WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, November 9, 2007

Giving It Up Is Hard To Do...

Hey ladies. I said hey ladies. Have you ever looked at a man you once had relations with, sighed and then thought to yourself, “why did I give him some of my goodies?” The way you came to this conclusion may not have had anything to do with him having been bad in bed (although that may be a contributing factor), it could just be that in the light of day, you are upset that you let another person (who turned out to be a waste of your damn time) into your special place, your va-jay-jay as it were. Another number to add to your list of sexual partners. I mean not that you are ever “honest” with others about your number, of course you have to subtract the ones that didn’t really count or happened sooo long ago…but you know you keep the real number in your head. And no one likes for that number to keep on rising, so this can lead to keeping your legs closed and waiting until the right person comes along who is worthy of your goodies. This can be described as celibacy by choice. There is of course, celibacy by happenstance.

Celibacy by happenstance is when there’s no one around for you to give your goodies to. You may have come out of a long relationship and are still healing, or you finally came to your senses and cut that cut buddy off…Basically you haven’t met anyone new who is worth your time or is catching your eye, and so you find yourself without the ‘D’ in your life. And you can go weeks and even months without really thinking about it. You are just out living life, meeting people, volunteering at nursing homes, reading to the blind, finding a cure for cancer, starting enterprises, just doing you. And it doesn’t even seep into your mind: “hey I haven’t had relations with anyone in awhile…” And by the time it does, when you look at a calendar and count how long it’s been, you realize that it hasn’t been so bad, that you’re still able to function, that you can keep it moving…And you know that you’ll get it again, so there’s no panic or worry. Unfortunately there is the chance that you break your happenstance celibacy in a moment of weakness or horniness which usually never ends up being a good thing.

Aaah but when you are celibate by choice, either because you have decided to rededicate your life to Christ and wait until marriage, or to find yourself (you know the real you) and you can’t get to know the real you when you are sleeping with someone else, or perhaps you’re just fed up with giving up the goodies and not getting anything in return…In any case, when you say to yourself “I ain’t fucking no mo’”, that is when things get hard (pun intended). You get that little itch in your special place, not an STD itch, but that ‘girl you need to go ahead and get you some’ itch. Suddenly every man who walks by looks good and you start wondering what he’s like in bed, if he likes to travel down South, if he can smack it up, flip it, rub it down…ok I’m getting carried away.

The point is that when you make that conscious decision to keep your legs closed, that’s when you are hit with the temptations. Men you haven’t spoken to in months start sniffing around trying to get into your pocketbook.* And then you have flashbacks of how he smacked it up, flipped it, rubbed it down and you want to call him back and say “come on over…” But you come to your senses and get out those batteries. Ex-boyfriends who you know ain’t shit, start calling, talking all sweet and low, trying to wriggle themselves back into your life and more importantly into and onto your pillow.

It’s like your va-jay-jay has put out an A.P.B.: Calling all men, calling all men, we’ve got a woman who is considering celibacy. Somebody call her out the blue, send her a friendly email, randomly show up at her house-anything to stop her progress! Suddenly the two of y'all become enemies, as she becomes one uppity negro. That heifer starts to betray you at every turn, jumping and twitching in a fine man’s presence, talking bout, “girl come on, just get a taste, just let him put the head in…That’s all you need, just this one time…” So you have to fight her, wrestle her to the ground, knock her out, and tell that bitch to BE-HAVE! Tell her, “I rebuke thee! The Devil is a liar!”

On top of fighting temptations at every turn, you start remembering sex and how it used to be, start getting urges in the middle of work while you’re sitting at the computer, wishing that somebody would just walk up behind you and kiss you on your neck. Been such a long time… Of course thinking of sex only makes you irritable which leads you to start snapping at people. Got friends talking behind your back, or (if they’re your real friends) to your face even, being like “you need to get your Susie ate…” Aaah yes, it’s true what they say: Sex is a Misdemeanor, the more you miss, da meaner you get…

The final straw is when you just start to let yourself go, like you have lost your will to live. You stop shaving your legs, or getting waxed in those crucial places, no more pedicures unless it’s summertime. And you may start walking around and embodying that ‘who’s going to see it mentality?’ This is never a good look. Don’t ever let it get this far! Please stay hair free, done up and beautiful at all times because you see yourself everyday! Everybody say “aaawwwww….”

