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.

SO LONG, FAREWELL...

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, July 4, 2008

Freedom Is Coming Tomorrow!

I hope you didn't come here looking for a post, cause a sista is in Nawlins enjoying a hurricane (and I'm not talking about Katrina or Rita), doing the Magnolia clap and waiting for Kanyeze and Chris Brown to take the stage! 504 whoodie, wobblely, wobblely, drop it like it's hot! I know that some of us don't "celebrate" this day, since technically we weren't even close to being "free" or "independent" in 1776, and those hard core revolutionaries would argue we still ain't free. And so this song is for all of you Revolutionary Black Gangstas and anyone else in need of some liberation! Give us free! Seriously, have a fun and safe holiday weekend! My mama just told me about an old school PSA slogan: Don't drink a fifth on the fourth! LOL! Don't drink and drive! Click it or ticket! And somebody please make me a plate of ribs, 'tato salad, baked beans and some sweet corn! I'll be by later on to pick it up. That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

a peek into mint julep's mixtape vol. 1

For those of you that don't know, I'm a huge music head. I will bump some random and obscure artists long before or after anyone has heard of them. In particular, I'm partial to jazzy soul vocalists who sing about love life and the Lord.

For exmaple, Kierra "KiKi" Sheard/Kim Burrell/Lisa McClendon/Tweet/Amil Larriuex/Faith Evans/Anthony David/Darien Brockington/Maxwell/Teedra Moses/Bilal/Karen Clark Sheard/J. Moss/Anthony Hamilton/Algebra/Donny Hathaway/Marvin Gaye/Earth Wind & Fire/Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes/The Clark Sisters are some of my favorites and that's only like a sliver of what I likes. I could go on and on...

and introducing Jazmine Sullivan!

Some folks are just now getting to know Ms. Sullivan but I first heard of about her in 2006. My little sister hipped me to her after she found her on youtube (gotta love it). At first, I looked at Babysista skeptically because I basically taught her everything she knows about soul music. Her music selections used to be limited to Master P and the Cash Money Clique before I opened her mind to the power of soulful sounds.

But once I took a listen, I had to hand it to Babysista. Jazmine Sullivan, to use an overused cliche, is da TRUTH! Straight vocals, no synthesized chasers. She first came to the spotlight as a youngster on the Apollo Kids Amateur Hour. She brought down the house with "Accept What God Allows." Check it out...

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Of course, she went through all the failed deals and disappoints that any young artist has to overcome on their way to widespread exposure. But this time, I think she's really about to blow up since they are playin her single, "I Need You Bad," on the radio from New York to New Orleans.

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And that isn't even her best work. Check out "I'm In Love With Another Man," "Round Midnight," "Resentment," "Make You Stay," and her versions of Andre 3000's "Prototype" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On." Fiyah! I'll leave ya'll with some video of her playin around in the studio. Loves it!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

man, music, and the madness

Is it rational to separate a man from his art or are the two inseperable?

At times I find myself thinking about musical talents the world has come to known... and their issues. The two men that come to mind are R. Kelly and Ike Turner. Without dissecting each artists' career, i think it's fair enough to say both men have/had issues with the impact of undermining their careers.

Now as your renaissance women, I'm always fascinated by how foreigners perceive Americans and their culture. During the time of reflection post-Ike Turner's death, I recall a British musician lamenting over the fact that Americans have dissed a rock'n' roll icon due to his personal indiscretions...interesting, right?

And then I got to thinking, if the movie "What's Love Got to Do With It" never debuted would the general consensus on Ike be different? I don't know...which now brings me to the Pied Piper...

I've had a slight indifference about the R for some years now and for the record -- I've never bought his music and I'm not sure if I ever will partially because I don't have much tolerance for people with issues that act like they're devoid of any a pet peeve of mine. With the recent verdict of not guilty bestowed on the R by a jury of his peers, I have to wonder where his career goes from here. Perhaps it changes nothing? What say you?

cheers,

Bellini

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Woman's Work

Last Friday Rum Punch used her grandmother’s explanation on why men, particularly black men, seem to be crawling away from their responsibilities as a board to dive into a complex issue that many ponder. And like most things, the definition of how a man walks, is relative in interpretation. For me, my definition of a man tells of a life with consistency and self sacrifice. But, as I look around for men who are willing to do what they don’t feel like doing for their children, spouses and community, men like grandfathers, it seems to me that a lot of males have yet to master manhood. But as Lord Hannibal and Introspective Goddess have commented, what about the women? Aren’t they getting sorrier too?

Hmmmm.

