February 28, 2010

Don't Try This At Home.

This Bug wants to settle something once and for all. Pardon the tone but I like to jump right in. Lately a lot of folks have been noticing that I've lost some weight. And that's true. About 20 lbs. to be...approximate. But this did not- read: DID NOT happen overnight. It happened over a period of a year and half to be exact. There was a time when I used to exercise regularly and walk/jog a measly mile about four days a week. That doesn't happen anymore. When I run into people who haven't seen me in a while the remarks run the gamut from admiration, worry to outright side-eye hate. "Wow. You don't look any different from High School." or "I'm just used to seeing you with more meat on your bones. " to "Wow, you're so slim. Are you eating? Everything okay?" The last one is always delivered with a discernible tinge of sarcasm. But I guess going from 130ish to 112ish would raise a few eyebrows, so...

Let's get this straight. Yes, my frame has returned to the lithe figure I had senior year. Without dating myself to a tee- I'll say it's been at least um... not-so-roughly 10 years since then. Yeah, sounds good. But what many don't know (unless they read my tales of woe) is that a problem tooth last year is responsible for much of my weight loss. I was unable to eat solid food for just under 2 weeks. It was all about soup and milkshakes as if someone had cracked my jaw. (Kanyeezy I felt your pain, Homie.) And by the time I was back on normal food- it took a lot less to fill me up. I guess my stomach shrank? That happens, right? I still go in on the desserts with no shame, by the way. Pair that with very sporadic consumption of meat and the fact that I barely eat breakfast unless I'm starving and there you have it. Nothing too complicated.

Nowadays I eat regularly. I do calisthenics and a few moves to keep everything toned about three times a week. Booty injections are a cop out. It's all about squats for This Bug. I wear what the hell I want. Leggings. Clingy shirts. Trife shorts. I don't give a what. I flaunt that shit. And I am not too modest to say I blend right in with these young chicks and can give some of them a run for their money. I always had a bit of an hourglass once I (finally) filled out, so there's not a huge difference between then and now. The one thing I'm astounded/annoyed by is how much people can't hide their distaste for how I look now. I'm not too skinny. I'm healthy. Stop hatin'. It was a freakin' wisdom tooth from Hell that started all this, okay? I wouldn't wish that suffering on anyone. They should spend more time committing to diet and exercise than wondering if I'm a borderline crackhead or just have good genes. Speaking of which- between the ample boobies, narrow waist, meaty thighs, knobby knees and skinny calves that look like they belong on a Perdue roaster...I have officially become my mother.

Momz Circa '75

Bugz Circa '09

February 27, 2010

Just keep swimming

I can't say that I understand it fully. In fact, I'm not sure I'm supposed to. All I know is that my mother was one. My brother-from-another is one. And my could-never-love-another is one too, along with countless close friends. We tend to find each other it seems; in deep waters that meet the ocean floor. Dwelling in my crustacean shell and walking waywardly- they swim around me for a spell. We share a love of water and are completely in our element down here. There is a compassion and intuitiveness that is unmatched by others. We see one another. Truly see one another. While I'm content in the comfort of my abode, they are most alive when exploring the vastness of the deep blue. The beauty in that- is they always return with a piece of what they have found in their travels. Smiles, wisdom, jewels or a closely held credo. My most natural Cancerian instinct is to clutch them in my claws. Hold them for all time. But that is not the way to love them.

There is such a dazzling rhythm to their fluid movement- that to even think of capturing it would be an injustice. That type of greatness is as boundless as the dark. With them, life is lush- and the only predictable thing about them is their unpredictability. Natural born dreamers who wade skillfully in and out of any perplexity...I've witnessed it so many times and each time I am awestruck. They are more enamored with the mind and spirit than matters of this physical world. This I love. Because there is so much more to this hermit crab than the earthly shell I possess. I can count on being taken to new places with them while not moving a stitch. I willfully lose myself in undulating pools of soulful eyes, because I cannot drown there. I can only thrive. So this is my thank you to each of them. The fish who so enrich my world simply by being in it. Oh, my Mermaids and Neptunes...I love you all from gills to tail. Swim on.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

February 26, 2010

White Drapes

You know when I come up on the goods I have to share.

