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, February 29, 2008

Going in Circles

Before we get started with the post, I have to share something with y’all. Apparently someone has taught my 82 year old grandmother about the joy and magic that is google. I don't know if she learned it while watching her daily dose of CNN, MSBNC and FOX news or if she has somehow heard this but now whenever she asks me a question about what happened to some famous person she has lost “contact” with, and I respond, "I don't know grandma." She says in her thick Southern drawl, "don't worry, you can google it for me." Lawd! Who has been teaching my grandmama new things?

Alright on to the post…

So one of my biggest fears is that I'm gonna be one of those old ladies you see in the grocery store, with her zipper three quarters of the way up her dress, her dingy beige bra (did it use to be white) exposed, looking like she tried with all her might to get it all the way zipped up and then said, "f-it, I got to make it to the store for the Senior Citizen Discount".

I mean if you're a young single woman who has lived alone, you know how hard it is to get the zipper up by yourself. You gotta bring it up a little ways with one hand, then reach your other hand over your shoulder to bring it up some more, then use the other hand to bring it up some, rinse and repeat until you get to the top. But imagine being a little old lady with no one to help you. Oh stick to buttons! And even then there's that whole misbuttoning thing that happens and we’ve all seen an old lady walking around with her dress all crooked.

But back to my fear, the fear of aging. I think a lot of people probably wonder what growing older will be like, but living with my parents and grandmother really gives me a visual aid of this whole getting older business. I mean seriously, if you came to the Rum Punch household, we got the Circle of Life thing happening: young, getting old and already old. Well, actually to have a true Circle of Life, we would probably need a child or baby to make it complete, but since Rum Punch ain't birthin no babies any time soon, we are an abridged version of the circle…

Watching my parents get older has been so many words: scary, challenging, fascinating, frightening, eye opening… Where did my father, the strongest man in the world who could lift anything go? Now, he asks me to pick up that heavy box and take it downstairs. What about my mother who was once the Queen of multi tasking? Now, she gets tired so easily and will be like, "I need a nap." We're not even gonna talk about my grandmother and her arthuritis, and how she knows it's gonna rain cause her right knee is hurting.

I really don't think anyone knows how to prepare for aging. We just know that it's coming because (God willing) it's inevitable. I mean some people exercise, eat right, blah, blah, blah so they can have a healthier life, but aging comes nonetheless. Eyes get weaker. Mid sections appear out of nowhere. Skin begins to wrinkle. Certain body parts take that trip down South. We lose agility and dexterity. Sometimes minds become feeble. We are prone to more illnesses. We get weaker, more dependent, and we can't do the things we used to. My mother says things to me like, "when I get older, I don’t want to be this way or that way…I promise I won't be a burden". And I think that is the biggest fear of them all, the wondering what will happen to you when you get older, who will take care of you, who will walk you up and down the stairs, who will take you to the store if you need it, who will help you balance your checkbook, who will make sure you take your medicine, who will hold your hand when your spouse passes after 50 years of marriage, who will take you in when you can no longer live alone. Who will, who will?

We don't have the answers. But I know that we wonder. I know that my mother thinks of how to make me and my brother's lives easier when she and my father get older, how they can prepare now for the inevitable, she wonders who will pass away first and if it's her, she doesn't think that my father will be able to cope. I know that now my grandmother talks more and more about when she goes to glory. And while no one knows the day or the hour, she thinks her time is coming before all of ours. And she seems to be getting ready for it.

So maybe it's not just a fear of aging that I have. Maybe it's having to deal with the reality of watching and then having to accept that my parents are aging. And knowing what that means for me, for my brother, for them, for us. Seeing it day in and day out, taking note of the subtle changes. And knowing that this is only the beginning. Living with the three of them is a constant reminder for me of what life is and is not. Of what it can and may not be. That it can happen so fast. That truly as corny as it sounds, it's about cherishing moments, making memories, finding joy in the seemingly small things. That it is measured in so many more things than what you do, what you make, where you live. It's about learning, loving, growing, changing, teaching, aging and eventually dying. The circle of, well you know the rest...

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

Thursday, February 28, 2008

file this under hell in a handbasket

so i'm starting a new "series" so to speak. cause i often come across such nonsense, schenanigans, and general foolywang material (c) ybf and as rum punch knows, my response is usually hell in a handbasket. hence a virtual drawer in my corner of the view from here file cabinet called "Hell in a Handbasket" meaning that whatever follows is just so crazy, so ri-damn-diculous that those engaged in the activity are surely on their way....

exhibit A: why lawd why! hat tip to sandrarose for the inspiration. i mean really do kids have nothing better to do after school. and don't tell me they are expressing their creativity through interpretive dance. booo double booo.

*warning* some would consider this NSFW altho no clothes come off...