At the core, it just seems like people in general are functioning more with an “F what you heard, Imma do me” mentality. And with that respect and consideration for others weakens under growing egos. I am always taken aback when I meet people who truly feel the world owes them something just because they are here. These folks think that they should start immediately at the top, and that they deserve to bypass the process of making it. Say what? As a people who sought to crawl out of the fields of oppression the value of sacrifice, working as a collective and hoping for something better for the next generation was learned. Yet somewhere this story of us got muted, watered down and sold as a fairy tale. Stories about money, cars and clothes are sung louder than what granddaddy or momma did to keep the family together and strong. And so I wonder how we are to know what we are supposed to do in our families, our communities and in relationships when our cues are coming externally.

On the outside I feel like everyone is getting sorrier. We stopped listening to those who’ve already been there and done that because surely they didn’t know what they were talking about. And because now we are all grown and sexy we don’t have to give respect to get it. I have long believed that it is the woman’s job to set the tone of a relationship. Yet it is amazing to hear about women shocked and saddened that ole boy only sees her as a booty call…when yeah, on your first date your gave it up not knowing his last name. Or that ole boy only sees her as a punching bag…when yeah, you decided not to leave after the first time he beat you. Or that ole boy only sees you as a gold digger…when yeah, all you do is ask about his money, his car and clothes. Or that ole boy only sees you as his baby’s mama and not a wife…when yeah, that’s what you allowed him to think of you. So how mad can women be when men fail to meet the expectations that were never taught or that we never communicated?

As mothers, fighters, glue that's holding it together, daughters, life givers, sisters, teachers and friends we have to know our value. And we have to remind our males that we expect them to be men because we know what they can be. We all need to hear of and learn our worth. And that women, is going to be a mighty work that we must be willing to undertake.


See You In Seven

Monday, June 30, 2008

First Comes Love... Sometimes

My friend and her husband welcomed their first child into this world last Tuesday. I am so happy and proud and cannot wait to visit the newest addition to their family. They documented his born day by snapping photos every step of the way, from them exiting the house to her husband putting on his scrubs to my homegirl laying on the table in the delivery room being prepped for her c-section. And of course many photos of the proud parents with their new son in the hospital room and upon his arrival home.

Yesterday I showed the photos to my mom. She was doing the usual "awww" here and "ahhh" there. And then, with a look of deep concern in her eyes, she turned to me and said "when are you going to have one?" @#$%&!? You talkin to me? I'm still screening potential sperm donors! That alone can easily take a decade. A husband would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. I expressed these thoughts to my mother. Her response was what happens if I don't find that great husband or perfect sperm.

Hmmmm.....

First giving thanks to my mother for that hefty dose of reality, I must admit that I really have some thinking and praying to do on this subject. Like many women [and men], I always dreamed of getting married prior to having children. I've never been one to give a damn about tradition. I feel that marriage first is just more practical. Two salaries instead of one, four hands to hold/change/feed instead of two, twice as many family members/babysitters... all that good stuff. Like the old saying, there is strength in numbers. But in the real world, it doesn't always go down like that.

So am I willing to start having kids if, at a certain point in my life, I am still single? Absolutely. I cannot think of a greater joy than looking into the eyes of my little ones and feel my heart swell with the love of a mother. There are plenty of folk who do not want children, but I have always known that God intended for me to be somebody's mama. And not just because I was born with ovaries.

Now the hardest decision to make will be when to stop executing plan A and proceed with plan B. This will definitely require preparation and planning. I would have to decide how much money I want to have saved, what neighborhood to live in (for scholastic purposes), how much time I will take off from work, etc. The most important of these variables being where is said baby coming from. Do I use a sperm bank? Well a sperm bank can tell you whatever they want about the donor but you never really know until the baby is born. What if they screw up and give me a Japanese man's sperm when I requested a Black man from Chicago? Do I use a personal donor? Meaning someone I personally know who makes an [legal] agreement to donate their sperm to me and relinquish their parental rights. I've seen many same sex couples use this method. Or do I adopt? I've always wanted to adopt a child, even if I get married and give birth to my husband's children. There are too many black babies that need a home and some love. And I don't have to go all the way to Africa to find one. There are plenty right 'chere in the DMV.

Damn that's a lot to consider! I know that I don't need to have answers overnight. But I definitely have some thinking to do. Time don't wait for no man. My grandma told me that one day. She gave birth to my dad and his twin sister at age 42; they were her eighth and ninth children. Crazy, right? Well she had a husband... Lol.

Are you willing to have children if you do not marry?


Tumultuously Yours,
Dark & Stormy