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, March 21, 2008

Please Forward! A Must Read for All Women...

What is up party people? Are you glad it’s Friday? If you are do a little dance at your computer right now. Go, go, go, go! And stop... So, I’m sure that many of you have received one of those chain ‘Every Woman Should’ Emails… You know it’ll be like, every woman should know how to change a tire in her stiletto pumps. Every woman should own a black suit, cocktail and freakum dress that fits her in all the right places. Every woman should own a black lace bra and panties set and know how to ride her man backwards. Actually that one’s kinda true. So, I said to myself, self, who made these people experts on what every woman should have, know, or be? If they can do it, then I can do it! And here we go!

1. Every woman should know what fake name to use – Imagine you and your girl are at the bar, two men approach, one is really feeling your girl and the other is serving as his wing man which leaves you to be the wing woman. You’re not feeling his friend and you can tell that your friend isn’t that interested either, but both of y’all are feeling a little parched. So chatting is necessary. Hey, it is what it is folks. Don’t act like you’ve never been in this scenario…So you’re sitting there with your drinks and then the guy asks, “so what’s your name?” Ladies, it is a must that you have the fake name at the ready! It should fit your look and “personality.” It’s gotta to be believable. It’s also important that once you pick this perfect fake name, you stick with it at all times, during all occasions. You don’t want your friend calling you Rum Punch when you told this joker your name was Bacardi. And then you gotta play it off like that’s some kinda nickname…

2. Every woman should learn to enjoy alone time – I have heard women say that they don’t like to go to the movies or dinner alone. It’s just too much pressure/embarrassment/
uncomfortableness to sit there alone with no one to talk to, not even have a book or some fake “work” to review until the meal comes. Ladies, if you’ve never been out alone to an event, a meal, a show, then try it once. See what you find out about yourself. See if you meet new people you would have never spoken to if you came with friends. See how much you can enjoy your own company. And then do it again. Yes, friends are important in our lives, but don’t go missing out on the things you want to do in life cause you were afraid to be seen or be out alone.

3. Every woman should know what the fuck she drinks – It’s nothing worse than playing cute and clueless when a bartender or waiter takes your drink order. If you are a grown woman, you should know by now what tastes you prefer. Learn what flavors you like. If you like sweet things, then learn to love Sex on the Beaches, Fuzzy navels, Amaretto sours and all things with Peach Schnapps. If you like to taste your liquor, then get yourself a martini or a cosmo and keep it moving. If you already know what you like cause you likes to drank, then please know the right drink to have at the right time. Please don’t go ordering Long Island Ice Teas, or its first cousin, Blue Mothafucka on the first date…it might set a tone…What tone? You know what tone…

4. Every woman should go to a strip club – At least one time. As a former gentleman’s club worker, I’ve said this before, I think that every woman should go once. Again, I am talking about a real strip club with a liquor license and a sign on the door. Anything else, might leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Literally. Now, if you are saved and sanctified, then please don’t go. But for you ladies with slightly loose morals, I say go to a club and see what all the hoopla is about. You’ll learn that it ain’t that deep. And you will be able to put some preconceived notions to rest. I can’t stand seeing wives on Oprah with their weepy, I’m so threatened by strippers, they want to take my man discussions. No, they wanna take his money. Talk to a few girls. See how they twerk it and get that money, and it’s not always when they’re on the pole… Observe and learn a few tricks. Maybe invest in a pole and learn how to do a little dance for your special someone.

5. Every woman should know when a man is wasting her time – Now some people are of the thinking that men don’t know what they want right away and you don’t need to pressure them about where things are going. I certainly agree. You don’t want to be asking a man on the first, second, third date, or weeks into just getting to know each other where this is going. You will more than likely get the blank stare. But at the same time recognize when a man is just wasting your time. If you’re looking for a relationship, or just interested in getting to know someone by going out on dates, you know actually leaving your house and being taken places and all this negro wants to do is come over to your house cause you got cable, roll something up, and do a little something, something. Well then he is wasting your damn time. So, do not let him pass go. Do not let him collect $200. Or anything else.

Now, send this to 10 of your best girlfriends and I guarantee that you will be blessed with a man who has a job, is baby mama and STD free and who ain’t on the down low. If you don’t forward this link, I will send gold tooth wearing, still living in his mama's basement, aspiring rapper Day’Kquan, affectionately known as Quan to your house with his bags and a note that says, “Rum Punch said I could stay here…”

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

Thursday, March 20, 2008

is the truth un-american?

