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, May 9, 2008

Musings Of A Thick Chick (Trying to Lose Weight)

Hello World! Yeah, so it’s going on five months since I wrote this. And since then I’ve been trying to lose weight or at least become healthier by consistently working out and eating right. And um here are some things I’ve learned along the way:
  • Squats are evil. I mean seriously evil. And in boot camp we do something called The Matrix: 24 squats, 24 lunges, 24 jump lunges and 24 jump squats. My legs and thighs will be on fiyah! And not for good reasons! There was no pleasure involved. No pushing my legs, back, forward, sideways all in the name of a good grinding session so that when I'm like, "Damn my legs hurt," I can at least smile about the reason...

  • I hate to run. I mean that trot, trot, trot, run. But let me tell y’all what I can do apparently, sprint. Man, we had a relay race in boot camp the other day and I took off like Flo Jo! And with my long and silky weave flying in the wind, I was looking just like her! All I needed was some long, acrylic nails! Hmmm and maybe a one legged pants/shorts outfit... Now the boot camp trainers are talking about how I’ve been holding back all this time and now they see what they can do. I’m ascared. Especially since they were saying something about how I should do some sprint training. I looked at them like, what the hell? Something about sprinting 200 yards and then walking 200 yards. I don’t know, I saw their mouths moving but after they said, “you just go to the track” it’s really all a blur after that… And speaking of boot camp…

  • Why is there always one skinny, athletic, fit chick in boot camp? Does this heffa not know that boot camp is for fat or slightly chunky out of shape people who have to take drastic measures, like waking up at the freakin’ crack of dawn to lose weight? No, this skinny chick is there to change up her workout routine. I swear y’all there is this one girl, she’s Russian or Bosnian or Serbian, one of those ians (yes, I know that was oh so politically incorrect), she’s like an Olympic trained athlete. Ok, not the Olympics, but Olympics lite. Like a junior body builder or something. This chick was practically doing one handed push-ups. Everyone was looking at her like, really Natasha? Really? I think some woman just stopped her push-ups all together and laid down on her mat. Like, why bother? I suppose she could serve as an inspiration. But from where I’m squatting, she's just pissing me off.

  • Why can’t I lose weight as fast as I put it on? I mean it didn’t take nothing to put it on, just an extra 1 or 2 rolls here, a late night after work Jr. Bacon cheeseburger, some wings and fries, a few steak tacos, some vodka and cranberries to wash it all down.

  • Jesus be a carbohydrate. A bad starch. A white sugar, flour enriched product. A buttery roll. A bowl of pasta. A loaded baked potato. Some homemade mac and cheese. An ice cold Pepsi.

  • If loving these is wrong then I don't wanna be right! It’s probably bad to be eating something called fat boy, right? I mean it kinda says it all doesn’t it? Every bite I take, the sandwich is like, “Hey there! I don't wanna be a lonely fat boy. I need a fat girl to keep me company. Here pretty fat, girl..." I know that eating one just cancels out my hard morning workout, but they’re sooo good y’all!

  • Getting discipline is a mothafucka.

  • Why is the tummy the last thing to go? Why is everything else sliming down? Hips. Thighs. Arms. Face. But that tummy is like, "I ain't goin' nowhere..." Jiggle, jiggle...

  • I have realized that losing weight is like growing out a bad haircut. Meaning it’s a process. And as you lose weight, you’re gonna start to feel worse because when you look in the mirror, you ask yourself, “Am I still big? Shit! How big was I before I lost that 10 pounds?” Or is that just me...

  • Dance classes are fun though!

  • I sho’ll do appreciate Black men loving me either way, through thick or thin. LOL! No, seriously I like when I tell y’all I’m trying to lose weight, y’all raise your eyebrows and be like, “oh you don’ t need to lose weight girl…” Yes! But no. I do. For me. For my health. For my love of certain clothes and fashion (that I wouldn't dare wear right now). It's all about blazers and things that float away from the body right now.

So basically, these five months have been joy and pain. Pump it up, pump it up. Sunshine and rain.* Keep it going, keep it going...

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

*Literally. We were doing boot camp in the rain yesterday. Sigh.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

minty fresh...

hey peoples...i'm taking a mental health day (i.e. somewhere trying to relax, relate, release). leavin you with some classic Outkast.

