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 23, 2007

To Grandmama's House We Go...

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday! The upcoming series of holidays has got me thinking about family, my grandmother in particular and I realized that we are coming to the end of an era. That’s right. Ain’t no more big mamas.

I’m talking about:

Praying grandmamas. Church fearin, big hat and fresh suit wearin, scripture quotin’ hymn sangin’, shoutin’ and moanin’ grandmamas. Deaconess. Sunday school teacher. Backbone. Big mama.

Working grandmamas. Maids. Cooks. Cotton Pickers. Nurses. Teachers. Secretaries. Civil servants. Factory workers. Working 12 hour shifts. Doing jobs our generation of women could never fathom. And still holding the dual roles of mother and wife. Keeping a clean house and a happy husband. Going without so that their families could have. Deferring their dreams so we could have ours. Big mama.

Cooking grandmamas. Chicken fryin w/ one hand behind their back, pork chop smotherin, sweet potato peelin, collard green cutting, black eyed pea shuckin, peach preserve makin, sweet potato pie bakin, tea & lemonade sweetnin, no measuring needed and it always tastes sooo good grandmamas. Big mama.

Fighting grandmamas. Southern born or Northern bred, each battling their own war against racism, injustice and discrimination. Marching grandmamas. Not letting arthritis or the sugar or high blood pressure steal her joy. Had to walk 10 miles each way to school just to get a basic education. Keeping their families together at any cost, but understanding when to let a man go and having the resolve to raise a family on their own grandmamas. Becoming parents all over again, as they raise their grandchildren because their own kids have gone astray. Big mama.

Black, brown and high yella grandmamas. Black don’t crack grandmamas. Dispensing wisdom cloaked in Southern colloquialisms and lesson teaching metaphors: somethin’ in that milk ain’t clean, just cause you put kittens in the oven don’t make ‘em biscuits, just cause you got money don’t mean you got sense… Quilt sewers. Ass whuppers. Tear wipers. Soothers. Life savers. History makers. The keeper of our deepest values, our stories, our traditions, our people. More than words could ever describe. My grandmama. Your grandmama.

What have you learned from your grandmama? Think about it and cherish those memories. Or you can share them here! Do you think yo' grandmama makes the best peach cobblers this side of the Mississippi? Do you have an infamous beatin story to tell? Is there a piece of advice that you learned from her that you live by? Talk about it! It’s the end of an era y’all…

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

Thursday, November 22, 2007

don't believe everything you read (or don't read), ya dig

so i haven't commented here about t.i.'s legal troubles and i'm sure y'all have been anxiously anticipating my response in light of my love for him...

or not...

but i'm not going to talk about how stupid he was or how he deserves 50 years for having a gun fetish, more than he'd get for pistol-whipping someone with those same guns. stop. think about it. (c) Martin. cause i don't believe the hype and cause many other folks have done it and exhausted the subject so thoroughly, including fellow bloggers panama jackson and leon.

but being defense-minded and fascinated by our fine adversarial legal system, i am really interested in what his lawyers will argue to get him out of this seemingly impossible situation.
note: to all you fools who think he shoulda took a plea the minute he was arrested i say boooooo! this is what gets folks hemmed up for 10 to 20 years on some bullshit charge cause they rush to take the scraps the state is throwing at them. or because they can't afford competent legal representation to fight the charges. i say if you got the paper, make them bitches work for your conviction. half the time the prosecution can't make their case against you. they must prove that you did what they say you did beyond a reasonable doubt....a very high standard as far as legal standards go.

so surprise surprise when i went over to sandrarose and read about the first of t.i.'s "get ya shit together's" to the feds.
According to the associated press, t.i. is seeking to suppress the evidence seized from his range rover on the day of his arrest and also to throw out the statements he made to the police at the time of his arrest. t.i.'s lawyers allege that the range was searched without a warrant, consent or probable cause; that the arresting officers violated his rights; and that his statement might not have been voluntary.

heavy stuff right? but very interesting *stroking her chin* very interesting indeed.

now we all know (or should know) that the police can't just bust in your house or your car whenever they feel like it (although they do all the damn time). and of course the search of a house is very different from the search of a car cause you have more of an expectation of privacy in your house. and there's greater urgency with cars because you can more easily move a car quickly and destroy evidence in the meantime. despite this, the police still couldn't search the range without probable cause that it contained evidence or weapons that would endanger the officer if he has pulling over the vehicle in a traffic stop but this wasn't a traffic stop, it was a bust and once they'd removed t.i. and co. from the car, they were assured that the vehicle was secure and no longer in danger of being moved. no rush at that point, which means the vehicle could have been impounded and searched later once a warrant was secured. yet they searched it on the spot

enter the suppression argument...the feds really GOT ta be more careful!

i won't speculate as to how successful this suppression motion will be but given the caliber of the legal minds working on this case, (remember ray lewis and that super bowl murder charge, this guy got him off; or jim williams of midnight in the garden of good and evil fame, tried 4 times for the murder of his alleged lover, this guy got him acquitted) the arguments have to be well-founded at the very least.

now here's my thanksgiving tie-in....

Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless...what is this you ask? well, it's an Atlanta organization founded by Hosea Williams, a contemporary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who also championed civil rights around the state of Georgia. like marching on Forsyth County, an all-white enclave near Atlanta to face the KKK. very gangsta indeed. HFH is now run by his daughter Elizabeth Omilami and basically feeds tens of thousands of people on Thanksgiving and countless more every other day of the year.
now who stepped up and raised $166,000 in three hours after Ms. Omilami lost the support of $150K worth of sponsorship....

my boy. T.I. pimpin!

and crazy-eye Ryan Cameron (ha ha)

i love it...there's really no reason i should but i do so don't judge me.

thus, that many more folks are enjoying thanksgiving (and everyday) dinner because of t.i., right? (despite the thinly-veiled pr scheme to curry favor with the judge, it's still a good thing)

this got me to thinking about a question that's been rolling around in my head for a couple of weeks now....does an individual's philanthropy outweigh all the "bad" he had to do to get the money to give away? what's more effective for the community? black folks on the ground, in the grassroots so to speak, helping out each day as public defenders, social workers, teachers but being piss poor themselves in the process. or black folks infiltrating the corporate world making boocoo money that they can then share with more folks and maintain the black middle class in the process? no easy answer but trying to pick a lane in my own life.

more on that next week...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Larry ain't get the goods

So, I tuned into CNN so I could watch "Larry King Live" and the interview with Dr. Jan Adams. . . wondering in my mind what is he going to say? Too my knowledge all the facts aren't out. So, he comes on the show -- and reveals he will not do an interview out of respect. Thank goodness, 'cuz he definitely won't come off as professional.

In this day and age in where media is pressin' for the exclusive, it was refreshing to know the interview did not go on as planned. It would be nice if media could focus on Dr. West life and celebrate it, but I'm not holding my breath.

It was a lil' sickening to see Larry counteroffer Dr. Adams' refusal to discuss matters by engaging him and his lawyer to reconsider coming on Thanksgiving eve. Come on Larry! He kept informing his audience that he'll forgo his vacation for the interview. Grrrrr. . . . stop it.

Well, I want you guys to be safe and be thankful for what you got and not get caught up in the shopping frenzy. Enjoy your time with family and friends and understand that you can't take things for chance.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Invention, Please Go Get Your Momma

Rum Punch was right! “I’m So Hood” is a catchy little song…and the video, well that was just classic! I haven’t really listened to hip-hop since Lil’ Jon and ‘em helped usher in the reign of all things diiiirty and southern. Sure I heard "Shoulder Lean" in passing to the classic soul station, but it’s amazing to me that this was the next step in the evolution of hip-hop music. Folks are so creative! Who would have ever thought there’d be a song about the tender delicacy of chicken flavored Ramen noodles and soda? And now I’ve learned that brown paper bags are used for more than carrying lunches and malt liquor.

But this isn’t about how I feel about the music that’s being played on corporate radio playlists. This is about me trying to understand the Hood. And not in the Dr. Bill Cosby-I’m going to beat you over the head Black people with my dogma and love-way. But in the how did a place of extreme lack invent a mentality that is both coveted and celebrated.

Historically Black folks have always been able to make the best of a bad situation (cue Ms. Gladys and the Pips) . Just give us a twig, a bucket with a hole in it and some dirt and we are going to figure out a way to make a house. Oh, how Masta probably thought it was funny to just give us the left over parts of the pig while he dined on cured ham. But didn’t we invent a way to make those feet, snouts and intestines tasty? Ha! Our resourcefulness in need has served us and this country well.

But maybe we are getting to a point where we need to stop making up some of this s--t!

My mom, a property manager in public housing, told me that a fairly new neighborhood grocery store has decided to close. This store serves a lot of people living under the poverty line and its closure would result in people who rely heavily on public transportation to travel nearly 15 miles to purchase food. Now this is in the Tidewater, VA area folks, not at all like the DC metro…sure they’ve got buses but those aren’t going to take you everywhere you need or want to go. But the reason that this store is shutting down is so ridiculous and so upsetting. The store (and I don’t want to say “of course”-but of course) has experienced high volumes of theft. Shoplifting included bags of steamed shrimp. Someone thought up a way to eat bags and bags of shrimp without having to pay…and of course they told their friends about it. Folks had figured-order a bag of shrimp and then go into the bathroom to peel and eat! Dinning in a stall? Leaving the shells on the bathroom floor. WTF? Who thought up that?! And why? Just to get over?

I just don’t understand it ya’ll. I would have never thought of that. And sometimes I want shrimp and can’t afford to get it. So I’ve been there. I understand the “struggle”. But because of this Hood mentality many people are going to be disserved. There is now an even greater need in an already struggling community. And I hate that we have to keep coming up with stuff to make living with lack bearable. We should be curing the causes of our needs, not putting a band-aid over it. No one should have to figure out a way to get groceries from the other side of town, there should be a convenient place nearby-period!
But I’m sure someone is going to come up with something…we always do.

See You In Seven

Monday, November 19, 2007

Songs in the Key of Life

My first love is music. I begin each day with it and I end each night with it. Music is the language of my heart and I could not imagine life without it. Every person has a soundtrack to their life. Songs that signify a special person, a unique place, a family gathering, or even a broken heart. Today, I am having a hard time putting words together. I am finding difficulty in synching my tongue [and fingers] with the body and soul. Therfore I am sharing with you the current melody that my heart beats.

I hope you enjoy.

Tumultuously Yours,

Dark & Stormy