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, August 29, 2008

The Entry Level Trap

Lawd! Someone done fell asleep at the wheel and given Vivica A. Fox her own reality show. Yes, you read that right. Miss Thang is the host of Glam God, a competitive “reality” show for aspiring stylists. And for more good news Laurie Ann Boom Boom Kat Gibson is back on Making the Band 4! Oh yes! Things are looking up in the world of reality television! Do I, Rum Punch really waste my life away watching this drivel? Yes, yes I do. Judge me all you like. I don’t mind.

One of my favorite reality shows at the moment is I Want to Work for Diddy. Oh the foolishness that occurs in a single episode. In case you are anti all things Diddy or reality, the show is a “competition” for a group of young and not so young, but all are plenty crazy, people who are trying to win the chance to be Diddy’s assistant. We all remember how Diddy made those fools walk to Brooklyn for some cheesecake right? So we can only imagine the fun tasks that are required of the special person who is fortunate enough to be Diddy’s assistant. Of course the recurring quote from the people on the show is that being Diddy’s assistant will give them the chance to get a foot in the door. Oh the old foot in the door line, eh? Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, from myself. Watching this show has me reminiscing on my days as an assistant. I don’t like to talk about it much, because it’s the equivalent of a Vietnam flashback, but I think I’m strong enough to share with the masses. Time and distance has healed the wounds, but the memories remain. Come travel with me…

So, picture it, Washington, DC 2007 (rest in peace Estelle Getty), I found myself starring in my very own The Devil Wears Prada in blackface. But without the fabulous wardrobe, cute boyfriend, trip to Paris, and gay man who let me cry on his shoulders. Scratch that, there was an awesome gay co-worker who constantly said that we were “too fierce for this madness!” Snaps!Oh how I heart him. And back to the story. I was executive assistant to a female CEO of her own company. She was well known and respected in various political, professional and social circles. But please believe me, she was no Oprah. But you couldn’t tell her that. Don’t believe me? Sit back let me tell you a tale.

And Chanel and Marc Jacobs and Dior and...

Ms. Scarlett* (as I liked to call her) and her daughter were taking a trip. Well they get to the airport and flights have been cancelled due to inclement weather. She panics and calls the office. On a Friday. At 5 p.m. When it’s quitting time. On a Friday. Ms. Scarlett informs me that she and her daughter are dressed for beach weather and it’s raining and cold outside. The taxi line is ridiculously long and so they can’t possibly stand and wait. She needs us to call for a car to take her home. Hmmmm…. “But there’s a metro station right in the airport,” I say to her former assistant who played the role of evil, backstabbing chick (think of the red head in the movie) all too well. “Oh honey, Ms. Scarlett does not take the train.” Two snaps and a neck roll. You don’t say? Mayor Bloomberg takes the train and he’s a millionaire. But ok.

Ms. Scarlett continues to freak out, she needs a car, she needs to get home RIGHT NOW! (Oh yes timeout, when she would send angry blackberry messages, she would TYPE IN ALL CAPS SO WE COULD KNOW THAT SHE WAS REALLY, REALLY MAD AT US!!!!) Now wait a minute. Boss lady has parents, a brother and a sister, all of whom live in the area. Couldn’t she call them for a ride? No, that’s too much like right. Hours are passing and night is falling across the city. I’m hungry and in need of a cocktail. We’re calling multiple car and taxi services, but nothing is available because everyone is freaking trying to get out of the airport!! More panic from Ms. Scarlett. More frustration from me and evil, first assistant who begrudgingly agreed to stay and help. Not that I asked her to. Ms. Scarlett suggests that maybe once we get her a taxi, she should get a hotel room nearby. Can we call her connects at the luxury hotels and see if they have anything available or if they will send her a car? What the hell? You haven’t even left the area yet! You live 20 minutes away from the airport! Take the train two stops to the downtown area of the city and then take a cab the rest of the way home. Too simple? Maybe. But it seemed like such the obvious solution. And that is when, right then and there at my desk, I said a prayer to the Lord above that no matter how rich/successful/powerful I ever become, please don’t let me lose all common sense. For real. Amen.