"Oh yes I love her like Egyptian, want a description, my royal highness

So many plusses when I bust that there can't be no minus"

-3000, "jazzy belle"

see ya next week.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The writing is on the wall

She thought she could keep making a comeback and everyone would overlook the fact that she undermines being a winner. Can’t keep coming back if you’re a winner – just win. And you can't keep reneging -- the campaign is still in the red - feminists where are the donations? Money still talks. Yet, unfortunately for her the Clintons overestimated their whiteness. [gasp] Yup, Bellini said it. A friend of mine put this bug in my ear a few months ago and it hasn’t finally resonated until now. I needed the race issue stirred by Revered Wright to allow me see the writing on the wall.

Barack was supposed to be engulfed and swallowed whole by the Wright controversy. He wasn’t supposed to be able to weather the storm. North Carolina was supposed to show him. Well….? Not even. He hit a home run, “smoked her” and allowed the dust to travel west to Indiana – where he finished damn close.

Thank goodness for the exponential increase in gas! [what , Bellini?] And Hillary overplaying her hand with the “gas tax holiday” gave Barack his golden Ace. He trounced her on that issue – a stupid ass proposal-- and white folks had to think twice – she’s playing us dumb. It ain’t a game when you’re paying $4 gallon and you make under $40,000 year. The best thing about the exponential gas increase is that it forced the media to get back to the issues. At the end of the day, white folks knew Reverend Wright ain’t got shit to do with what they pay at the pump. So, with that Barack was able to make traction with some of the white voters. Oh, and black folks represented. Good job! I know many of us are cynics in our communities but trust me the superdelegates are thinking about ya and you’re showing them – think about f*cking me we’ll f*uck you back. Enough said.

The Clinton clan failed -- the races weren’t supposed to be so close – the races were supposed to decisive wins. Here’s a little political psychology for you, her whole family wore a conciliatory warm blue. Shit Hillary – where’s the fiery red or sunshine bright yellow? It takes a lot of energy to keep coming back – doesn’t it. Oh and Michelle, I saw you in the bright tangerine looking radiant. You go girl!



Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Model Behavior

Hello I’m name is Amaretto Jenkins, and I am a recovering America’s Next Top Model-holic.

You wanna be on top? Oeeeee oeee ooooeeeee Oeeeee oeee ooooeeeee.

Sorry, sometimes I just bust out with the theme song while walking down the street. Now I say recovering because I’ve missed quite a few cycles, namely because Tyra’s modeling advice and Ms. Jay’s antics were going above and beyond
ri-DAMN-diculous. But also it was getting to the point that I wondered if these doe eyed contestants had ever watched the show before. Like hello? We’re on cycle 80, there have been countless girls now who have come out of the ANTM machine and fallen into the frays of our collective memories. Aside from Eva, every other Top Model requires us to go over the river and through the woods before we can remember who they were. But really Top Model hopefuls, you know you are going to get a makeover, stop crying because they cut your hair off. You know that you are going to be asked to either pose with an animal, at an extremely high altitude or in your naked suit-so stop protesting! But I think the largest reason, aside from the formula, that I’ve turned my back on ANTM is because these girls believe that their purpose in life is to be a model. Say what now? People are starving in this world and God purposed you to wear clothes and strut?

Hmmmmm. Oeeeee oeee ooooeeeee Oeeeee oeee ooooeeeee.

I don’t have anything against models ya’ll. I’ll have you know that some of my family members think they are models. Somebody on the Jenkins family reunion committee thinks having a family slash afro-centric fashion show is the business. It’s just always a little troubling that some of the members (who I love dearly) think they are doing the darn thing when they are have on the latest in street fashion with the token Kente print scarf while hobbling down the cat walk with their canes. And you can’t laugh or boo, you can only encourage because its family. And with that encouragement the family keeps thinking the fashion show is a good idea…when it ain’t. And why do we do that to ourselves? When keeping it real is necessary? When honesty should be the best policy? Politeness comes, kicks down the door waving its .44 and we lie without saying a word.

