February 27, 2011

beautiful, black, precious and complicated

"Rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a poor house, as your pearl in your foul oyster." ~Shakespeare

It's not every day one learns they are a black pearl.

A rare and accidental creature.

And it's not every day you find one.

It's not every day pearls of wisdom adorn a neck.

But every day- pearls are cast before swine.

And you cannot fault the swine

for not knowing

what has been dropped into the trough.

And no one can bemoan a pearl's fate

if it's swallowed as swill-

or simply remains

in its lonely iridescence.

Inspired by Tupac Amaru Shakur

February 20, 2011

Bitch and Pieces

This Bug is starting to realize that her existence must be for the sheer entertainment of one (or many) who sits on high, rolling the tape and pressing pause on my most jarring and hilarious moments (well..to them, anyway). That may seem ridiculous- but so does my life lately. The past few weeks have been nothing short of trying. I'll spare you the sordid details but the morsels are worth sharing.

From the Clunker Chronicles comes yet another tale of woe. Yes, I knew the car needed oil. That little genie-in-the-lamp light thingy on the dash told me so. Yes, I bought two quarts, poured them in and went about my business that day. When the car seemed to be smoking from under the hood hours later, I was puzzled. I bought some Antifreeze and popped the hood. Then I popped the trunk when I remembered that the hood doesn't stay open without being propped up by my trusty 'Peacemaker'. I think it was a broomstick in a former life. Just then, a stranger asked me if I knew what I was doing to which I haughtily replied that I did. Then I saw that I never screwed the oil cap back on from earlier that morning. The sad truth? That's not even the first time I've done that. I should just park up the jalopy and break out the mountain bike. No. I have no idea what I'm doing.

Up until this morning- I had no idea I subconsciously feared growing old. Then I woke up from a dream where I laid down, sans bra and my breast rolled and came to rest comfortably in my left armpit. I mean, even the nip was to the side instead of facing forward (upward?). I dunno. It was hella disturbing and I consider it a nightmare of epic proportions. Up there with when I was being stabbed in an alleyway while acid rain was melting my skin off. It's all pectoral flies and bench pressing from now. And lots and lots of moisturizing. Lots.

I'm so ashamed. Well, not quite. Suffice to say I dabble in the libations a bit. 3 Ciroc bottles. 2 Absoluts. 1 six pack of Heineken. 1 Guinness stout bottle. 6 empty cans of Dole pineapple juice that blend so perfectly with the coconut vodka. And oh, I almost forgot. One telling blue bottle of Reisling. And a partridge in a pear tree. You get the picture. The Hefty bag sounds like the circus is coming to town...or just left.

Um..New York City cops tend to disagree. Unless you have a hack license. That's next on the to-do list after I pay that blasted ticket.

Just so you know, This Bug imbibes more than grapes and grains. Thanks to Will Ferrell in The Other Guys I discovered how wonderfully refreshing a few slices of cucumber can be in ice cold water. Lemon water is so passé. Try it now. Thank me later. And Will, too.

Call it covetous. Call it unethical. Call it what you want. But there is only one pair left in my size at the side gig and I'm hiding them until the price inevitably gets marked down. Now, I know that in some way, shape or form this causes the company to lose money by preventing the common man from purchasing them full price. I get that. But I don't give a fat frog's ass. I've never owned anything so frivolous and over the top fashion-wise and perhaps never will again. Don't judge me...'til you see me sportin' them with some liquid leggings and a gorgeous blouse.

So last weekend my father goes into a popular Superstore that rhymes with Schmalmart. He picks up some coffee creamer and two sets of clothes hangers. Once the cashier rang him up- the total sounded unusually high. It turns out he picked the hangers up from an area they didn't belong in and was mislead about the price. So politely, he asks the cashier to remove the items based on the quality of the hangers in relation to price. Nothing more. She does this quickly and by herself as there was no need for a manager or the ever necessary 'key' at the register. Then she looks at my dad, scans the Coffeemate and says blankly, "You think you can handle that?" All I can say is that the Creator in His infinite wisdom saw to it that I was not there to witness this. She'd still be picking teeth along with whatever else she swallowed that day out of her shit right now.

Anyway, it's been a wild and sometimes taxing ride these past few weeks. I just wanted to share the bits and pieces...and maybe bitch a little. But even after all the frustration- something like this comes along and reminds me that there's always something to smile about:

"Well a very, very heavay ah, heavy dua, bertation tonight, we had a very derst, dereson, bite, lets go head terest tazon lusht to the vet to have the pet."