I have been celibate both by happenstance and by choice before; and eventually have been broken down by some smooth talk and my own weakness. But as I grow in many aspects of my life and try to find myself by myself, I’m going to give this celibacy a try one mo’gin. So, if my posts get a little irritable, I know that y’all will understand and say to yourself, “oh that’s just ‘cause she ain’t getting none.” And I ain’t. But that’s my choice.

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

*Yes, I took it old school with that one.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


so....this week i've been feelin' kinda blah, annoyed with everyone, myself included. and when i get in a funk, music is my solace. and one of the neo-soul anthems that is oh so appropriate is bilal's "sometimes."

ever been to one of his concerts and you know what i'm talkin bout. everybody, including the folks tryin to act cute in the back, sings along to this joint.

this week i felt like remixin' it, to reflect how i'm feelin....check the video below and sing along to my new lyrics posted below...

*in a barely comprehensible whisper*
from inside the head of a girl who can be called a dreamer
these are her wishes and dreams [REPEAT in the background]

This is a song that makes me spill out all my brains sometimes


I wish I was a better me sometimes
I wish I was annoying-people free sometimes
I wish I saw the bullshit first sometimes
I wish I knew which way to go without searchin’ sometimes
I wish I could go where I never been
See what I never saw, do what I never did
Or walk before I could crawl, every day of my life

I wish I went with my heart not my head sometimes
I wish I had a man in my bed sometimes
I mean I’m worth it
Since I did all that work at the gym yesterday
But then he ain't good to me
As I am good to him
And he don't pay my attention the way that I do sometimes

But ya’ll, I should be nicer than I am sometimes
I take this changin’ my mind shit waaaay too far
I mean, it was kinda adventurous in the beginning but now
I think I only do it cuz I can’t commit sometimes
It’s got people thinkin’ I don't have a clue sometimes
But I guess it wouldn't be so bad
If I knew what was goin’ on in my own head
Then it wouldn't hurt me so bad
When I picture my life with no meaning sometimes

I wish I knew life with loads of money, yeah
Wish I held the keys to that house sometimes
I pretend cuz I'm afraid to be, afraid to choose sometimes
I hope I get married by twenty-nine sometimes
I wish I could be like Eva in Paris
Round up my bridesmaids, move down the aisle
And live a better life sometimes
I wish I didn't try so hard sometimes
Who knows how he’s comin’ any way
They don't know nothing, who needs their approval

The world is in your hands sista
Move at your own pace, listen to your own mind
Do your own thing, yeah yeah
I gotta tell my self this every day
And I gotta grow more, yeah yeah
But I wanna run back in the other direction
Nope, I got to stay on this path until I win
I win, I win, I win
I wanna win, I wanna win, I wanna win, I wanna win

Aaahh sometimes, sing it with me I wish
(I wish true love) And I wish, oh I wish
(I wish self-peace) Oh sometimes
(I wish hope) I wish hope
(I wish true love) I wish true
(I dream clearly) Hey I dream so clearly sometimes
(Wish with no fear) I wish with no fear
(I have no fear) I have no fear
(Have no doubt) I have no doubt
(I don't doubt) I don't doubt
(Have no doubt) No, I don't doubt
(Have no doubt, I wish true love)

I wish true love, hey hey

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bellinis' breakin' it down, vol i.

Remember a few weeks ago in Whose America, I reference C-suite holders (chief titles in corporate America including chief executive officer [CEO], chief operating officer [COO], chief financial officer [CFO], etc.) If no, read it now and comeback; if yes proceed . . .