One word: Dope.

February 25, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

You know that one song that can play and just get you amped out of nowhere? The type of joint that has the crazy beat and then the emcee just comes with that energy to match? Yeah. I have a select few but This Bug is only featuring one today. Everything about today's Throwback takes me to a place where I was wild, free and ready for whatever popped. It just has so much soul. I don't know if it's the fact that the melody (sung passionately by Blue Raspberry) is the same as the "I-am-woman-hear-me-roar" anthem that seems to be the birthright of my gender (you know the one, trust.) or simply the triumphant horns of Herb Albert. Whatever it is- it never fails to quicken my heart rate and give me that shot of adrenaline that only a dope Hip-Hop song can give you. Method Man comes so damn hard on this track that it makes me long for the days before he started rhyming in his laid-back Johnny Blaze persona. We all know he displays versatility when he's ready but he shines the brightest when he's raw. His voice and delivery just let's you know it's not a game. Straight up. This Bug's favorite line? "Remedies, cousin I be doin' on my enemies. Penalty, then I drink forties to they memories." If I wrote the book on it- I'd have to say that is what the fuck you call FLOW, feel me? It makes me wanna toke somethin'. Smoke somethin'. Tap somethin'. Yap somethin'. And wash it down with a Mistic. I don't even know how to act. I think you should do the same and just Release Yo 'Delf. One.

FYI: Mistic bottles don't even look like that anymore. The picture contained above is the authentic design for the time that Meth rhymed about it. I searched high & low for that shit. For ya'll. Do you feel the love?
You better.

February 23, 2010

Chivalry: May it Rest in Peace.

I swear, people never cease to amaze me. There are times when it's better to just shut the hell up and keep it moving. The problem is that some people lack that little fleck of common sense. Picture it: Days ago. 5:30ish. Gray outside and nearing dusk. I leave work in my clunker car and drive about two blocks on a side street before I realize there's trouble in Clunkerville. I pull over, throw on my hazard signals and get out to investigate the problem. Now, I have to put you in the scene. I was dressed professionally- read: Sharp as a pushpin in my high-waist, fitted beige slacks, chocolate brown wraparound blouse and signature 4 inch stilettos. One might say a little too sharp to be pushing a hooptie- but we all know I'm a struggling writer/Nine to fiver just striving to live comfortably. If the papes come... you know the drill. Anyway, the point is that I didn't look like some derelict at the side of the road. I looked like what I was. Just a woman who might need some help.

Between eight to ten cars passed me like a full bus before a nice lady with a thick Spanish accent stopped to make sure I was okay. She asked if I needed to use her phone (which I didn't since I have my own) and suggested a quick fix that would at least get me to the nearest gas station. Shout out to Elizabeth. You are the genuine article, Mamí. Long story short I made it home. But that's not where the story ends. Less than ten minutes later I'm standing on line in a drugstore close to my home. A grown man in his late thirties/early forties sidles up to me. He's casually dressed and when he opens his mouth to speak, I immediately notice that he's had his top teeth capped like Matt Dillon in Something About Mary- but clearly his paper wasn't long enough to get the crooked bottom ones fixed. There's a galaxy of difference between the minty Chicklets on the top row and the little yellow stragglers on the bottom in his trap.

"Oh! That was you under the car just now? I wasgonnastop but..."
(That's not to build suspense by the way. He literally trailed off.)

"Sure you were." I say coolly.

"No- for real, I was. Um...you alright, though?"

*Blank stare*

At this point, I'm thinking of all the things I can say to publicly embarrass this dickhead. But sometimes silence is the sharpest sword. I continue to look at him as if he's speaking Mandarin and my Rosetta Stone still hasn't come in the mail. This asshole had the nerve to drag it.

