurt. I was bitter. I was a woman scorned. But vengeful actions like taking out a public billboard to showcase what a lie it all was would have been uncouth, unfair to him and furthermore, an affront to myself. It took two to tango- no matter how brief and elaborate the dance was. Live and learn and then get even on with your life.

Faceful o' Love

"In the sex war, thoughtlessness is the weapon of the male, vindictiveness of the female."- Cyril Connolly

What drives a woman to push the boundaries in such a malicious fashion? That's a loaded question with many variables. Bottomline. But it goes back to what I always say: Nothing but time and circumstance will show you who a person truly is. There was a time when I was convinced I had a soulmate forever. I'm sure he believed the same. We were untouchable. What happened? Life. And while I was tempted to cause an upheaval, I knew deep down it would be wrong. I wish YaVauhnie would have called me first. I would have told her that no man is worth trading your dignity or thousands of dollars to prove a moot point. When the smoke clears, I'm sure she'll regret her impulsive but calculating actions. While her current relationship status is unknown, she shot herself in the foot with this spiteful little stunt. If I were a potential suitor of hers, upon hearing about this- I would run like hell. And while I'm sure Phillips will think twice before carrying on another extramarital affair; that lesson was his to learn and not hers to teach.

(not Obama)

Ooooh....Scandalous! And now a word from our sponsors. Haha!

January 22, 2010

Strapped but lovable...and unforgettable

Apache is gone. I don't know where to start. I'm still in shock, really. One of the most slept on emcees to ever do it has been confirmed dead today. I'll say this much; his calm voice and laid back delivery stood out. The way he broke down the kind of woman he wanted at his side will forever be the Tough Girl anthem for those who lived it. When it first dropped, This Bug bumped that joint as if it was written for yours truly. Finally there was a song that heralded someone other than the "girly girls". From the Newports to the bandanna tied around my curls, he hit the nail on the head. Always known to be the firecracker of my crew, Gangsta Bitch seemed to come along and solidify an entire persona and lifestyle for females such as myself. It takes a distinguished individual to speak pleasantly about what most would consider unpleasant. He spoke with a respect and clipped adoration about a woman who was just as thorough as he was- but no less a lady. He painted a perfect picture. I felt him on that.

Now, I won't front like I kept up with Apache's career when I didn't. Like too many real emcees in the game for that time, he fell by the wayside. But true heads never forgot him. He is part of the Golden Era of Hip-Hop that cultivated legends sixteen bars at a time. It's because of him I saw myself grow from a rough-around-the edges, always ready for whatever, box cutter toting little girl to a mature young lady who learned how to put the L down and pick her battles. And to this day, when I hear that song- the gangsta bitch in me smiles and shakes her head at a precious and priceless time gone by. It remains one of my all time favorites. Apache will be missed. My respects and condolences go out to his family, friends and The Flavor Unit. I know we heard him say that He Ain't Shit, but nothing was further from the truth. 'Pour a little bit out for the brother that ain't here.'

Number One Suspect

I've never had to pick someone out in a line up before. I know nothing about it aside from two-way glass mirrors, height measurements in the background and at least five individuals who seemingly 'fit the description'. I am out of my element.

Well, I do know how to confirm a two-way mirror. If you hold your fingernail, just a sliver, up to it and see a fraction of space between it and its reflection- it's a genuine mirror. But if you do this and the fingernail and reflection appear to touch, you are on the other side of a two-way mirror. I forget where I'd learned this but it's true. I tested the theory when I worked in a sports bar some years ago. The owner's office was equipped with one so he could keep an eye on his beeswax while he counted out the register and married cheap Svedka vodka into Absolut bottles. I guess the two sides protect both the innocent and the guilty.