There appears to be some hoopla over the resignation/termination of Stanley O'Neal, former CEO of Merrill Lynch. Here's the background you need to know per your edification and for purposes of me breakin' it down: black male (60's), CEO of Fortune 500 company [old guard company meaning very safe in terms assest allocation], just know this is not a newbie company (i.e. Microsoft, Google, eBay, etc.).

Uhh ohh . . . breaking news --- Never mind that less than 100 hours ago, Chuck Prince [such a cool name], Citigroup's CEO is stepping down over his sour performance with the company -- his famous last words as CEO per his press release were: "It is my judgment that, given the size of the recent losses in our mortgage-backed securities business, the only honorable course for me to take . . . is to step down," the potential losses to the tune of $ 8,000,000,000.

back to O'Neal

So, Mr. O'Neal is leaving and folks are debating the influence of race in his resignation/ouster. Why? be'cuz as Americans that's what we do -- race is a salient factor of the American experience. O'Neal's departure hinges on the fact that Merrill Lynch will have to report losses in excess of $5,000,000,000 [ yes, that's the correct amont of zeroes -- 5 billion] some reports believe the amount is closer to 8 billion dollars stemming from the company's overexposure in the sub-prime mortgage market (homeowners who due to their poor credit standing, lack of understanding of the homeownership enterprise, and confluence of other factors are the sub-prime mortgage market target).

Minorities, many of them poor and black, comprise a huge percentage of households that have obtained this type of mortgage loan (check out The Economist, "Of the wretched and the reckless" 9/8-14/07). got it -- good, back to the nitty gritty; so throw the history of race, a Fortune 500 company, Stanley O'Neal and his perceived role or lack of in the American Dream and you get . . .

some folks are incensed that O'Neal as a black man would steer a corporate institution rooted in capitalism to engage the sub-prime mortgage market industry because of the dentrimental impact black folks have faced.

And some folks feel like its racist for Merrill Lynch to part ways with Mr. O'Neal.


time for Bellini's Breakdown

First of all, working in coporate America, particularly as CEO you respond to two constituencies board of trustees and your shareholders. In both cases, the common denominator is bringin' in the benjamins. So, with that being said, so what if the market he pursued was the sub-prime mortgage market. Due to his timing in the market last year, O'Neal was the golden boy. He made Merrill Lynch plenty of money. In other words, he did his job as CEO. Now, with the housing market cooling down and folks are gettin' antsy about the lending market and the banks feel the money crunch from going overboard with the sub-prime mortgage market there are a whole bunch of write-offs in terms of loss profit for a myriad of companies, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup are included. No need to worry for O'Neal or Prince there severance package comes equipped with a platinum parachute.

It's touching folks don't want to see a brotha go, but get over it. I already told you the two constituencies that matter. Don't worry there are a few folks left with offices in the c-suite. Let's drink to that.



Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Just for Me

I’m living on my own and though it isn’t quite a hard knock life, sometimes I do wish I was still with my momma despite some of the hang ups that can bring. To save some money I think I’d gladly wash a parental unit’s car with a toothbrush or help my granny take out her dentures! I’ve been out in this here world for the past three years and have learned a lot about myself. I am now keenly aware of how much I love a bargain! Be it a two for one special, blue light special, manager discount, going out of business sale, as is, lightly worn, slightly imperfect, barely funky (ya’ll catch my drift)-I’m on it! When it comes to shopping for the staples that help me sustain life: cereal, instant oatmeal, sugar and milk-you’ll find me at one of the finer discount stores-Target or Wally World-before you see me at a local grocer. Five plus dollars, for some dried up, over processed oat, rice or corn cereal ain’t a good look.

