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, October 3, 2008

Back Down Memory Lane

I was riding around with my Morehouse brother the other day, messing with his ipod and playing DJ when I put on an Earth, Wind and Fire song titled All About Love.

“What is this,” he asked.
“Man, this is the elements,” I responded with a shriek.

Yeah he looked at me like I had lost my mind. Mainly because it’s not a well known song, but also because it starts in song and then ends with some deep, old school, spoken word. So I can understand that he was taken aback. But when you listen to the words, man they were smooth with it back then. OK actually there’s some rambling and they were probably high off something, but there’s still plenty of truth in it. Check some of the lyrics:

Paint a pretty smile each day, lovin is a blessing.
Never let it fade away.
It's all about love.
Build yourself a true romance.
There's beauty that surround you
You deserve, just one more chance, my dear, my dear...

After hearing the song my Morehouse brother was the second person to say to me, “This sounds like something Andre 3000 would do.” Probably so. But it was done 30+ years ago and my mother got me hooked on this song. She loovvveees this song! Ya hear me? I mean she would play it and then go line by line and break this song down. And so I love this song.

And this got me thinking about music and its influence on our lives. There are songs we fall in love with because of our own personal experiences: our childhood, the era we grew up in, our first kiss, falling in love and then getting our heart broken, the hot beats and lyrics, songs that speak to our heart, mind, soul, and generation. But there are songs that we love because someone else loved them first and then hipped us to the game.

Growing up riding around with my parents I was forced to listen to their music. Motown, the Chi-lites, the Spinners, Quiet Storm, the list is endless. With certain songs came squeals, stories and then memories from my mother. Friends of Distinction,-You Got Me Going in Circles, “Oooo this song was out when I first started dating you father.” The Temptations-Papa Was a Rolling Stone, “Ooooo I had a party on the third of September and we played this song!” Anything by Chaka Khan, “Oooo we used to see her perform in the clubs before she was famous.”

I fell in love with her songs, but more importantly I fell in love with her stories. I would close my eyes and envision my parents partying it up all over Chicago, hanging out at smoky nightclubs, falling in love, becoming adults. With each memory I saw my mother as a real person, someone who had a life before children, career, mortgage and real responsibilities. A girl who liked to have fun.

And so there I was the other day, a girl who likes to have fun, riding around aimlessly, listening to one of my mother’s favorite songs and then playing some of my own. Creating my life soundtrack and making my own memories so that maybe one day I’ll tell my kids, “Oooo that’s my song…”

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

An extra treat!

video

Thursday, October 2, 2008

let's get ready to rumble

During tonight's vice presidential debate, this woman will be front and center. An journalist, newscaster and author, Gwen Ifill is one bad sista!

She's been called snippy for her moderation of the 2004 vice presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards. Tricky Dick Jr. asked for more than the 30 seconds allotted to respond to a comment by Edwards at which point Ms. Ifill told him "Well, that's all you've got." OK-K-K!

Now it wouldn't be America without the racialious undertones that have been surfacing leading up to tonight's debate with Ms. Alaska and Mr. Senator. There has been wide speculation from Republican camps that Ms. Ifill is an improper moderator for the debate since she is writing a yet to be released book about the new generation of black political leaders. The word "obama" in the book's title is all conservatives needed to commence their yapping and whining about the injustice. Awww lawd why must Ms. Alaska endure the questioning of an intelligent Black journalist?

Of course, Ms. Ifill is having none of that. In responding to the murmurs, Ifill says, "No one's ever assumed a white reporter can't cover a white candidate."

Exactly!

Another gem from the House of Ifill: "We're very lazy when we think about race in this country. We try to put it in a box. It's Jesse versus Al, or Jesse and Al versus everyone else....We love simplistic conflict...There's a whole group of people who have Ivy League degrees and immense accomplishments who actually benefited from the things their parents were fighting for."

As the only woman and the only African-American (read: non-old White man) among this year's slate of presidential debate moderators, Ifill has to stand in the gap and ask the hard questions. I have no doubt that she will. Query whether folks will look beyond the racial trope: a Black woman questioning a White woman and listen. I have a feeling tonight's debate is gonna be very interesting.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Trouble the Water

It resurrected all the feelings and emotions that I buried post-aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The disdain and contempt I felt for government. The patience I pray New Orleanians have, but if they don't I understand too. So, I forced myself to see go Trouble the Water, the documentary about a New Orleans family-- the Roberts from the 9th ward pre and post Katrina.

First it was determination I'm not leaving my home, I've beat every storm and I'll beat this too, then drive just to stay alive as they huddled in the attic with an abated food supply, 5 children, 2 elderly, and a house over 50% submerged in water. Mrs. Kimberly River-Roberts, 24, uses her cell phone to call 911 and the exchange went like this-- "We need help can you come and get us? Ma'am they're not rescuing anybody today, But we have children... so are we going to die?" Damn, can you imagine? But the Roberts were down, just not out.

So, Mr. Roberts gets out in the deadly waters (can't swim) and waddles through the neighborhood looking for help. President Bush had closed down the naval base in New Orleans due to the 2005 BRAC Act-- Base Realignment and Closure. Now if you know a thing or two about military bases then you know there is housing for military families on the base. So, the New Orleans Naval base was scheduled to be closed, and the barracks were empty; logically housing civilians in a time of crisis would make sense-- right? Let's just say the Roberts and company were told if they didn't get off US Government property, they'll have no choice but draw their AK-47s and shoot.