February 17, 2011

Throwback Thursdays

Peace Peoples. I want to get something out of the way right now before I head into today's Throwback. I was never really a Tupac fan. There. I said it. Yes, I can remember where I was when I heard he died and all (on my way to a homecoming Upstate), but I never owned an album and I didn't become one of those "late bloomer/bandwagon" fans I saw crop up shortly after his death. (Ya'll know who you are.) But he did have a handful of joints that I genuinely felt. Temptations is one of them. Yet another song that I might have liked anyway but the video made me appreciate it ten times more. I'm pretty sure he was incarcerated when this was shot so a lot of people came out and showed love in his absence. Talk about cameos? Everybody and their Momma is in this one. And I do mean everybody. They got it rockin' in that hot sheets hotel. Ice-T, Coolio, Kenya Moore, Treach (givin' some Honey love), Digital Underground's Shock G (gettin' kicked out of his room but quickly recovering) Salt and Spinderella (two fifths of a freaky card game), Crystal Waters, Warren G, Jada Pinkett, Adina Howard, Cypress Hill's B-Real and the legendary Isaac Hayes just to name a few. Even the dude from the Matrix who played Huey P. Newton is up in there for some reason. Sidebar: A little trivia for you. The last shot after Yo-Yo pulls Coolio into her room is a head nod to the ridiculously low budget B-movie, Def By Temptation. Get it? Temptation? (sigh) I know. I could have done with out it, too. Anyway..The track was done by none other than Hip-Hop pioneer producer Easy Mo Bee. If the name doesn't readily ring a bell- just know that he's the mastermind behind Big's Warning and Craig Mack's original Flava In Ya Ear. Dope biz. 'Nuff said.

February 15, 2011

Don't look away

Is she hiding? Witnessing what should never be seen? Looking for what is under her very nose? Cursing the day those eyes opened or praying for the day they close? Searching for something that simply isn't there? You never can tell. Once you trump insurmountable fears, the rest of it looks like an open valley. Ye thou I walk through the valley...but what if the shadows come? But the shadows are always there, aren't they? And the lights that lead the way are blinding. So what is there to hide from? Truth may be ugly but is always worth looking at. Unflinchingly.

February 6, 2011

Some Time Soon for Sanity's Sake

"Solitude vivifies; isolation kills.”~ Joseph Roux, French Artist
Pictured above are the waters and sand of Luquillo Beach in Puerto Rico. I was there once. Years ago- on what I guess I could call my first honeymoon. Only because on my first anniversary, I can remember lugging very heavy bags, walking uphill in frigid temperatures and saying (more to myself than to my then husband) "This same time next year I will be somewhere warm, Dammit." I made good on that promise and planned the trip. We went. It was a fantastic time. Oddly enough, I don't attach any romantic emotions to the memory of my time there. I always said I would go back alone if the means and time permitted. I engulfed my time there that much.

These days are harder to bear than usual. The transgressions are beginning to outweigh the triumphs. As I stand watching the last of my marbles roll away into darkened corners, I know where I need to be; in blue crystalline waters under a forgiving sun. I need to rent a convertible and feel the wind whip through my hair. I need to drink in the horizon from the backdrop of El Yunque rain forest as I drive the winding road to Luquillo. I need solitude to replace the self-imposed isolation I feel closing in on me each day. I need a few days without Blogger, Google, Youtube, Gmail and Facebook. As cliché as it sounds, I need to feel the sand between my weary toes.

I can remember my co-workers at the time joking about planning my baby shower that would no doubt be needed after my vacation. Funny. Once I was on that beach- I can remember swigging my drink and thinking, "If I get knocked up on this trip- I won't be able to do this again this same time next year..." Needless to say, that didn't happen. And the next year found me on a beach in Negril. But I always felt a connection, a magnetic draw back to that vast beach just outside of San Juan. It felt like home- or the closest thing to it this side of Chaguaramas in my native land. Soft sand. Privacy. Welcoming water. Peace. That's all I'm in search of. That, and..me I suppose. So before I unplug, I'll swing by Expedia to see what deals await me this same time next month. Damn the time or the means..for sanity's sake.

February 3, 2011

Throwback Thursdays

"Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day.
Unseen, unheard, but always near; still loved, still missed and very dear." ~Author Unknown

B-Boys and B-Girls it's been a minute. Can it be I stayed away too long? Never. Because I'll always lace you when I reemerge with Throwback Thursdays. I'm in a sentimental mood right now for more than one reason- so I'm gonna bang you with a touching, revelatory song that I hold close and always will. Plus, the emcee is no slouch. Matter of fact, she's one of the nicest to ever do it. Period. Brooklyn's own MC Lyte stomped a heavy footprint in the game and that's why she's still respected to this day. This track was from her 1991 album Act Like You Know. It's nice to know someone can articulate the loss of someone special in such a plaintive, honest manner through Hip Hop. She told a story that sadly, too many can relate to.

Poor Georgie
is one of Lyte's most memorable joints in part because of how melancholy it is and also because of the genius use of samples. I've taken the liberty of including both samples for your listening pleasure after you watch the classic video. I can remember seeing this vid for the first time and feeling like a light went on (no pun intended) when the camera pulled back and revealed the sad end to Georgie's tale. It was only then that I realized someone was dressing the dearly departed she spoke of. Someone is placing the ring on his finger, slipping the rose in his lapel, kissing lips that have invariably gone cold too soon. It was deep and it hit me full impact.