I remember the first time I heard of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. it was in a college classroom. I can't remember whether the course was The Higher Education of Black Women or this philosophy course on the existence of God on in my required freshman psuedo-history-sociology-english class called African Diaspora & the World, or ADW for the initiated. I just remember finding him fascinating, along with his mentor James Cone, for they respectively espoused and developed black liberation theology. illuminating the life of Jesus and my Christian faith as a liberating force for the world's oppressed instead of an oppressive doctrine wielded by the world's slave holders and colonizers alike.

so when I hear most commentators call Rev. Wright every thing but a child of God, I want to get on top of my desk and shout from the top of my lungs....

hoe sit down!

where were you people when the history lessons were being handed out? I will give you that the average high school history class isn't exactly enlightening. my h.s. teacher tried to indoctrinate us with what we needed to know for that AP U.S. history test but was shocked and amazed when I attempted to question her on slavery (the real version) and why the Marcus Garvey back to Africa movement wasn't part of our lesson. she had no words. So I'll let them slide...on h.s. history. but nothing in college, either? this is why my kids will go to an hbcu.

so I was history major and I took more history courses than the average bear but at my school every woman had to take ADW. and as much as some of us moaned and groaned, ask any alumna about the pedagogy of the oppressed and she'll be able to tell you a little something. we learned about European colonization from a world perspective and about African civilizations more advanced than I had been lead to believe possible. maybe that's why I agree with Rev. Wright cause I knows my history!

I know how this country rounded up the Japanese and forced them into internment camps during world war II. and how INS officials took similar actions after September 11th. how doctors experimented with the black male body at tuskegee. so don't tell me about how America is righteous and innocent, that it doesn't commit human rights violations like a third world country, "build[] bigger prisons, passe[] a three-strike law" and then you don't understand how Rev. Wright would be hesitant to sing God Bless America.

I need william jelani cobb to swoop in and break it down for these folks. and I wish they knew just how common Rev. Wright's sentiments are among Black people (that I know). not just my mama and grandmama nem but me a 27-year old college-educated graduate-degree-having attorney who works in corporate america and among the whitest of white folks on a daily basis. yes, I may smile hello but I regularly refer to you caucasians as whitey among my closest friends. and they aren't offended. am I a racist? I'll be that. my white friends know where I stand and they understand from whence I come. maybe they got those critical history courses in college too.

as for barack...I don't know, I really don't. I think brother believes deep in his heart in the almighty goodness of america. as one drop over at too sense blog alluded to, I fear that he's headed for some sort of breakdown or great awakening. as it's been expressed by so many Black people, there is a skepticism about whether white america will only let him get so far before they break him down. hell, they already doin it. and then you hear this speech that folks are calling historic mere moments after the words have left his lips. words and their delivery which, according to the nytimes, brought julian bond to tears. An ability to articulate in ways that we publicly have never heard before on cable news networks even though the focus remains on the points about rev. wright instead of his points about america's racist legacy and the lasting effects of slavery and I begin to wonder. can't we steal him back for ourselves? you know in the way that Oprah, Cosby and other influential black people allegedly snatched up dave chappelle in the middle of the night and showed him the error of his ways.

it seems such a waste for him to be so committed to america, so hopeful when as time rolls on the ruling powers, people and institutions of america aren't committed to him, his race, or his ideals in the same way.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"chickens are coming home to roost"

This is a great line from an excerpt of Revered Jeremiah Wright’s sermons at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. The quote is a metaphor in many ways, although the Reverend’s reference was to American foreign policy it captures the outlook of race in this country in context of the 2008 presidential race. It’s like the big ass blue elephant is in the room – we all see it –yet praying that the behemoth of a creature doesn’t move. Frankly, I’m not sure what all the brouhaha is all about stemming from the Pastor’s comments – he didn’t lie about anything that was said. And I’ve tried to find sentiments from average Joe’s about their feelings of the Pastor’s comments and I’ve found nothing – although I haven’t looked hard enough either. So, it has led me to believe that this is the media’s beef. Yes, mainstream media has issue with the Pastor’s comments. I believe their direct beef is the word un-American – Americans take offense to when the word is used – you hit’em in the jugular
Aaahhhh. . . but then the assumption being made is that black folks are not American.