"I'd love to see you again. Let's talk about this later."

This part he was saying to my freshly turned, perfectly postured back. Really? Seriously dude. Seriously? Trying to get my number after admitting you're an inconsiderate schmuck? Get the fuckouttamyface! Anyone who doesn't know better than to point out to a lady what a gentleman he wasn't just minutes earlier deserves much more than being ignored. Eventually, he walks away with his head down. My friend later jokingly suggested letting the air out of his tires so I could drive by his stranded ass at the side of the road ten minutes later. *Beep Beep* No need, though. Karma is nothing but a bitch with an impeccable memory.

Just another day in the life of This Bug. All I can do is shake my head...and leave you with these wonderful words from the late, great Dr. Suess. This one's for the Chicklet Toothed Jerkface:

The time has come.
The time is now.
Just go, go. Go.
I don't care how.
You can go by foot.

You can go by cow.
But will you please go now?

You can go on skates.
You can go on skiis.
You can go in a hat.

But please go. Please.

Chicklet Toothed Jerkface,
I don't care how.
Chicklet Toothed Jerface,
Will you Please. Go. Now.

A clear cut case of someone not knowing how to leave well enough alone. (Sigh) You can't make this shit up.

February 21, 2010

Pricey Java, Priceless Times

"Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things." ~Author Unknown

We're offered the couch in the furthermost corner of the coffeehouse. It's erratically decorated and dimly lit. The one place that's Halloween all year round but never creepy. Instead, it's cozy. And prime for catch-up conversation over Ginger Peach Tea and a tall Hot Cocoa. This meeting is impromptu and long overdue. So much is always happening in our individual lives. We keep missing each other for some reason or another, but not tonight. Tonight we relate and debate. Speak of love and changes and how love changes everything. He is one of my few touchstones. He knows what's going on without my having to relay the gory details but still listens intently; not just awaiting his chance to speak. By the time my chocolate pecan pie arrives, we're up to speed and still giggling at my sorry attempt at replicating their recipe. "I think it was too much corn syrup. But... it smelled just like this." Deep down, we both know I was cursed by the Witches for trying to copy something so divine as their ethereal pastries. We share secrets and a gallon of laughter that may as well be wine. I am giddy. Our time is nothing short of rejuvenating. As always. We make plans for the weekend. A clash for sure; since his life is a whirlwind of festivities in comparison to my homebody habits. He is wise beyond his years and too fashionable for his own good.
He is, quite simply, a treasure.

February 18, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

Of today's Throwback, I once said that I would never feature this video. But this morning changed all of that. You see, I was driving to work like I've done a thousand times before- and bumping this tune in the car as I have millions of times before, but something was different. While heading up a main road thinly coated with black ice- a White van darted all the way out into my lane to make a left and then stopped abruptly. I had no time to think. Only react. I pumped the brakes repeatedly while simultaneously swerving into the other lane of oncoming traffic. Luckily the cars coming my way were far away enough to avoid my skidding vehicle. I swerved back into my rightful lane and watched the driver continue his asinine turn from my rearview mirror. I missed two crashes by mere inches. Heart between my ears, car unscratched. Faith intact. 93 Til Infinity still drifted melodically from my speakers. As I went about my day, it dawned on me how much this song has played an integral role in my life. Seventeen years ago- Souls of Mischief quietly came on the scene and caused a ruckus. Part of Oakland's Hieroglyphics camp, they were the West Coast equivalent to the East's Native Tongues collective. They shattered every preconceived notion I had about rappers from Cali. They didn't employ G-Funk basslines or super violent lyrics. They were just some laid back cats who rhymed effortlessly over jazzy interpolations. To say that 93 til is a classic is a severe understatement. It can fittingly be placed as one of the crowning jewels of Hip-Hop's Golden Era. My brotha-from-anotha once took a look at my music collection and said, "Yo Jayne, you are like- musically frozen in 1993." You won't get any argument from me there. I hold that time very close to me. I was young. I had dreams. I had an ear for uncommon goods; and that year in particular is laden with them. This song will forever be with me. It's almost twenty years since it's release and it has lost none of its luster. It carried me calmly to work today after a very nerve frying instance, resolutely mindful of what I love about Hip-Hop and life itself. I'm here. I hear. I can't ask for much more than that.