Did Ms. Scarlett eventually get home? Of course she did. We finally got a cab to come get her. But let me just say that the God has a sense of humor part of this story is that Ms. Scarlett’s blackberry had died, and she was using her daughter’s phone, but it had the child protection on it, so it could only receive calls from approved people. Of course Ms. Scarlett did not realize this. And so one cab had come to the airport and had tried to contact Ms. Scarlett when they were outside, but of course she couldn’t answer the phone. So they left. More phone calls to get another cab to come get her. Finally, finally, Ms. Scarlett and her daughter got into the right cab. And I got leave for home around 9 o’clock. Yes, four hours of what I thought and still do believe was unnecessary drama.

Yeah so forget about a foot in the door, my ass barely got a pinkie toe in that bitch. I suppose it’s about wanting something bad enough that you are willing to swallow your pride, suspend common sense and having a life, all to be at the mercy of someone else's whims, needs and requests. And clearly I didn't want it bad enough. Sure deep down I knew that there was a lot to learn from Ms. Scarlett, but I didn’t have it in me to cut through all the crazy to see the possibilities. And so I threw up my deuces the first chance I got. And I've been happy ever since. Except for when the nightmares come...

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

*Names have been changed to protect the crazy

Thursday, August 28, 2008

girlie get your gun

Breathe deep. Bend down. Pick it up. Place it against my shoulder. Breathe deep. Wait.

Ok ya’ll. Get your sight. Ready. Aim. Fire.

Squeeze Finger. Close Eyes. Squeeze Finger Tighter.

Pow. Pow. Pow.

So went my first time...shooting a gun.

This weekend I went to the shooting range with some co-workers. Mainly because I’ll try almost anything at least once. And I wanted to see what guns were all about, having never touched a real one, at least not without a plastic evidence bag between my fingertips and the cool metal.

Until this weekend, guns scared me. I didn't grow up with a grandfather who hunted. My grandaddy liked cars and pull your own part junkyards. Not a single family member owned a gun, as far as I knew. To me guns = dangerious weapons. That hurt and kill people.

But I had to rethink my stance on guns recently due to a couple of events. When I moved to the N.O. a few months back, a friend suggested that I get "a pistol" and I seriously considered it. What if somebody tried to run up on me in the mean streets of N'awlins? "I'm a public defender" might not do the trick to ward off someone bent on taking something from me. But then I thought about Nikki Red.mond, who bought a gun for protection from a stalker and ended up on trial for the murder of her boyfriend after she shot that same gun in fear of her life. Having a gun readily available in a moment of intense passion or rage might get somebody kilt. All the admonitions that tis better not to have a gun around because you're more likely to get shot with your own gun really stuck with me and I pushed the idea of gun ownership to the back of my mind.

Then the opportunity to actually go shoot guns came up, I decided to give it a go, you know the whole try it once thing. After my round at the range, my immediate thoughts were that I'd never shoot a gun again. I didn't get the thrill out of it that some of my colleagues did but I didn't shoot my eye out either. After some reflection, I have to admit that with each shot of the gun. my fears were lessened and I might just try it again sometime. Although the 9mm has way too much kick for a sista, I'm seriously thinking about a cute little pearl-handled revolver.

Round these parts you don't need a permit to own a gun, just enough gumption and money to make your purchase. Which means than way more people that I thought are packing. Mayhap I should too.

What say you?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

She slammed it out the park!

Steadfast and resolute--Hillary handled her business.
Unequivocal in her position, unforgiving in her statements, and unapologetic in her support for Barack.

