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, June 6, 2008

Gotta Get Up

Hey everyone! If you know this song, then come on and sing along with me: I - don’t - want- to- go- to- work- today – I’d rather – stay home – and play – video games – I wanna chillllllllllllll. Bada dada dum. But I gotta get up.

Yeah that song has been on repeat in my mind for the past few weeks. Mainly because I literally can’t get up and get out of bed to go to work. And it’s not that hate my job. I prayed for a new job that would take me out of the hell that was my last job which was the blackface version of The Devil Wears Prada. Oh someday that story will get told.

Anyway. Back to my inability to get up. Out of bed. And onto a crowded train where I have to push people to get out of the door. And into my office where I sit in front of the computer and do mindless work and answer phones and talk to the public and realize that people need to turn off the radio (word up Dead Prez ) and the TV and the internets (but after you read this post) and do some research on their own, or at least read. And for the record Obama cannot pay off Clinton’s debt. Please tell your friends. And call Donnie Simpson and tell him to stop spreading that foolishness.

Anyway. Back to my inability to get up. And stay focused. I can’t figure out what it is. No, actually I can. I, like a majority of people hate to do work. In general. It doesn’t matter that it’s not hard work. It doesn’t matter that it pays well. It doesn’t matter that it will enhance my resume. I don’t want to work for someone else. I don’t want to be confined by walls, stuck in a building while it’s so daggone sunny outside. I don’t want to leave my house in the pouring rain to go to work! All I want to do is lay in bed. Or on the beach. Or sit in a cafĂ© in Paris. Scratch that I don’t drink coffee. Or go shopping for shoes in Paris. And then look for purses in Milan. And then windsurf off the coast ofAustralia. And then travel to Seychelles. For what? I'm not sure. I don't know what's in Seychelles. Or hit up a bar in the middle of the afternoon. Well actually I could do that, but isn't it a little bit wrong to come back to work tipsy? I'm bringing three-martini lunches back! Yeah! That only worked if you sang it to the tune of the Jtims song...

I know what I’m saying is nothing new. One day while I'm on the train home from a long day of work, I would like to do what I've always dreamed of, stand up on my chair and yell, “WHAT ARE WE WORKING OUR LIVES AWAY FOR?!? SERIOUSLY PEOPLE! SERIOUSLY!” And while Amaretto has brought me down to earth and pointed out that security would quickly carry me away, I know that while they were doing so, even though some people might look at me like I was crazy, a whole lot more people would cheer me on. And then that would be the beginning of the fight, the revolution for European type six week vacations for all Americans! Yes we can! Change we can believe in!

Now I say all this and you might be thinking that I want to work for myself, that once I focus on my passion, I’ll be good. Nope. I don’t even want to do that. I don’t want to be a housewife. I don’t want to be a stay at home mom. I don’t want to start my own company and experience the joy of building it from the ground up and running it. I just want to sit on my ass all day long. Have you ever paid attention to the song from the Wizard of Oz when they arrive at the Emerald City? Probably not. Well they sing, “We get up at 12 and go to work at 1, take an hour lunch and then at 2 we’re done. Jolly good fun! Ha ha ha, ho, ho, ho and a couple of tra la las, that’s how we laugh the day away in the merry ole Land of Oz.” That is what I want, my own personal merry ole Land of Oz. As long as I can wear more than green.

I realize to do this I would have to be wealthy. Which means I would have to work. And even then there’s no guarantee that I’d be wealthy enough to just lay around all day. Yeah that’s such the major a flaw in my plan. Maybe I could marry well. Or hit the lottery. Or find out how many people’s wills I’m in. Ok I know that’s not right. But I just can’t wrap my brain around working for years and years and years. Whether it’s for myself or for someone else. Man, someone should have hipped me to the monotony that is adulthood. Oh well at least there’s a silver lining. IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

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

Thursday, June 5, 2008

on the job

Have I told y’all lately how much I love my job? Cause I do, I do, I dooo-oooo. The idea that when you find your passion, getting up every morning and going into the office won’t seem like work at all is SO true.

Most days I’m in a hot smelly jail “multi-purpose room.” Little fruit flies buzzing around. Standing pools of water quite possibly generating malaria in the corner. Talking to people, mostly men, overwhelmingly black men, who have not showered, eaten or brushed their teeth in the last 24 to 48 hours since they’ve been arrested. I already understand the incompetence of management and I've listened as some employees constantly whine and complain about the incompetence of management. I laugh on the inside at the elitist mindsets of the self-righteous white liberal do-gooders who know what’s best for the clients and totally get the local legal system way more than the local judges and attorneys who have been grown up and practiced in this area for more years than many of these people have even been alive.

But I really love the work!

I'm exhilarated at being in the thick of my passion, frustrated at the inequities in the system and the challenges we have to overcome, and optimistic at knowing that I am here, a part of making the system work just a little bit more ______.