For example…

This weekend I attended a wedding reception. It was after five, so you know there were certain attire expectations, you know black, sequins, satin or satin like materials. But, during the mother of the groom’s toast in walk two women of epic proportions, like they could have rolled in the
crew that was trying to beat me down back in the day. And everyone noticed. And it wasn’t the fact that they were grossly late or that they were a little bit bigger than the average woman it was all of their fabulousness that caused the collective what in the world has the cat dragged in now? Sista and Girl had matching lime green and blue tee shirts and Capri pants…that might have been more appropriate for Six Flags or Kings Dominion. Sista had a long blonde curly pigtail hairstyle that allowed me to see the black hair she was born with, while Girl has long unruly curly weave. But what sealed the deal for me were their six inch fake eye lashes that rivaled those of camels and resembled the legs of a spider. And I started to chuckle, just like I do at the girls on Top Model as they try to take themselves seriously about modeling. But as fate would have it, Sista and Girl strutted over and sat down at my table. *sigh* Serves me right.

So much for whispering about them behind their backs or explaining to the children that they aren’t part of the circus. No I exhibited model behavior. I was as polite as polite could be and tried not to stare at their costumes. Afterall, my momma taught me better than that!

Oeeeee oeee ooooeeeee Oeeeee oeee ooooeeeee.

See You In Seven

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bombs Over D.C.

I woke up at 6 o'clock this morning to the loud sounds of an object flying overhead; hovering so low that I thought it would clip the roof of my building. It scared the shit out of me. I jumped out the bed and sprinted to the window to see what the hell was going on. It was a helicopter circling my neighborhood with persistence and intent. The chop chop sounds were echoing through my open window. My first thought was the police are looking for somebody. I don't live in a neighborhood where such activity is the norm, but anything is possible.

My second thought was we're being attacked.

Sounds crazy, right? I know that given our wonderful quality of life here in the U.S., it is quite easy for many of us to forget that this country is currently at war. Sure we get updates on the news about the latest battles and their casualties and every couple of months there's yet another protest here in the Nation's Capital, but the sad truth is that we (Americans) can go on for days at a time without one thought to the war because it ain't happening in our backyard.

Which is why my paranoia this morning was a great shock to me. In retrospect, I am surprised at how serious my thoughts were of possibly being under attack. I can usually find humor in anything, but I'm still not amused about this right 'chere. My heart was thumping so hard I thought I would choke on the beats. As I searched the sky for answers, my eyes danced around and darted back and forth like a fiend looking for their next fix. I switched the TV on and started flipping between each station for answers. There was talk of high gas prices, three shootings over the weekend, Obama playing hoops in Indiana, and the D.C. Madam's supposed suicide last week. Nothing about my helicopter from hell.

I started thinking about Gil Scott-Heron's famous words, "the revolution will not be televised". But didn't they show the 9/11 attacks on TV all around the world? And speaking of the 9/11 attacks- citizens of the United States realized we weren't quite as invincible as we thought we were on September 11, 2001. So maybe I had real reasons to be so paranoid... I thought about my mom and how I had to get to her as soon as possible. She may be the parent but I feel obligated to protect her at all times. I wondered if my dusty boombox in the closet took C or D batteries and checked my cell phone to make sure it was still working. I started regretting the box of dried goods that I recently donated to a local food drive, thinking now I may be the one who needed them.

Then I stopped and thought to myself "come on, this could never happen to us". Or could it?

Imagine living in Kabul or Baghdad, where people wake up to similar sounds every day. Imagine standing in the kitchen, stirring your pot of greens, when suddenly the floor shakes from another missile attack 1/2 mile down the road. Or sitting in the den, playing Xbox with your homie, and sirens start wailing in the streets to warn of imminent danger. Picture two women kicking it on the front porch each with glass of wine, exchanging stories of good times, when three troops run by on foot with machine guns in their hand on their way to the next raid. Real people live like this.

It is so easy to forget how blessed we are. So easy to forget how easy our lives are. And sometimes I even wonder, why I am so lucky and not the next person? How did I get saved from such an existence?

At 6:07 AM, I realized my sleep had been interrupted by a traffic helicopter.

I pray that I am always mistaken.

Tumultuously Yours,
Dark & Stormy