White folks those of you who are only aware of an America that looks like you, talks like you, and does the things you do – you are doing yourselves a disservice about what is American. If you choose to dismiss or marginalize black existence, then you have your own issues you need to deal with on a personal level. In the clips that aired on “Meet the Press” , the Pastor channeled the energy felt by many blacks due to feelings of despair, hopelessness, etc… He discussed the issues plaguing black men (crime, incarceration, etc…) and its tangible effects on the black family / community. It appears the mainstream media could not identify with the Pastor’s remarks.
So is it un-American not to espouse the same views held by the mainstream or yet who deems what is American and do they have that right?
Which one came first the chicken or the egg?

I will say I am a lil’ disappointed by black folks and the black media for not engaging in the tête-à-tête with the mainstream media over their callous characterization of the Pastor’s remarks. It was a classic case of letting others frame your own issues – and that is a big NO NO in Bellini’s book. Think about it.
What could the media have countered about the factual information stated in the sermon?

Whether or not you like Obama and what he stands for – you have to give him credit for speaking about America’s ugly truths. Where most would have tried to dodge and run, he stood there and addressed issues. And frankly, we need that. It’s not enough to discuss issues in the barbershop, beauty shop, in the church devoid of others – where our concerns never reverberate beyond our communities. I give the speech an A-. For one, he was brave and courageous to hold a press conference on race. Two, he brought back the historical context many Americans choose to ignore including the systemic acts/actions taken to preclude blacks from opportunities and their lingering effects. Thirdly, and I haven’t seen black folks step up on the plate on this one – he reminded black folks that not all whites in America are embroiled in the historical legacy of slavery in this country. There are many whites that are immigrants and their asses are struggling too. The speech was reality check 101. I’m not sure where we go from here, but for him it was commendable and speaks volumes to me about how he demonstrates leadership.



Tuesday, March 18, 2008

When Being a Punk is Necessary

There are like three things I know for certain about myself. Numero Uno: My favorite color is green-pretty much all shades except the lime and electric varieties. Number 2: I *HEART* Sour Patch Kids-having a raw mouth is totally worth the chewy gummy goodness. And lastly, I can say that I have never ever ever been in a fight! Well let me be honest…there was that time I had to kick my cousins butt over the remote because I refused to watch The Last Dragon one mo ‘gin! I mean how many times can a girl be subjected to ShoNuff and watching Bruce Leroy glow trying to save his family’s pizza place?! But I’m proud of the fact that I have never had to meet someone down by the oak tree at three o’clock…

But I ain’t gonna lie there was a time that I almost got my ass beat! Come go with me back to 1998. I was a junior in high school who was able to attend the senior prom. Oh the things I saw that night as the class of ’98 got down with the get down. Some fashions were fabulous, and others well… So the next week back on the school yard I decided to share and care with the masses the things that I saw. There was this one girl who’s outfit I felt was a hot mess. Picture a 300 plus pound woman wearing a lot of blue sheer and flowing material in the
“I Dream of Jeannie” fashion… thankfully she had some sort of crush blue velvet material covering her stomach area. Oh, and the look was completed with a clip-on ponytail and the blue satin shoes that elves and apparently genies wear. Well as I told my “Somebody Should Have Told Her…” tale to the masses, I was completely unaware that “Jeannie’s” hateful cousin was in the crowd. Rut, roh! Well word got back to me that Jeannie and ‘em were looking for me to talk about some things. How many of ya’ll know that 300 plus pound women, tend to roll with 300 plus pound women? These girls had big man hands, big ole breasts, and big shinny boots-perfect for kicking me down and stomping my head. They were more than capable of putting your girl in a wheelchair for life!

And for the following days, I was a total and complete punk! And I say that proudly. I was looking over my shoulder, quickening my pace to and from class. I mean I didn’t have the type of friends who would run out of AP classes ready to rumble with razors and brass knuckles, my friends would more likely visit me in the hospital with flowers and fruits baskets. But then one day on my way to the bathroom, I found myself completely alone in the hallway with one of the Big’un girls in Jeannie’s crew…

Let me tell you I love
fruit baskets ya’ll.