The other day, I shadowed one of my colleguges during her morning courtroom duty. Let's call her Donna. She is assigned to Judge Wackadoodle so she goes to court each morning to cover arraignments, parole revocations and whatever else is going on on that morning’s docket to make sure that anyone who is "on" for that day who does not have an attorney or is assigned to an attorney from our office will have representation. Donna warned me that Judge Wackadoodle was a true character. And by "true character" I mean she thinks that she can cure the drug addictions of those folks who come before her by locking them up in jail for a couple days. Yeah....and NO!

Let me paint the picture...

The court reporter calls the next defendants Betty Sue White and Amanda Mae Whiter up to the front. Two lanky white women arise in the back of the courtroom and slowly approach the bench. From the looks of them, they've been lightening it up on the regular for years and undoubtedly took a hit of something within the last 48 hours. Donna gets up, stands beside the two women and informs the judge that the public defender's office represents both women. The prosecutor formally charges both women with something like possession of cocaine or heroin and Donna enters their not guilty pleas.

As the women turn to leave, Judge Wackadoodle asks, are ya’ll using? What ya’ll using? Hmmm, ya'll using huh? Ok, go down and get drug tested and then come back up and let me see what your levels are.

It aint looking good for the ladies.

So Ms. White and Ms. Whiter go down for their drug screens and then come back nervously await their fate. Donna has already told them that Judge Wackadoodle has been known to lock folks up if their drug screens come back too high but the women are confident that the Judge will show mercy.

Finally, Judge Wackadoodle calls the women back up. Ok ladies, let's read the results. Now between O and 300 is somewhat acceptable but Ms. White do you know what your's was?


Didn't you know you were coming to my court today. And you still used drugs the day before, heck the day of coming to court? Why? Please tell me why?

Of course Ms. White just said she didn't know why she used drugs the day before court. But inside I wanted to scream, CAUSE SHE'S A CRACKHEAD, well an addict is more PC but whatever. She can't help it. She is clearly addicted to drugs. She has a drug problem. She can't stop using. So much so that the threat of getting locked up does not stop her from using. Yet you, crazy Judge, think that sticking her in jail for a day, a week, a month is gonna make her stop? Do you know any one with a chemical dependency Judge? Do you know how hard it is for addicts to kick the habit? Do you know how arbitrary it is to test her for drugs on random court dates? Do you know how rampant substance abuse is among EVERYONE in our society? So much so that I bet one of these prosecutors got high last weekend? Yet because Ms. White has the unfortunate circumstance of living in a neighborhood where police patrol looking for drug users and can't get high behind her gated communities walls like you and your friends can, she's facing a possession charge and is bout to be locked up for gettin high?

Hmmm, yeah I guess you don't. That's why I kept my mouth shut, or I'd be writing this post in my head from behind bars cause I'd be locked up for contempt of court.

But I still love my job...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

let the games begin!

Happy Hump Day! Your girl Bellini has gotten caught up in the moment, so my original post will have to be displayed another day...

It's showtime!

Barack Obama v. John McCain

Can you imagine the drama that we will encounter from here on out. McCain is all over the change bandwagon. Change this, change that... hmmmm.... with over 20 years in the Senate -- how much change should the American public identify with you? To my GOPers shed some light, 'cuz if this is the strategy McCain will pursue - how much efficacy are you expecting from this strategy. Find the next cue in the playbook.

Speaking of playbook - I see your girl Hillary gots jokes can't even congratulate brotha--huh? That's cool. But you know what Hillary, only you will play that game by yourself. If you are truly vying for a VP spot -- dream on dreamer, 'cuz you showed your ass in the Big Apple. You have no fuck*** class. So, go on and lay low, but note-- no one is checking for you. I sure am not. And if your 18,000,000 supporters were checking for you where the checks at? You're still trying to bank on the hollow rhetoric of your supporters--game over!

Memo to Barack: don't take the fuck*** bait. You stay the course and continue your grind to lure folks to Team Barack. Do you think if the roles were reversed, anybody would be extending an olive branch to you -- hell no. So, let's keep it gully (shouts out to Philly).



*and yes, your girl Bellini is an Obamaholic

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Reach Out and Touch Someone

On Saturday I had dinner with my dad to celebrate, like I usually do around this time of year, that I have turned another year older.

*Shameless Alert* Go, go, go shorty it’s your birthday! We going party like it’s your birthday. So what’s the number one Zodiac sign?

Anyways… somehow or another, dad and I got on the subject of text messaging. I like to text my parents, you know to keep them hip. But also, more truthfully, some times I don’t really feel like talking to them…think wishing for the voicemail to pick up. Tee hee. So my dad was like I just can’t get into text messaging, my hands don’t move that fast and I don’t know all the acronyms. So I was like dad, it’s the easiest and breeziest form of communication. You can connect without connecting. But at the end of my spiel my dad pretty much sighed and stated that this type of technology is pretty much lost on him.