On a recent shopping excursion in Target (to stock up on boxes of cereal) I remembered that I had run out of lotion. Yes, my ashy butt was putting on petroleum jelly as a substitute. And I was shinin’ from my head to my toes ya’ll! Slippin’on the bathroom floor, fighting the ash all the while trying to maintain some classiness. So I moseyed over to the lotion aisle. Do not venture into such an aisle without a game plan ya’ll-the options are overwhelming. When it comes to facial cream-It’s Noxzema. When it comes to laundry detergent-It’s Gain. But with lotion, I have no brand loyalty, it’s whoever is selling themselves at the lowest dollar that I’m taking home with me. Well, I do have some standards…no generic store brand for me-because really there is a difference even if it is in similar packaging (sorry Target). Anyways, on this particular day there was a manager’s special and several lotions were on sale. I really couldn’t decide if I wanted to smell like wild flower bouquets or tangy kiwi. But in the midst of my indecision I spotted the most beautiful bottle of lotion my eyes ever spied at the end of the Vaseline lotion section. Pass the white, blue, yellow, lavender and light green bottles-sat the golden coppery brown bottle. And I just had to buy it…

Why? Because the contents inside this shiny brown bottle were made just for me.

I guess someone at Vaseline decided to tap into the colored peoples' lotion market-directly. I have used their classic yellow bottle lotion as well as others in their line and have been pleased with the results…the ash was gone. But it got me to wondering about this lotion I spotted. It was cocoa butter lotion-but I knew it was packaged with me in mind. I’ve seen other cocoa butter lotions, they are in lighter brown bottles, with Palmer's or Uncle Junies Cocoa salve scrolled across the top, products I was
too proud to purchase. But it seems that the Marketeers at Vaseline learned how they could reach into the pockets of black folks without our uncles and ainties.

Marketing to Black Folks for the Politically Correct Marketeer-101 (some excerpts)

Black people love anything showing them dancing and singing…
Um, okay I enjoy Popeyes Chicken-n-Biscuits as much as the next person but
this is a little ridiculous don’t you think?

Black people love anything and everything African…
African Pride, need I say more? And how many other products for us have you seen with a Kente cloth pattern and red, black and green urban style text?

Black people love Berry White’s (or something close to it) Voice…
God Bless his soul, his voice was could drive many a lady wild and wet. But come on Toyota I don’t need to be that excited to buy your car.

Black people love brown, gold and copper…
Ah the Earth hues. We love anything that resembles our skin tones.
Pantene realized this. And Vaseline did as well. You’ll notice when you select Vaseline’s Cocoa line its completely different…a little bit darker…than their other products.

Haven’t marketeers learned these lessons well? They certainly know what sells. I did end up buying that bottle of cocoa butter lotion that wasn't on sale! It’s a wonderful product, I must admit. Would I have bought it if it were in a red or gray bottle? Maybe, but only if I could get two for one. Otherwise, I doubt I would have noticed it if it weren’t for shiny brown packaging that reminded me of me.

See You in Seven

Monday, November 5, 2007

Feet Don't Fail Me Now

I apologize in advance for the lengthiness of my spiel.

Rum Punch had my mind churning all weekend long after reading her post
last Friday. She served that thang real nice- shaken well, a lil strong, and with just enough ice. I know many women who have an opinion about dating similar to the one Rum Punch shared with us. Please believe me when I tell you that I feel their pain. But I find it equally painful to hear my sistren tell the woes of dating, searching for the ONE, and the limited options with which they have to do so. What bothers me more than the obvious crisis at hand is the way in which we choose to manage it.

To my girl Rummy and other sistas who feel the way she does, I pose to you the following:

1) What happened to dating? Just dating.

You know when that thing where you go out with somebody and have fun. Get to know each other, experience something new… enjoying life in other words. Life is short. I’m not saying don’t plan for the future, but maybe enjoy some of today while you build for tomorrow. Make new friends. Switch up that boring ass routine of yours and create opportunities for yourself instead of waiting for someone else to present them to you.

I checked out dictionary.com for a couple of definitions.

Dating: an engagement to go out socially with another person, often out of romantic interest.

Mating: to match or marry.

Not quite the same meaning. While one can lead to the other, it doesn’t always happen in that order. Dating is like trying on twenty pairs of shoes in DSW and only coming out with two. You never would’ve seen those brown Stuart Weitzman boots on clearance if the red Calvin Klein pumps didn’t pinch your toes. When you get home and realize the boots don’t match the new dress in your closet, take them back. Get a refund or exchange them for another pair. Would you really keep a pair of shoes just because you couldn’t find a better pair? ‘Nuff said.

