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, January 11, 2008

Home Base

My parents have lived in the same house for 31 years. In those 31 years, they have raised a family, hosted countless Thanksgiving, New Year’s dinners, Super Bowl parties & Memorial Day cookouts, provided rest to the weary and been a constant in a world of change and chaos.

Their house has been a refuge for siblings who were just moving to the area who crashed on the couch for weeks or months until they could get on their feet. When said siblings finally got settled into their own apartments, they would come over on the weekends to wash clothes or to get a meal or to baby sit my brother and me.

Apparently, my parents threw plenty of B.C. (before children) parties where hook ups were made and too much fun was had, that are still being talked about 30 years later. So you know those were some good parties if they are still being vividly remembered after all these years...

Everyone knows how to get to the Rum Punch household. Even those family members, who haven’t been there in awhile, can always seem to find their way back without minimal directions. It’s like once you’ve been there, you know the way and you never forget.

My friends know that they can always pop in for a plate at our annual gatherings, no invitation or reminders necessary. They can call and say ‘I’m getting on the road and I need to spend the night at your house’ and the door is always open. And they will more than likely get a home cooked meal out of it.

So basically my parents have planted roots, something I find enviable. I want to plant some roots. I want to be a homeowner and throw Friday night fish frys and bid whist/spades parties, have dinner parties where I can breakout my fine china, throw an annual house party that is talked about for years.

The thing is I never envisioned that I would be planting roots alone. And as I get closer and closer to moving out of my parents’ house and there are no marriage prospects, I know that this will mean that once I tak that step, that I will truly have to be I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T, do you know what that means man? And sometimes I’m like, “well to hell with that…Shouldering all the finances by myself on top of having to live ‘alone’ is for the birds...”

So then I abandon that planting roots thing, and instead envision myself living in Paris in a fabulous apartment (we’ll get to my love for Paris in another post), inviting friends over on an annual basis for a Parisian crepe cooking and bid whist/spades party. And even though I’d be “alone”, I don’t think the loneliness would feel so palpable. I wouldn’t have to answer family and old church ladies well meaning questions of, “seeing anyone special?” or “when you getting married?” Who knows, old lady, who knows? I wouldn’t be around to watch the divide of married vs. unmarried get larger. I could just be content eating croissants and shopping for shoes, and I guess working or writing (haven’t really figured out the how to make money piece yet)…

I once had an older Black woman tell me, “girl don’t buy a house on your own, that will turn black men off. They will really feel like you don’t need them...” Le sigh. And le groan. And my esthetician told me, “don’t move out of your parents house, just live at home until you get married…” Oh how I wanted to say, “June, I’m a Black woman, there’s not telling when that could be…” And being 35 and still at home cause I'm waiting for my huzband to come take me away is not a good look.

So, even though I keep Paris as a plausible escape clause, I am taking steps to being a homeowner: saving money, paying down debt and doing research. And while I have trepidation about moving out, deep down I know that I want and need my own space. I want to be able to invite people to Rum Punch’s house, I want to entertain friends and family and I want to have the satisfaction of planting roots, of being home base to somebody else.

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

Thursday, January 10, 2008

open up a window

i've been toying with the idea of writing out a new year, new mint julep kinda post but didn't really know what to say since i was still taking stock of all that was 2007. this past year has been one of the most challenging for me, a close second to the mind bending highs and lows of 2003, the year i lost my best friend, graduated from college, gained two more amazing friends, and moved to a new city where i knew virtually no one to began law school. wheew. just thinking back on it gives me chills as i realize how far i've come.

2007. started out good enough. on january 1, i proclaimed that it would be the year of the open door along with every one else at my church during our new year's praisabration. i'd put pen to paper right their in the sanctuary, coming up with 6 "doors" i wanted and believed God would open for me. in 2007. very ambitious to say the least.

and there in lay the problem. i believed that it would all happen in that one year. and i set about a haphazard path at a frenetic pace in order to achieve all of them. at once. or at a minimum before the clock struck twelve on december 31, 2007.

throughout the year, i made some moves, questioned my beliefs, tested my endurance and thought through what was really important to me. this blog helped a lot with that.

as 2007 closed i realized that every door wouldn't swing open in one year. i was demanding so much of God in such a short time but what had i done? what had i contributed to the storehouse? maybe i didn't have the key to unlock any of the doors. shoot, maybe i didn't know the first thing about even finding where any of the doors were. and just because i said it, proclaimed it, didn't mean that God would do it according to my timing. cause who's really in charge? yeah. exactly!