Go see it, so that history remains fresh on the brain and that you don't lose perspective in life. And feel fortunate that in this instance a spectator or outsider doesn't get the chance to write/rewrite history for your consumption. Luckily, for us Kimberly purchased a camcorder off the street for $20 and worked it. And if you're lucky like me, you'll get to meet the Roberts and maybe even the producers.

cheers,

Bellini

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

This Just In! The word is that America is having some teeny tiny pesky economic problems. Ho Hum! Sound the alarms! I mean for years factories have closed, jobs have been outsourced to India and now you have to have a freaking PHD just to be somebody’s secretary! I wonder as I wander what was the news outlets’ first clue that something was wrong? Well now that the sh*t has hit Wall Street’s fan, the epicenter of all things Capitalism, folks have started to care because well it’s directly hitting them. Never mind about the po folks who got sucked into the American dream with adjustable rate mortgages who have been struggling for years. I mean shame on them knowing they only made $10 an hour, but double quadruple shame on the greedy folks who approved them for $250k mortgages.

But as for me, a single girl, who rents, and has her 401k in some “secure” government plan somewhere none of this is hitting me on “Main Street”. I mean for real for real, I’ve been broke for a long time so I’m not having suicidal thoughts nor am I writing my Congressman about approving the bail out plan. I’m just trying to exist and survive, but what else is new?

Now, I have noticed that my dollar doesn’t stretch like it use to. That now it costs a little extra for my tacos at Chipotle or for my Dove body wash, but that’s just the way things go. There are always periods of feast and famine. And regardless folks are always going to find a way to eat. As for me, I’ve decided to supplement some of my lunches on the town with some good ole peanut better and jelly samiches at my desk, just keep a few coins in my savings account and such-not to buy gas or anything. But to my surprise when I went to the PB&J aisle at the store the pickings were slim. I’m talking like communist Russia or
New Orleans September ‘05. I wondered aloud to my grandma if everyone was starting implement the negro diet of peanut butter jelly, chicken ramen noodles, fried bologna sandwiches and red Kool Aid?

Hmmmm. Is anyone else seeing what I’m seeing? Maybe there is a new business opportunity here. I could help school some of these newly strugglin’ folks how to live their life like a have not. Teach them how get the cable hook up, or make a pack of bacon feed 30 folks. I could help them learn that there is really no different between orange juice and orange drink. What a success I’d be! Waaaaait. Damnit! I can’t get a loan for my start up Capital! This blows! Stupid banks and their stupid overestimations!


I’m writing my congressman...just as soon as I finish this sandwich!

See You In Seven

Monday, September 29, 2008

Technology Dependency Time-Out


I was going to kick this week off with this great lamb recipe I tried yesterday or how it feels to be a married woman without kids in a room surrounded by married women with kids BUT…something happened two days ago that shook my world a little bit hence those topics will have to wait.

So what is it that shook you up, you say?

Well, I was heading North on 1-95 and my cell phone starts trying to sync with my laptop. Ba-beep! Ba-beep! Now paranoid Courvoisier starts thinking…what the heck, my laptop isn’t in the car nor did I activate that function…is someone trying to hack into my PDA? LOL. Then CCC (cool, calm and collect) Courvoisier thinks…hacking is very unlikely, since you are doing like 75mph in a car…just cancel the function. So I did that and the cell phone possesses a mind of its own and starts to sync all over again. Like I told it to do that. It was unreal. I was having an iRobot moment with my Palm on 95.

At this point, I am like just take out the battery and soft restart that bad boy. Which I also did but when it restarts it starts syncing again! There goes CCC out the window, somewhere between exit 21 amd 22 at 80 mph! My phone has lost it and so have I! For those of you who don’t know me, my PDA is my saving grace, it holds way too much information about me. I would have much rather lost my wallet.

Okay...so forget about the baby shower I am supposed to be at because I CAN’T CALL them to explain the situation. I am now on a mission to find the nearest Sprint store and by chance I find one but it is closed. I have no idea where I am in PA and once again I CAN’T CALL 411 to find the nearest Sprint store. So I decide, let me see if this guy in the Verizon store could help me out. This fool is going to look at me, and say,

“You do know you are in a Verizon store, right?”

It took everything in my soul to repeat my question, which was, “I am not familiar with this area, my cell phone is malfunctioning, do you know where the nearest Sprint store is?” Because what I really wanted to say was,

“You don’t say?”
then smack him with my palm across his head in hopes that it would reboot itself.*


Ahh, it was over! Courvoisier has been defeated. No phone. I went to the party and I went home. When I got home I started looking up a Sprint store that would open on Sunday to repair my phone because I didn’t think I could function without my cell phone for 24 hours. I also called the most important people I know so they could not only have my home number but tell me what it was.

Then sometime before I fell asleep and woke up Sunday morning, I decided maybe this break from technology is what I need. Break the dependency. The last time this happened I panicked and had a new phone in hours. This time as much as I wanted it to go the same way, it was not going to be the case.

Sunday turned out to be an interesting day. It was very refreshing...once I got over the fact that I didn’t really lose any information. (CCC is too cool to not have a back up.) It was so refreshing that I am going to take my time getting my phone fixed. I will let you know next week when the refreshing feeling wears off!

This weekend just served as a reminder, to loosen up on the technology dependency. We are fully able of functioning without it.

Happy Monday Y’all!
Peace ☺

*Apologizes to the young boy in Verizon, I was really frustrated.