---> video removed by poster for fear of lawsuit<---

at least she had the good sense to say cut after almost 3 minutes of pure D craziness...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

earn your keep, vol i

Two nights ago, I watched the television debut of the broadway cast of Raisin in the Sun (2004), featuring Phylicia Rashad (Mrs. Claire Huxtable ala Cosby Show), Audra McDonald, Sanaa Lathan (Love & Basketball), and Sean P. “Diddy” Combs. Now granted, I missed the first hour of the show, but I’ve seen the classic production with Sidney Poitier -- so I didn't skip a beat -- What struck me the most about the film is Diddy’s manifestation of the soul of the young, troubled black man that we see in every city today as Walter Lee’s character. I could identify with Diddy’s portrayal of Walter Lee, ‘cuz I see the knuckleheads on the corner, at the metro station, around the way. . . Now, don’t get me wrong-- Bellini has witnessed the same arrogance in sistas, too.
So, for the ones not playing their part – this post is all about YOU. . .

If you’re familiar with the playwright, Lorraine Hansberry – she wrote the script for the original screenplay – then you already know that Walter Lee thinks he is owed something. From who? It is unclear. But why? That is unclear too. The answer to that question rests with the audience. Diddy embodied all the swagger coupled with ignorance that typifies our young generation. Why did Walter Lee feel entitled to the money that his Daddy earned to make a better way for his family. Daddy tolled hours from dawn until dusk for 40 years – Walter Lee couldn’t identify with that work ethic – so why the hell did he think he was owed the money? (if ya got answers – enlighten me, ‘cuz Bellini needs to know)

Now, to top of the arrogance and ignorance embodied in Walter Lee, who wouldn’t have been who he was without stupidity. Just a damn dummy! Searching for the pot ol’ gold and just gives it to the damn leprechaun! Who are you Walter Lee? (Mrs. Younger had to give him the quick history lesson and inform him of the proud people they come from) And how dare you – diminish your Daddy’s legacy in that fashion. Ahhh. . . but Daddy didn’t leave the money to Walter Lee – he gave it to his wife . So, what’s your story ….?

Now, I know you love your son and I also know he wasn’t filling the shoes of manhood just right. So, you give him the money as a bait -- an act of goodwill and to demonstrate your trust in the man of the household but Walter Lee didn’t earn that moneyDaddy did. Now, I’m not going Daniel Patrick Moynihan on Mrs. Younger by no means – Senator Moynihan didn’t know shit about black folks or the black women to lay sole blame at her feet – but that is a topic for another day. . .

And perhaps, this is the problem with us black folks. A lot of us were given shit for no reason. Maybe ‘cuz our parents made it and so they shared their blessings with the children.
But how are the children to make it – if the parents are giving shit for free?
In this world, and day, and time -- you have got to earn your keep.

This discussion is far from over, so stay tuned for part deux. . .



Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I Hear Ya, Stevie!

Today, as I was navigating through the Metro system to get to the good old job I heard the lovely musings of some youth…

"You a stupid MothaF-cka! You know that?! You’s a stupid, ugly Motha f-cka!"

"So, you ain’t S—t! B-tch!"

Oh it was a great way to start my day ya’ll. I was so proud of them!

First of all I’m already pissed that there aren’t any more three day weekends until Memorial Day (though I will be taking my Easter Monday). But I just wasn’t trying to hear that sh-t first thing in the morning before I would have to deal with the Motha Fcukas in my office.

Now I will be the first to admit, I am a reformed and still recovering Cussaholic. I spoke real bad in college. There, in the hallowed halls of academia, reading the great literary works of the decades, exposing myself to big words galore-my signature phrase was F-ckin’ A! It worked to describe the taste of food, the behavior of friends and foes, and I just used it to express general exasperation. I wasn’t raised to cuss people out, I can count the number of times I’ve heard my parents cuss and still have fingers to spare. But sometimes its just easier to tell someone F-ck You! Than to say that you'd sincerely consider their point of view.

But really this isn’t a criticism towards people who cuss. Even though I is saved, sanctified and dated a minister (brushes off halo) when folks get on my nerves I ain’t praying for them! Well, not at first anyways, it’s more like wishing them on a one way journey to someplace nice and hot. Stub a toe on some furniture? Excited that your song came on the radio? Hey, sometimes those warrant a choice four letter word of exclamation!
Sh------t! (c) Clay Davis, The Wire.

But my issue is with cussing in public. Doing it loudly. Doing it in front of white folks-allowing them to view it as typical Black folk’s behavior...so when articulate Black people show up on the scene they are shocked that we know how to speak well. And I fear that we are doing it because we don’t know the vocabulary. We think we’re keeping it real, fitting in, being cute or strongly getting our point across…

Rum Punch will be the first to tell you that I don't love the following song. I mean, I came to expect more from the man who brought us Superstition and Living for the City. Surely when he wrote this he was thinking of the F-word that came to my mind when I first heard this song...

But then I thought that had he kept it "real" would the words that compose these lyrics be as poignant? Wouldn't folks have been caught up in the fact that Stevie was dropping the F-word? And at his age? He should know better too! I don't know. But there are times when we ought to censor some of the things we say so people can finally hear us speak...

See You In Seven

Monday, February 25, 2008

Say It Loud!

Happy Monday to you all. Your girl is not feeling well... I have quite a storm brewing within. Ain't got much to give today.

In honor of the last Monday of "Black History Month", here is Brother J.B. with a timeless anthem:

Tumultuously Yours,
Dark & Stormy