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, December 12, 2008

Inauguration or Bust!

It’s Friday! So why don’t we have a little fun today? So I was reading the City Paper the other day and I came across this funny little article. It’s about a man named G. Keith Harris, CEO of Harris Consulting Group, an information technology government consulting firm who apparently and allegedly has “two tickets to the inauguration and an all-access pass to the night’s balls and off-shoot parties.”

He posted a man-seeking-woman ad on Craigslist and in one week after posting the ad, received messages from 720 willing women. Let’s have a look at some of his criteria with Rum Punch’s added commentary of course:

COVER THE BASICS. Interested inauguration dates must include a method of contact, be between the ages of 25 and 39, and be comfortable in ball gowns. Great Rum Punch meets the criteria so far! Race is unimportant, But of course... but applicants must have “weight in proportion to height.” I love it! Love it! What a great way to say – No fat chicks allowed please...Rum Punch may no longer meet the criteria. It all depends on his definition of a thick chick...

INCLUDE A PHOTO. Forty-five percent of respondents to Harris’ ad haven’t included a photo. “That’s the first criteria,” says Harris, who adds that the requirement is more than simple vanity. With all the high profile parties to attend on Inauguration Day, Harris’ date “needs to be someone who doesn’t mind being photographed,” he says—”or being in the company of celebrities.” Oh my goodness. Please stop it. An additional 40 percent of respondents committed a similar gaffe: stating they didn’t even know how to attach a photograph to an e-mail. Really?!? Are these women living under a rock? “Given the high volume of responses, I do not have time to teach someone how to do that, in this day and age,” says Harris. Agreed, Mr. Harris. Agreed. If you can’t attach a photo, then clearly you are not on Mr. Harris’s level. I however can, so another check for me!

BE MORE THAN THAT PHOTO. “Naturally, we’re all looking for someone that looks nice,” admits Harris. “But I was raised in a manner where beauty is only skin deep.” So while some with tickets to the Jan. 20 festivities are looking only for inaugural arm candy, Harris says he wants a date who will stay interesting “beyond the inauguration.” Do you really Mr. Harris? So what are these tickets supposed to be? Foreplay? Hoping that with these tickets a woman will just ignore whatever's wrong with you. Like your breath stinks? Or you're too clingy? Be on the phone with her girlfriends, saying, "Something ain't right with him." Friend: "But he took you the inauguration girl!" That means presenting yourself as “honest, caring, respectful, intelligent, fashionable, and a good conversationalist.” Ok I'm back on top! I am definitely all these things and more. But what about you Mr. Harris? I have yet to learn if you are worthy of being on my arm...Harris also needs a woman who will be comfortable slipping out of that ball gown and donning “sweat socks and sweatshirt and jeans so we can just relax and cuddle around the fire.” Excellent! I been rocking sweat socks, sweatshirts and sweatpants all week. And I'm donning my ballgown this evening while I watch TV. Having nice legs doesn’t hurt, either. “Every man has one weakness,” says Harris. “Legs are my Achilles heel.” Alright! I got the gams…

PICK A TEAM NAME. ANY TEAM NAME. If you make it to the post-e-mail selection round—a cup of coffee—that's all I get is some coffee? Can I get a croissant or a scone with that? here are some tips to get the conversation rolling. Harris enjoys international travel, Check! I have traveled internationally. current events, I reads the newspaper. and sports. I watch sports. All of them. Some of them. “When it comes down to sitting down and watching them, I love all sports,” says Harris. “I can’t say I really have a favorite team,” he says—though an old allegiance to the Giants may still hold some weight. Hmmm...We may be fightin'...

DON’T ASK FOR TOO MUCH. Of the 15 percent of respondents who passed the photo hurdle, Harris says he’s heard from many suitable dates that meet his criteria. So far, those women don’t live in the area—and are expecting Harris to pay for transport. He won’t. So that’s where he draws his line in the sand, eh? Putting an ad on craigslist, totally cool, paying for that date, happen not gonna…Because that would look like what? Desperation? Solicitation?

NO HATERS. Obama’s will be the first inauguration to which Harris will have the chance to invite a date, but he says the tickets came to him by “being in the right place at the right time,” not politics. Uh huh. Harris keeps his own views “close to the vest”—accordingly, potential dates need not have voted for the president-elect to get on Harris’ ticket. “But naturally, I would not want to be with a person who is a ‘hater’ of the person we’re celebrating,” he adds. “That would prove to be very uncomfortable.” Whaaaat? So I can’t pin my McCain/Palin button on my ballgown? I can't hold up my Obama's not an American sign? What about my Hillz woulda done it better t-shirt?

DROP SOME PORTUGUESE. Harris is currently studying the language to help maximize his annual trips to Brazil’s Carnival. Excellent! I have taken Portuguese! I was horrible at it. But whatev I'm sure Harris won't mind. Harris says he holds a penthouse apartment on Copacabana beach, Oh my goodness! Hold up, wait a minute! Do we really need to know this tid bit of information? Does this tell us anything about what kind of man he is? I know what typa man you are Mr. Harris, and after reading that Essence article about why Black men love to go to Brazil, I’m giving you the side eye. But I’ll still take a ticket! which he makes use of during the festivities each February. Harris says that willing inaugural dates may soon become Brazilian penthouse guests. Oh Lord. “I’m going alone to Brazil,” he says. “I would love to have this date, if the friendship matures to that level, accompany me on my travels.” Wait. Is he saying he's not trying to take his woman to Brazil? But he'll take them other places? More side eye! More side eye!