1) If you think your options are limited now, take into consideration that you’re looking for a husband and watch that narrow slice get split into slithers.

Don’t forget that it takes two so for every one of you ladies out there looking for a husband, not a date, there must be a man looking too for the match to occur. More than likely, that is not the case. There are many do-right brothas out there who are broom jumping material but not quite ready to jump at this moment. All the home cooking and good luvin’ in the world won’t change this until that man is ready. Period.

For the few desperate dudes who do fit into that ready right now category, don’t be scared when homie tells you about a chapel he’s had his eye on and how it must be fate that your size 7 finger fits his grandmother’s ring perfectly. You laugh, huh? Don’t act like you haven’t already picked out that Vera Wang bridal gown that matches your mama’s pearls.

2) Which husband would you prefer: the bus driver who comes home at a decent hour every day or the accountant who works 50+ hour weeks, travels 70% of the time, but makes 3x the bus driver’s salary?

I don’t know when dating/mating with the bus driver became bottom of the barrel (I kid, I kid), but I’m using this example because Rum Punch did. I work for a professional firm. The senior management staff practically lives, eats, and sleeps work. Raking in the dough. Their kids are well taken care of. Their wives are living the good life. Yet they are rarely home or spending time with their families.

Last year, a bus driver asked me out (true story, I swear). I rode his bus home every evening and we would engage in very stimulating conversation with topics ranging from the latest movies to government & politics. He’s a very nice man and we still kick it from time to time, I just wasn’t feeling him romantically. But he’s a perfect example of how you can limit your options by judging the book by its uniform. This man drives the bus part-time and teaches at a local college part-time. He is comfortable with both occupations. His reasons for driving the bus are that the transit department’s benefits are great &
the pay is damn good. He started working at the college because he gave in after a dean tried continouously to recruit him for over two years. He also truly enjoys teaching. Last time I spoke with him, he was looking to enroll into a state university to earn a Master’s Degree in Education.

Not bad if you ask me. But I understand his profession is not image-worthy. It doesn’t garner the same status in society as a profession that requires you to wear a suit and necktie Monday thru Friday. It won't have your parents bragging to their buddies over a game of bid whist. Not quite enough to make your sorors jealous. And that's what truly matters, right?

3) Where did this notion come from that the majority of white people are earning big salaries?

It is true that people of color still don’t earn a dollar for every dollar earned by a white person in the same position. However, there are just as many white men who are plumbers, customer service reps, baristas, etc. as there are black men. Even if a white woman has more options, they’re not quite as lucrative as we like to assume. Remember Roseanne Connor and Peggy Bundy? Women like that really do exist. They outnumber the Carrie Bradshaws and Samantha Coopers in the world.

The Census Bureau
reported the 2004 U.S. median household income was $44,334. People of color are still a minority in this country; therefore this median income is comprised mostly of the incomes of white folks. Keep that in mind the next time you [subconsciously] hate on white women and their “options”.

4) Would you accept a job offer for a position that you are overqualified for and that offered a lesser salary then what you are asked for?

Rum Punch mentioned our playing field not being level when it comes to dating. So true. As a black woman, most playing fields in my life are not even. Jobs and earning potential, shopping for credit lenders and decent interest rates, portrayal in the media, misogyny in hip-hop, oh I could go on all day! When it comes to equal opportunity, I am S.O.L. But why should I let that stop me?

I am a queen who deserves nothing less than a king. Every king's crown ain't blinged out with diamonds and platinum though. And nobody, no one, and not a damn soul can dictate who's fit to be my king but me. What I can tell you is my king will not be Mr. Right or Mr Right Enough. He will be Mr. Right for Me. Nothing less.

When I do find him (and damnit I will), I shall cherish him forever. 'Cause Rum Punch wasn't lying when she said it's hard out here for a pimp.

Tumultuously Yours,

Dark & Stormy