i have begun to examine myself, require more of myself, and to prioritize the doors. this means diligently commiting myself to being ready for whatever, wherever, whenever God decides that I'm ready to walk through those doors.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


It was 1992, when the first Clinton’s campaign was resuscitated by New Hampshire’s primary and the Granite State gave his wife the same fate last night. Ahhh. . . but when that black guy Barack made a breakthrough; you guys didn’t have a clue. (You guys were thrown a curve ball last week – good ‘cuz you needed one. Let’s get one thing straight, I am conspiracy theorist #1; so if I hadn’t drawn those conclusions – you shouldn’t either [smiles, dark n’ stormy]). But the game’s not over, it’s only gotten more interesting. Pundits want to hide under a rock be’cuz they’ve been wrong every turn, the “inside beltway” crew defined as media living inside the Capital Beltway are all wrong. Wrong about Iowa, wrong in New Hampshire – good lesson for folks. √ for race

What’s next. . .

South Carolina

Half of the population is black, now South Carolinians vote for the candidate who you really like. I mean it. Ain’t nothing better than the mainstream squirming in their seat ‘cuz they can’t call the outcome of South Carolina’s primary. Let’s make folks sweat. Another curveball is nice, we should be expecting the unexpected in ’08. For those of you that could not fathom the curveball that happened last week, I’ll put things in perspective for you.

Was Bellini surprised that Obama did well in IowaNO; was she surprised Hillary came in for third placehell yea! Although Obama’s campaign appeared to fizzle 3 months ago, at the end of the day money talked. During fundraising time, prior to the primaries, he banked 30 million dollars for the initial reporting quarter. Giving money to folks is not a hollow gesture. If folks were all rhetoric and no action, no one would have given him money – you feel me; Obama earned more than Hillary during that quarter—that should have told you something then.

Now you folks need to find your own voice, your own issues, determine your priorities, be proactive and check candidate’s website and stop waiting to be forcefed shit. The exercise called voting is cerebral intensive it requires research, deliberation, conversation. Stop being lazy!!!

I can’t stress it enough, 2008 is the year to expect the unexpected. For my Republicans, I won’t leave you in the dust. I’ll provide you some analysis too. All types of things are happening with your candidates. In the past, Americans have been in a trance, and now folks are waking up – metaphorically speaking at least I hope. It’s anybody’s race for the taking on the GOP side. McCain might get some legs, just to lose them again in South Carolina? Huckabee is that irritating thorn to Romney, Guiliani’s backside – can’t seem to get rid of him. All those bible-toting folks just love that boy. Ahhh. . . I promise to break it down on the GOP side. . . I can’t get enough. . . stay tuned

P.S. on a funny note
She was crying and stuff. . . Hillary you can’t cry when someone hurts your feelings – it’s life. You put a shell on for so long and it turned so many off (me included). I want to think its genuine, but I’m not convinced. You were lucky. White woman felt one of their own being attacked and they struck back with the ballot. √ for gender


South Carolina what are you going to do?



Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Love changes and Best Friends become strangers...

My friend, who has been like a sister to me, flew in from LA to visit family and friends during the holidays. Her arrival got me thinking about our friendship and I concluded that if I met this girl today there is no way we would be friends. I think back to that March day in 1996 when I was the new girl in school and how easy it was for us to bond over our mutual love of General Hospital, Big Macs and boys. But time has changed a lot about us and we don’t have many common interest. I can say I love her dearly-but I’m definitely not liking her too much these days. This friendship makes me wonder what folks do at the point where they just want to let people go...

So around this time last year ‘Dis Friend (how she’ll be referred to from here on out) was getting serious talking to a boy in Los Angeles she met on, of all places, MySpace. This boy was crazy, and I told her so…in that supportive friend way of course. This boy went to jail for some crazy counterfeit money making scheme and ‘Dis Friend faithfully wrote him weekly, sent additional care packages, would wait up in the wee hours of the morning for a Collect Call from crazy jail boy #126579. Now in ‘Dis Friend’s defense, when she met him (left a message on his page) he wasn’t in jail…so I guess we can take a half point off her crazy card.

But it’s about history right? Understand there were good times, but who wants to read about those? I have lent ‘Dis Friend money, stood as a witness to her marriage to an illegal, listened to her tales of cocaine use, random sexual conquests and pregnancy scare. I’ve lived through her drunken episodes, fights between her parents (the physical kind were one ends up in the hospital), her atheism, her hatred of Christianity, her
sudden weight loss plan-where there were life threatening complications, her suicide attempt our freshmen year in college. And really there is more, so much more I could tell, I’m just thankful she was diagnosed as bi-polar and can take pills to help regulate some of this craziness…

But there isn’t a pill for love. So while we lived together, within a two week period she decided to move out LA to make it work with newly released crazy jail boy. This fool told her that she should stop taking her meds because of the evilness that is the pharmaceutical companies and in the same breath he also told her that they could never have a future together. Um. Yeah. So why was she packing her bags? Why did she tell all our friends of this decision to move and not me-friend and roommate? Why was I the one who was left nearly homeless? Because that’s how ‘Dis Friend rolls. No consideration for others, completely selfish and when her mind is made up…ain’t no changing it.