"You will see. From now to infinity." Blessed.

February 17, 2010

Brought to you by the Letter B...for bored.

Okay, lately I've been trying (mostly in vain) to look busy at work. I even took to Googling ways to look busy at work- since brazenly hunting for my dream job online and uploading my resume may not be the best of looks. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure it's frowned upon at any workplace. Anyway, in my quest to fool the overseers while browsing the internet- I learned a few things. Some relevant. Some not so. So all my Nine to Fivers...pay attention. You might learn a thing or three.

Strategically spread out paperwork on your desk will hide the truth that you finished that project hours ago. Make sure it looks somewhat organized. This way, if you're really bored and actually feel like working, you won't look so inundated that they don't pile on more to your faux workload. The key factor: Never ever have a clear desk. Like, ever.

I don't know if anyone else cares- but the fact that Oscar the Grouch was orange from 1969-1970 was a delicious piece of trivia to this Sesame Street aficionado. Who knew?

http://www.someecards.com/ has become an old-new guilty pleasure. How can I get a job there?

Contrary to my previous FB updates, Bagel Day at the job is not so bad. It takes care of my grumbly Morning tummy once a week and is a wonderful way to kill time once you factor in how long I take to make a cup of hot chocolate. Sidebar: Two packets of Swiss Miss will yield gloriously creamy results without adding dairy. No more watery Cocoa for This Bug!

More Sesame Street trivia on deck. Cookie Monster's "cookies" were actually rice cakes that were painted beige with brown dots to mimic chocolate chips. They began this method through trial and error when they realized real cookies soiled Muppet fur beyond repair. That's before they went all PC and started making him eat veggies. C'mon Son! That's why he was the wild ass Cookie Monster. Nobody goes that crazy for cauliflower.

Drink lots of water at work. The health benefits are a given and if the cooler is a decent distance away, it burns up some time. Plus, you''ll have to go to the restroom often which is a perfectly acceptable way to waste company time. You're human. Make sure to have some work related material in your hands when you take this little Agua trek. It gets you out of unwanted conversation by saying you really have to get back to (insert false project here). Still looking busy. Everybody wins.

Last one, I swear. Bert's vertical stripes were utilized to imply an uptight disposition. In contrast, Ernie's stripes are horizontal to make him appear more relaxed and easygoing. Brilliant! How cool is that? Okay, maybe it's not so cool...but at least I learned something new. It was so hard to tear myself away from that website. Seriously.

Screensavers are a dead giveway of how long you've been AWOL. Disable that shit. Stat.

Each time a co-worker approaches me with an issue and starts their sentence with "Here's the situation..." I fight the urge to break into Heavy D's verse. "Idio[di]cy. Nonsense violence. Not a good policy." I have Hip-Hop Tourettes. It's true. Sidebar: After eons of knowing the song, I never noticed until the moment I was typing this blurb that Idiodicy is not a freakin' word.
I guess we got to keep ourselves in check...or else it's...

That's it for now. Come back later.

February 12, 2010

Food For Thought

When things don't go my way, I try my best not to cry over spilled milk. If something is not my cup of tea, I usually drop it like a hot potato. Sometimes, you just know when you've had your fill. Then there are times when I'm a glutton for punishment. It seems as though I've acquired a taste for unpalatable things lately. I don't always like to beef. I'd rather things be just peachy. But it's not always that way, is it? Some days I'm cool as a cucumber and the next, I'm a hot tamale. It's all a part of who I am, I suppose. Some might say I want the whole enchilada but all I really want is contentment. I don't need to binge but I don't want to starve either. Isn't that what everybody wants? I think I deserve it. I consider myself to be a good egg. I've always heard that you can't make the omelet without breaking a few eggs, but seriously...how many does it take? You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