Anyway, if height measurements are meant to narrow the choices, it's of no help to me. My depth of perception has always been off. 5 ft. 6 ft. It makes no difference at my height. Almost everyone looks 7 feet tall to me once I remove my signature heels. Plus, I already know who I'm looking for. He stands 5'11 or so his driver's license claims. The round up of suspects are a motley assemblage. They have almost nothing in common by way of physical attributes. Dark. Light. Tall. Medium build. Muscular. Lanky. Sloped shoulders. Big feet. Small hands. None look innocent, though. They all share that certain something. A glint in the eyes. Roughshod but not scraggly by any stretch of the imagination. That air about them that whispers into your bent ear, "I'm the kind your Daddy warned you about...but your Mom will love me." Bad boys if you will. And let's face it; if they were all nice guys they wouldn't be here, would they?

I'm told to take my time. Study each one carefully. And I do. The crime comes back to me in vivid detail. He was gone before I had the sense to look for what was missing. Stolen from right under my nose like a cherry pie left to cool on a window ledge in a bad neighborhood. Only it wasn't so sudden. It took time. Hours upon hours of conversation and broken daylights on the phone. Breakfasts at diners where I felt sorry for anyone who wasn't feeling what I was. Laughter born out of a warm place that was begging to be discovered. Made to wrap my own Christmas gift with an ornate bow, only to squeal with a child's delight upon learning it was mine. That type of charm can't be bought nor taught. Can a protector truly be a criminal? A thief at that...of all things? Now, a stone is crawling into my throat. A thousand memories are awash in my brain. "Take your time," they repeat. For a split second I worry that they can all see me. I'm not here to accuse anyone. I don't want them punished for my own negligence. Moreover, I don't want to punish him. A free man is an asset to his surroundings. A jailed man is a quandary to himself, even if heart burglary is not a Class A Felony.

I divert my eyes so as not to reveal who I'm focused on. "Take your time. You're safe now." I nod. A slow, believable nod. But inwardly I balk at the untruth of this statement. 5'11. Milk chocolate skin. A long, beautiful mane like the Lion of Judah. A frame that says he doesn't obsess over his body but takes very good care of it all the same. Hands that can splinter shale and pluck violets with the same delicate intensity. Just as charming as the day is long. Kingly in his disposition. One look from those happy-sad eyes and you are instantly the only woman in the room. In the world.

I step closer to the fraudulent mirror and feign uncertainty. Seawater fuses my eyesight momentarily. The blurring is welcomed. Second one from the left. That's him. Clear as day. The only one looking straight through that glass into my soul. He knows why he's there. What's more, he knows he won't be charged. "I don't...see him." I lie. And just like that- he's free to go. No one is safe from him.

January 21, 2010

Many Happy Returns

It's been a while. What began as a forced sabbatical became a much welcomed break. It started with the power supply in my computer going Tupac backwards. That's Caput for all the slow ones out there. My pc ( Yup. This Bug thrives on desktops-hates laptops and notebooks) started to sound like a Black Hawk copter taking off before it completely gave out. Blank screen. I was without my computer for roughly three months and truthfully, it came right on time. Something was off. I wasn't writing. I wasn't reading. I was as blank as my monitor. But it was perfect. I unplugged. Literally.

I checked out. Shut down my Facebook page. Sent all calls to voicemail. Switched my landline answering machine to two rings. I spent some much needed time in books...and in my own head. The new year found me renewed and replenished and it had nothing to do with January 1st. It had everything to do with leaving behind cumbersome thoughts and negative energy. I had to walk away from everyone and everything to find the center again.

And I found it. With no blog as an outlet, I was restricted to dealing with my life without documenting it along the way. Well, that's not entirely true. From a remote location, i.e., the library, I recounted my tale of an inebriated fist fight I got into last month. What can I say? I'm a violent drunk. You can read about it below. Since I've been away, so much has taken place. I fell in and out and back in love again. Haiti was shaken to shambles. I blew the dust off an old Yo! MTV Raps VHS tape. Someone as close as family began serving a sentence of 100 years. Princess Leia became a Jedi. And I saw all the promise of the universe in the milky black pupils of a three month old.

There is much to document. There is much to relay. I write to get it right. Everything else gets left. One thing's for sure...