But I didn’t get beat down that day, because I was able to appeal to Big’un. I stated the case for why violence was not the answer and how unwise it would be for her t kick my ass in her Senior year. And if she thought I wasn’t going to press assault and battery charges she was crazy. I told her to think about MLK and the Black on Black crime rates and how we should strive to not be statistics… Okay, I’m sorry that’s the version I’m going to tell my kids…The truth was she told me that Jeannie’s name should never ever come out of my mouth again and if it did I was going to get what I “deserved”. So much for free speech right? And when she was finished telling me that she was sparing me, I apologized and said that it would never happen again...

Thank the Lord for salvation…and I didn’t pee on myself!

But let’s just say that this happened in 2008, would I have been so lucky? Now that everyone has an anger problem? Especially when folks are begging for the right to bear arms based on a constitutional condition that was written when folks lived in the wilderness. And ain’t nobody tryin’ to hear anything other than what they are saying, or ain’t caring about nobody else but themselves. I know that if this situation where to happen today, I wouldn’t be standing tall, taking my earrings off-asking someone to go get me some Vaseline… I’d be like Forrest Gump and be ruuuuunnnning

And that’s the fourth thing I know for sure about myself!

See You In Seven

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Big Payback

Hey! Gotta gotta pay back!! (The big payback)
Revenge!! I’m mad (the big payback)
Got to get back! Need some get back!! Pay back! (the big payback)
That’s it!! Payback!!! Revenge!!!
I’m mad!!!

The Payback, James Brown

I am mad as hell today. Pissed off. Fuming. Infuriated. Seeing red.

You know the saying when it rains, it pours? Well I’m drenched.

My tax refund was intercepted by the thugs I borrowed money from to pay my tuition. Yes, I was behind on a couple of payments but I’m sorry that the cost of everything has risen in the past few months while my salary hasn’t increased nary a cent. So I have to play “Wheel of Payments” when its time to pay the bills. The object of the game is to spin the wheel to see who will be paid this month. Sorry Sallie Mae- Washington Gas, AT&T Wireless, Mortgage Company, and Dark & Stormy’s Cupboard beat you, but try again next month! Here’s a free spin chip for the next round…

Now I know I’m wrong for not paying the thugs on time. But did they have to take the entire refund? Don’t they know a poor person such as me had BIG PLANS for $2K? The crib needs painting. A new stereo for mom’s birthday. Airfare & hotel for summer trip to Trinidad. A digital camera, ‘cause I’m the only person still dropping off my disposable camera to the CVS. And a lil’ sumthin' for the savings account. Why not take half? Two thirds?

I know, I know… That’s not how things work for the underdog. And the thugs want their payback.

So when I realized they took the money, I was upset but wasn’t really sweatin’ it. I figured I’ll just have to settle for a road trip to the beach this summer and add the other items from my to-do list to the “Wheel of Payments”. I gave the thugs a phone call to determine my new balance since they had just received a hefty payment. The conversation went like this…

Call Center Rep: Ms. Stormy, it takes 7 to 10 business days for any recent payments to be reflected in your balance.

D&S: So you can snatch up my money immediately but cannot post it to my account with the same swiftness?

Call Center Rep: That’s correct.

D&S: Okaaaayyyy (Wasn't ready for that response)...
Well when everyone is done twiddling their thumbs, can you please send me a statement in the mail documenting the amount you intercepted and the remaining balance?

Call Center Rep: Yes ma’am we can. Also we need you to make a $XXX.XX payment to bring your account current. We can assist you in working out an affordable plan for payment during subsequent months.

Starting to see red.

D&S: Umm… Didn’t you just take a couple thousand from me? That was just about half of what I owe you. Subtract your down payment from that.

Call Center Rep: The refund intercept cannot be counted as a down payment because it was not a voluntary payment.

Temperature rising and palms getting sweaty.

D&S: LOL! Excuse me for laughing, but I’m at work right now so I can't let anyone see me cry. Only white girls can cry on the J-O-B and still be considered competent individuals.

Call Center Rep: Ms. Stormy if you do not bring the account current, our next step will be pursuit of wage garnishment.

Rising up outta my chair, mind cloudy with visions of kickin’ ass .

D&S: What in the hell? Haven’t you garnished enough for one week? Y’all are straight trippin’! This conversation is so over. WTF…


I’m mad.

I want revenge. I want revenge. I want revenge.

Tumultuously Yours,

Dark & Stormy

** Called back later that evening and set up payment arrangements. I may be a fool at times but I ain’t crazy. Damned thugs. **