In my salad days, I believed that too many cooks spoil the pot. Now it seems that I've jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. It always happens the same way. I approach every situation with caution, slip on the oven mitts and await what should be a sumptuous and satisfying meal. Sometimes I follow the recipe to a tee. Sometimes I wing it. Before long, I can't stand the heat and have to get out of the kitchen. This isn't some half baked idea, either. I've given this some thought and I don't need to be spoon fed. I know how the world works. But I don't need everyone to tell me that I'm the apple of their eye. Don't butter me up. And I can't stand to hear that comparing my situation to another is apples and oranges. That doesn't cut the mustard and it only rubs salt in the wound.

Honestly, I'm a bit of a surrealist residing between this world and that. There are no champagne wishes and caviar dreams dancing in my head. I have no burning desire to be two peas in pod with someone. Really, all I want is to bring home the bacon from a plum job. Writing can be my bread and butter while I figure everything else out. I may come across nutty as a fruitcake but I know what I want and more importantly- what I deserve. I tend to put all my eggs in one basket while they are out netting other fish in the sea. The forbidden fruit is supposedly the sweetest, but others may know that better than I do. I'm not hungry enough to take a bite. Rather than go bananas- perhaps I'll simply dine alone. It's been said that oatmeal is better than no meal. There may be some truth to that- but I'm not too chicken to stand by my convictions. If variety is the spice of life- I know a few who could benefit from a milder diet. Sooner or later, someone winds up eating Humble Pie. If you're not careful you can get chewed up and spit out. That, I know from experience. Everything that tastes good isn't good for you- and I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles. But we all need food like we need love, the way I see it. It sustains us. There's no alternative to it. That's it in a nutshell. Now...Lettuce pray.

"Eat little, sleep sound." ~Iranian Proverb

February 9, 2010

In light of recent events

Okay people, I have to say before I get into this- that I was strongly advised not to blog about the following topic. Very seldom do I ask others what they think of my sharing certain aspects of my life on here. When I do, I ask those whose opinions I respect. Right. Respect, but do not necessarily always heed. It's times like this that I always remind them that the blog is called This Bug's Life and make a pointed decision to type on defiantly. I am not afraid to show the cracks and the flaws...except for the infamous ass crack of course...and that little thing I've considered laser surgery on for years now. Those things are taboo and shall get no burn on this blog. But I'm all for laying the rest of it bare, including my own character flaws- if it means bringing me closer to understanding myself and helping others by the same token.

Alright, if anyone's been paying attention, it doesn't take much to see that This Bug is a fighter. The self proclaimed One Woman Riot did it again...almost. And I have to say that I'm quite proud of the control I exercised the other night. There will be no changing of names to protect the innocent or the wimpy. I will spare everyone the juicy mundane details and simply relay that my patience outshone my temper when my kindness was mistaken for something else. To be confronted by a lifelong passive-aggressive bubblehead who wouldn't know tough if it checked her on the chin- was laughable. Entertaining at best. Did the girl deserve to get her ass dragged down the street and handed to her in below freezing weather? Affirmative. Did I take the high road? Yes I did. Have I forgotten the directions to the low road? Absolutely not. But picking your battles is a part of growing up and I realize now that some people will inherently feel your presence while wasting immeasurable energy trying to do otherwise. Silly mortals. I don't know why they do it to themselves. What I do know is that my words and movements are genuine. So...

You may question my logic all day, but you can never question my sincerity. I don't make enemies. I finish them.