I’m thinking that’s usually how the older generation feels about most of the gizmos that come to improve our lives. My paternal grandparents had a rotary phone...that was used until 1998. No. Bull! And it’s only because my dad bought the cordless one that the rotary was retired. Now I am not the most technologically savvy person on the planet, I mean I did just get a camera phone like
2 months ago... So I’m not of the thinking that technology is evil, like the Native Americans who believed photos captured their souls. But these new advancements in the way we are able to keep in touch with each other has allowed for certain decorum to go out the window. I mean some things should not be done through a text message.

For example:
Marriage Proposals- No one should ever send a message asking someone to spend the rest of their lives with them using emoticons and the following: Will u mrry me? Some things require undivided attention folks. And maybe an eyeball to eyeball conversation.

Birth Announcements-I don’t need to learn that a new person is in the world on my cell phone! There is no reason I should get an en masse text message of: We on da way 2 hospital 4 baby. This is not the business. Voicemail works to herald the good news that Junior or Nay-Nay are here.

And I need to also just touch briefly about Nudey Pictures. *Sigh* I know camera phones are fun, especially since you don’t have to shake them like a Polaroid picture…but when you send nudey pictures of yourself, could you please be kind and make sure you are sending it to the right recipient. I was recently a victim of a nudey picture sent in error and I was ready to get all
Oedpial and gouge my eyes out. He claimed that he sent it to the wrong person. Tee hee. Okay, I’ve used that line too in my recent immature past. “Ooops! I didn’t mean to call you.” Or the classic “My phone dialed your number by accident!” *stupid flip phones messed that excuse up. But I’m saying, when you are sending pictures of yourself in compromising positions or merely sans clothing just make sure that you are caring and sharing with the right folks. I mean technology is dangerous that way people. There’s no instant double click way to get rid of your embarrassment.

Now I’m not saying we need to go back to carrier pigeons and messages in bottles…but let’s connect and text responsibly.

See You In Seven

Monday, June 2, 2008

Who Chose Who

Last week, I became quite enthralled by the comments that followed a post over at verysmartbrothas.com about why women should or should not approach men they are interested in. Many comments forced me to quickly glance at the calendar to remind myself that the current year is indeed 2008. Ultimately I arrived to the following conclusion:

Is it really that serious?

In the 200+ comments to the post, the majority of both men and women said that they felt men should always do the approaching. One chick went so far as to say it doesn't matter if a woman catches a man staring [in that obvious "I wanna get wit you" way] and admiring, the woman should not budge or speak until ole' boy steps up to the plate. Coincidentally, she's single.

Another comment read:

"I like for men to initiate first because if I do it and get into a relationship with them, its most likely that I will be making all the decisions instead of as a couple. Men have gotten real lazy nowadays. We have to give birth to their kids, clean the house, cook dinner, etc. Now we have to ask them out???? I'm sorry but that's not my job."

Wow... Slow ya roll sista. She made a jump from initiating conversation/contact with a brother to getting into a relationship with a lazy man who is incapable of making decisions. Is it that serious? How many first impressions/conversations/dates lead to a relationship? Millions more don't than do. Is this how sistas are thinking these days? You see a dude strolling down the street and you start admiring his swag and his tight sneakers... You start to smile at him, then you stop yourself because you start thinking "if I initiate this won't be no time before homie moves his unemployed ass into my house, running up my light bill and eating up all my food."

You may think I'm reaching far here, but just yesterday I watched the women I was dining with rag on some brothas for wearing a crisp white T to a casual restaurant for Sunday brunch. These were some clean looking men, nothing scrubby about them... Coulda been law students out getting their grub on before heading back to the library. Or maybe they were checking out a few open houses in the neighborhood (most are on Sundays) and got hungry while house hunting. Maybe we are worrying about the wrong things and missing out on the good shit while doing so?

Before I get off subject, which is fairly easy for me, let me clarify what kind of initiation I feel is acceptable. If I see a man that catches my attention, why wait for him to approach me? What is so wrong with me approaching him and starting a conversation? Maybe his mind was occupied with something or he just wasn't facing my direction... Just because he hasn't approached me doesn't mean he is not interested or would not be interested once he knew I actually existed. I can make my presence known, and possibly my interest, with a smile here and a giggle there...

If Mr. Man wants this convo to go any further, then he knows what to do to make that happen. I'm not going to ask him for his number or when I can see him again. Me chasing him is not an option. But ain't nothing wrong with tossing a lil' incentive his way just to get the ball rolling.

If we were discussing pursuing a career or finding your dream home or going back to school for an advanced degree, everyone would be like go get yours. But when it comes to a man, we [women] are supposed to sit back and wait for him to magically roll in with the afternoon tide? Why not go get yours? Are we so afraid of rejection that we'd let a possibly good thing pass just to save face?

When you meet a happy couple, doing the damn thing and holding it down for each other, have you ever asked them "who chose who?"

Exactly. 'Cause it ain't that serious.

Tumultuously Yours,
Dark & Stormy

(Inspired by vsb's post found here http://www.verysmartbrothas.com/f-sadie-hawkins/)