Last week was the anniversary of the birth of someone I hold near and dear to me. Someone who was also gone too soon from this world. And while Lyte's lyrics don't mirror the relationship I had with him- the last sentiment rings true. "No one on Earth is promised tomorrow." I walk with that lesson daily and try to never forget it. I dedicate Today's Throwback to one who is still woven throughout my life since childhood. The closest thing to Big Daddy Kane our little 'hood ever had. Truly known by few. Loved by more. Missed by many. His light shines eternally.

In Loving Memory of John I. a.k.a. Peanut


February 1, 2011

Gilligan's Isle: The Office Edition

A job. Work. Livelihood. The gig. Call it what you want. These days, I call mine Gilligan's Island. I say this for two reasons. One, I work with a milieu of oddball characters worthy of their own sitcom. Second, I really need to get off this island. Every day my alarm sounds I'm greeted with a stark reality; Rise and Grind. This is becoming an increasingly arduous task mainly because I'm starting to hate going there. It was cool at first. But any gig will seem cool after a year and half of being unemployed like I was. These days, I sit at my desk inundated with work that bores me to tears. When I'm not trying to find a needle in a haystack I'm thinking of new and interesting ways to make my escape from the following true to life characters at my workplace.

The Diva: As the story goes, she hails from a big shot firm in the city and is slowly...and I mean ever so slowly adjusting to the culture of our homey little office. Where ever she came from, they apparently did nothing for themselves. This includes ordering lunch, carrying a box of files from her Lexus truck and knowing how to copy and paste a document. I wish I was joking about the last one. I'm not. Also, she has a penchant for dressing in all black every day and complains about how freezing she is though I've never seen her clad in anything but pumps, pencil skirts and sleeveless sheaths. Yes, even on the day we were hit with 12 inches of snow. But she sure has that Damsel-in-Distress thing licked.

The Basket Case: There's one in every office. A nice but nerdy girl that is so socially awkward that you'd feel sorry for her if she weren't so damn irritating. Her voice is perhaps a pitch or two lower than a thousand dying cats. She talks with her mouth full and includes herself in conversations she has absolutely nothing to contribute to. Once, she went out to the "post office" and came back with $2000 worth of damage to her car which she claimed happened in the parking lot. When we asked her what happened at the post office she let out a high-pitched squealing explanation of "Idunno!Inevermadeit!" Not a breath in between. Who knows what carnage she left in her clumsy ass wake. She's never at her desk. Actually, I think she's usually under it secretly devouring sleeves of Oreo cookies since she seems shy to eat in front of another human being. She may be bulimic. Just my suspicion.

Nosferatu: This dude frightens me. Every. Single. Day. He doesn't walk, he saunters. And sometimes, he's lurking in the doorway for God knows how long before someone looks up and notices he's there. He claims to be married and bemoans the cost of his daughter's upcoming wedding to anyone who will pretend to listen. This guy actually reproduced? I don't buy it. He has a stubborn fang that looks like it's been pulled ten times already but continues to grow back. It's a wonder he hasn't stabbed his lower lip while he yammers on about shit no one cares about. That thing is sharp, okay? I started keeping garlic in my bottom drawer and he now mysteriously keeps his distance.

The (Multi) Millionaire: Yeah, no shipwrecked island is complete without one- so we have him. He actually looks like one of the Kennedys. One of the dearly departed, bloated, alcoholic Kennedys known for accidentally driving off bridges with pretty party girls legal secretaries in the car who aren't so lucky as him. I'll say this much: If his head weren't attached, it would be sitting right on the desk with the files he perpetually needs for closings and the Blackberry he seemingly cannot live without. His wife calls him 20 times a day...and 20 times a day he's "in a meeting" when she does. To each his own. I actually think he and the Diva would make a great pair if they weren't married to other people and if either one had an attention span longer than Polaroid flashbulb.

The Snacker: I really have no complaints about the Snacker. She's just known for eating every time you pass her office. Granola bars. Pop Tarts. Biscotti. Last night's lasagna. You name it. But she shares the goods which is a plus. I honestly have no idea where she puts it. She must have the metabolism of a racehorse because anyone else would be 100 pounds overweight by now if they ate the way she does. She's just healthy. And strong as an ox. I swear I saw her lift and change the Poland Springs water cooler with her pinkie finger once.

The Space Invader: This girl worked in my office for a week before she divulged that she was drinking a gallon of cranberry juice a day to battle a pesky UTI. Why I knew that much about her vag so soon- or at all is anybody's guess. She also told wildly inappropriate jokes- even by my standards. I used to wonder why she stands so close to everyone when she speaks to them- but then I realized that most of what she says has no place being spoken aloud in an office. The girl is a freak. Simple and plain.

The Dirty Old Man: It is with mixed emotions that I write about this guy. Some of you may remember when I caught him surfing porn at his desk a while back. Well, he had some serious health trouble and at the ripe old age of 71, he can no longer practice law. But I know where ever he is now- he has visions of daisy chains dancing in his head.

How I'm able to spend 40 hours a week with these people is a testament to my fortitude. I avoid them at all costs and make myself scarce when I can. It could only be worse if The Skipper had a back office. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a resumé to go upload.