She looped it all together. The stories from the campaign trail, the American history (civil rights and women's rights), the acknowledgment of what's at stake. Damn, Hillary-- you rocked it. She was in command at the stage, front and center -- Bill beaming proudly from the stands. Yup, it was a golden moment all 25 minutes of it.

She allowed Hillary supporters to feel good about voting for her and feel even better about voting about Barack. It's a win-win for everybody.

Republicans, you better be scared. The Democrats are on some "whup some ass" status right about now and it's only Day 2. The Man of the Hour won't take to the stage until Thursday.

First Michelle and now Hillary -- the ladies are stealing the show.
Hmmmm.... Ladies first, ladies first (yes, I had to bring it back to Queen Latifah!)



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Crossing the Picket Fence

Remember when momma said you couldn’t go beyond a certain point in the neighborhood? It sucked didn’t it? Nothing ever happened between your house and that forbidden point. And it always seemed that just pass where you were allowed to go was the very spot that free ice cream fell off the truck or money was being given out to everybody…except you! But what we couldn’t see then was that momma was just trying to protect us from the neighborhood’s perils. Momma knew that old man Johnson, loved to show his…well, Johnson to little ones just for kicks. Momma always knew best. But being older and finally being able to do, see and go wherever we want is like a rite of passage into adulthood. Yet here lately I have met and heard stories about grown folks who haven’t thought or even dared to go anywhere beyond their own neighborhoods… and they are cool with that.


Looking at history it’s clear to me that a certain type of person was more than eager to get out and brave this world, while other races were content to play in their own continents. And in my life and living I’ve observed that it’s a certain type of race that is always ready to jump out a plane or eat a roasted grasshopper just for experience sake. This certain race of folks can sometimes out minority a minority with all the fun facts they know. If another one of my coworkers comes over using slang or quoting Lil Wayne, Imma scream! But you know history has nothing to do with nothing in the way of making excuses, well logical ones that is. Hello? Black folks. I know I’m not holding my breath for my forty acres. It’s a new day. But when I meet people who have never been out of the DC metro area I can’t help but wonder is there something in the DNA? The water? What the hell is wrong with them?

My case in point. Yesterday, the female component of my office mailroom crew (DC metro born and bred) came into my cubicle all excited about her birthday in November. This year she’ll be 49 and is treating herself to a trip… So here I am thinking chica is about to do it big and go to the Bahamas or Mexico and I excitedly awaited to know the destination of her travels! And so I just wasn’t ready when she told me she was going to Ohio. Ohio? Really? Nor was I ready when she told me this will be her first time on a plane. Say what now? Or when she asked me if she could buy her plane ticket now and use it in November. Or how she explained why she was confused when her brother told her she would have to put stuff in a Ziploc bags. Nor was I ready when she whispered “Amaretto, I don’t even have any luggage.” To which I replied, well what do you use when you have to move? “Safeway and garbage bags Amaretto. I ain’t never been anywhere before.” But of course, garbage bags.


If it weren’t so sad I would have laughed ya’ll. Yet I was compelled to think about going and buying her some luggage. You hear about people in New York who have never ventured to any of the other boroughs even though the subway can take them there. I’ve even heard of people who live in Maryland who have never gone to Virginia. But I’m a person who feels one of her purposes in life is to travel the world, once I get my pennies together, or luck up and have some kind and loving soul finance it. It amazes me how some people have never seen or experienced the world outside of their own backyards!

I wonder…is it fear that keeps them behind fences? Do they think life has to be lived solely in the familiar neigborhoods of their youth? Do their curiosity and imaginations now lie beyond points they are allowed to cross? And is that why they don’t go there?

See You In Seven

Monday, August 25, 2008

Everybody Stay Tuned...

No real post today! We do apologize, but fret not because some exciting changes are underway at the 5 spot! Look for an announcement in September! We appreciate your comments and support!
-The 5

P.S. - Of course we would be remiss if we didn't leave you with something to dance to! Get it Fonz, 3000 and Kanyeze!