After me actively avoiding her, we finally hung out this Saturday. We ended up going to a Catholic high school basketball game that her friend from her old job coached. While sitting in the bleachers, she told me that LA wasn’t working out (had a big falling out with crazy jail boy and he kicked her out), that she wasn’t sure how she was going to pay this month’s rent and car note (so broke as hell), how she missed home and she was moving back (it hasn’t even been a year yet). So I played it cool, listened and was feeling myself slipping back in my old SistaGirl friend role when she decided to drop a bomb on me.

‘Dis Friend asks if I remember when she had a crush on her coach friend over across the court. To which I replied: “Yes, didn’t he and his wife just have a baby?” To which she said: “Yes…”and goes on to reveal that she got him.

She grins from ear to ear

In shock, I asked her if the sex was everything she imagined, she giggled and said “Yes, all six times!” I asked her if she felt bad about being and an adulterer, and she flatly said “No. But it’s hard being the mistress.” Is it? Becuase I think it sucks to be the wife.

Oh, at that point I was so disgusted ya'll! I would have walked away if she hadn’t driven me there! Damnit! ‘Dis Friend is always amid drama…and quite frankly I’ve gotten so use to not having to hear, deal and care about it that I don’t want her to move back. And though I just want to walk away I wonder who will help pick up the pieces when things fall apart for her again. I feel guilty because I don't want it to be me.

See You In Seven

Monday, January 7, 2008

Vote Or Die... It Makes Me Cry

We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes
Struggling myself don’t mean a whole lot I come to realize

That teaching others to stand up and fight is the only way my struggle survive
I’m a woman who speaks in a voice and I must be heard
At times I can be quite difficult, I’ll bow to no man’s word.

- Ella’s Song, Sweet Honey In The Rock

With all the talk about the Iowa caucus, the upcoming primary elections, and Barack Obama kickin a** in the polls, I revisit a conversation I’ve had with myself often over the years since my 18th birthday:

To vote or not to vote, that is the question.

As simple as it sounds, ain’t nothing simple about it. The presidential election process of this country is one of the most complicated, well-crafted, manipulative, corrupt, autocratic, antiquated systems I have ever heard of. What is the point of me casting a ballot only to have it not counted because the majority of my state did not vote the same way? What is so wrong with counting all the apples together and all the oranges together the way we learned in kindergarten? How bad would this society really be if hard working, tax paying folk had a say in the way their money was being spent?

I could do the usual Dark & Stormy statistical breakdown but I’m not in the mood for numbers today. Today I’m just feeling like plain common sense and belief that a true democratic world could exist.

The first time I voted, I was proud to become a part of history. I was inspired by knowing that I was honoring those who gave blood, sweat, tears, and even life so that I would have such a privilege. I felt like a real adult doing adult things. Taking an active role in my community and the world around me.

Then one day I woke up. Circa 2000 presidential elections to be exact. I witnessed highway robbery on the primetime news. The nation watched with horror as the true rulers of the “free world” flexed their muscle and let us regular folk know just how much power we really have.

When ’04 came around, non-partisan groups everywhere tried to rally people to register to vote and convince them that their vote really mattered. They used the argument that the close results of the previous election was proof that every vote is necessary.

Remember this foolishness?

Exactly. Some things need not be treated as the latest fad. What started out as a great idea turned into yet another minstrel show. I chuck it up to poor execution. Inspiration and admiration are not synonymous. But I digress.

Are all these gimmicks necessary? Does it even matter? Why waste my time? These are the questions I ask myself. I'm the first person to preach to folks that they cannot evoke change within the current system without first using it and understanding it. That it's best to jump off the revolution from the inside. I've always believed that it was my right as a tax paying citizen to vote. That I will honor the 15th amendment to the United States Constitution even though I think it's bullsh*t.

Something has changed within me because I am contemplating waving my white flag on this battle. Or is it just my being a lil' more wiser and a lil' less greener?

Maybe its just that nightmare I had last night about a brown presidential hopeful becoming yet another martyr for the cause.

Tumultuously Yours,

Dark & Stormy