February 7, 2010

One of Us

It's half past eleven in the morning. Thirty minutes before it's socially acceptable to have a cocktail- but the place is open and a Vodka tonic called me there. I drag the wooden stool back and order. "No lime, please." I say to no one in particular. A short glass of my poison is placed before me. I treat the first gulp like mouthwash then swallow hard. Before I can settle into my crowded brain, the door swings open and an older gentleman ambles towards the bar. He draws closer to me. Life has weathered his mahogany face. He needs a drink less than I do judging from the scent emanating from his pores. "Single malt if you have it," he says to the barkeep. I'm not surprised at all. He turns to me and asks if I want to hear the truth. I shrug. He walks over to the jukebox and drops in an endless supply of coin.

To the sounds of Little Milton, he launches into the aforementioned truth. I listen wordlessly while staring at the bubbles that find the top of my bitter liquid. Between sips of Glenfiddich he speaks of an ordinary life. Married for 32 years. Widowed 8 years ago. Three grown children spread across the continental U.S. Seven grandchildren between two of them. His eldest son- the one in San Diego, is a 'Fly Boy'. Lives out there with his partner. No kids, obviously. That one has his namesake if I can believe it. And I do. I ask if that bothers him at all. "Well, it did for a while...but he's still mine, you know?" His eyes appear to be looking thirty years into the past.

There's a pregnant pause between us and then I hear it. By the time he croaks out an admission you seldom hear a man of his age make- the guitar strings of R.E.M 's Everybody Hurts are coiling through the air. "I had to love him that much more... cuz his world was that much colder." For the first time since our conversation began, my mind wanders back to my own thoughts. What brought me here in the first place. Freshly sacked from a loathsome job I really needed, my car wanting overpriced repairs and enough past due bills to wallpaper my entire apartment. None of it matters. I gaze at the mirror behind the rows of bottles at the bar. I look like a stranger to myself and incidentally, the stranger's reflection seated next to mine looks oddly familiar. I begin to wonder why I've sat this long listening to him. I look to my left to find him gone. Joan Osborne's One of Us is the soundtrack to his exit. I push three singles towards the napkin holder. As I get up to leave it occurs to me that I was there to hear my own truth, not his. I step out against the lunch rush into a new, unknown world.

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unaware..”- Hebrews 13:2

February 4, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

Hello Boys & Girls. It's Thursday again. Today, I'll keep it in the Native Tongues camp from last week because 1. You can't go wrong and 2. This song explores the age old question: When men have something good at home- why do they feel the need to roam. This Bug has been turning that riddle around in her brain for some time now. Does this joint bring me any closer to understanding? Negative, Dun. But I always liked how they try to explain why "Jimmy" goes where he needs to go. Plus the beat was jazzy without losing itself to an RNB swing. The Jungle Brothers always had a way of telling stories with candid relish. The My Jimmy Weighs a Ton Remix carries you through their once happy, now claustrophobic relationships and justifications of why they needed to break free. They never said it was right...but they damn sure had fun while doing some wrong. I know my fellas can relate- so this one's for ya'll. Don't you just love the "Free At Last" jump Afrika makes in the air at the end of the vid? I know I do. And the moral of the story, B-Boys and B-Girls? "Love is a gamble, Life is a lesson."


February 2, 2010

Go Ask Alice

I've always loved Disney's Alice in Wonderland. The story was whimsical. The animation was fetching. But more importantly, I identified with the main character...to a fault. You see, Alice's misadventures begin when she gets bored during a history lesson and her mind wanders. It wanders so far that she finds herself down the rabbit hole and in a world she never expected.

She encounters the craziest characters and questions everything from logic to her own sanity. I've been there. The Mad Hatters. The spiked Tea Parties. The need to make it back to a place where things make sense again.

What recently intrigued me about this story was that Alice could leave Wonderland whenever she was ready. All of her topsy turvy encounters took place because she willed it to be so. It's not until she's being chased (mainly by her own demons, so to speak) that she wakes herself from this colorful and dizzying dream.

The elusive Caterpillar, the sly Cheshire Cat, the tyrannical Queen, the pressed-for-time White Rabbit; none of them meant her any harm. They were all just absorbed in a world where they belonged and she had no place in. Twenty some odd years later. Finally...I get it.