BE SENSITIVE. Harris is mending a broken heart—his ex-girlfriend recently broke up with him, three weeks before Thanksgiving and two months before the inauguration. Say what? She couldn’t hold out til the inauguration? Something ain't right Mr. Harris, something ain't right... “I wish I could take a pill to make the pain go away,” says Harris, who says the new flood of interested women is a big shift from his last missive with his ex. “She broke up with me via e-mail,” he says. Well now that's just cold. And a little funny. Again Rum Punch says something in this milk ain't clean. But uh let me go send this email real quick...
So what do y'all think about this Mr. Harris looking for a date through the internets? Anyone gonna put themselves out there? LOL!
That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

to the women who be supporting the men and nem

dear (baby) mama,

excuse me miss. yes you miss sitting there in the third row of the audience. can I talk to you for a minute? you been psssting at me for the last 5 minutes trying to get my attention. waving me over for a while now so you can tell me about your son/baby daddy. about how you want to know when he's getting out. how much his bond gon be. whether his probation gon be revoked today. so now that I've got a minute there are a few things that I want to say to you.

I see you in here every day. you and your homegirls or your auntie and nem. ya'll come in like the prison paparazzi looking expectantly over at the men in the box. locked up. ya'll come with crumpled up papers in yo hand explaining to me bout how he was doing time upstate when he got that subpoena and that's why he didn't appear for his court date. ya'll show me pictures of the 3 year old he got at home as you rub your belly with another one on the way, telling me that you need him out now. you want me to ask the judge to lift the protective order so he can come back home to stay by you cause what he did last week, he didn't mean it, ya'll was just playin.

but ma'am, I'm getting real tired of running back and forth between you and him. truth is, he's my client, not you. but more than that, ma'am did you ever stop to think what your running to and fro, picking up this and that is doing to your son/baby daddy?

you were here just last week when the judge questioned lil Johnny's girl gang in front of the whole court. as the two older Black women approached the bench to plead their nephew's case, the judge asked where were ya'll when lil Johnny was getting into trouble? where were ya'll when he was running the street and smoking weed all day and night? every week, I get mothers and girlfriends and aunties in here crying to me to please let little Johnny go. if ya'll let lil Johnny be a man and made him take responsibility for his own life, ya'll wouldn't be here begging me to show him some mercy now. I know the real reason ya'll want lil Johnny out, It's cause lil Johnny runnin up your phone bill with them collect calls from the jail now, huh?

now miss, I saw you chuckle when the judge said that but maybe you need to take his words to heart. next time your man/child comes to court for a status hearing, how bout you not trail behind him and let him handle his business on his own? and if you do decide to tag along, when the judge finds out that your man/child's drug test is dirty, why don't you let the judge figure out what to do with your man/child on his own, instead of approaching the bench and telling the judge all the shit he's done and in the next breath asking the judge to let him go.

or when I call man/child on the phone to find out if he's done what he needed to do to help investigate his case or get into an alternative sentencing program, how bout you not pick up the phone in the other room and yell that he did what he was supposed to do. those people didn't call him back.

and when he does get out, let him find his own job, instead of scouring the want ads for him and putting in job applications at the places that you think he might like to work. instead of letting him come spend the night every night at the place where you the only one paying rent, make him go home to his mama house. or better yet, you and mama join forces and make him get his own spot.

I know it's not my place, but miss, I see way too many young Black men each and every day sitting back there in orange and way too many Black women like you looking longingly over at those men. and it clicked for me. I've been thinking of a way to say this so here goes...

damn (baby) mama! can your man/child be a man and do shit for himself?

please and thank you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Threes a crowd!

If you’re a student of American history, then you know market operations in this country can fit in one of two categories: an era of regulation a la financial banking or deregulation a la telecommunication. The automobile industry in the 21st century will have to say bu-bye to days of yester year. In the 21st century, the auto industry will have to enter a period of gross regulation. While Detroit Slept, the US is competing against a global economy, and competition is fierce!

I just don’t see how the US economy could justify retaining 3 automakers—hold your horsepower I am not pushing for the demise of the autoindustry—but the math doesn’t add up to keep 3. And some Republicans have it right, when they believe bankruptcy is a viable option. If the BIG 3 were smart, they would huddle together and envisage the future of the US 21st auto industry where all 3 are not left standing and present it to Congress. I won’t say who should go (there’s politics in that), but that is the reality and to forestall that reality would be a dire, costly mistake. Think about the brands and it will help you determine who has merit to stay or go… Cadillac, Saturn, Buick, HUMMER????

Uncle Sam has already appropriated at least $15,000,000,000 to aid this debilitating industry. He should not think within insular terms and falsely assume that those funds would not go directly to support the hard working laborers of that industry vis-à-vis severance, retirement, housing assistance, training/education, etc. There should not be corporate bailout without the ready admission that civic bailout is contingent upon agreement, not an afterthought.

I really don’t understand why the BIG 3 don’t get it. You can’t just schmooze down to Capitol Hill in your LearJet and think you were going to receive a homecoming in Washington. I chuckled watching C-SPAN and seeing BIG 3 make a fool of themselves and when the laborers crashed the party – genius!

In all fairness, I can’t give it to the corporate bigwigs without admonishing the role of the United Auto Workers (UAW labor union). UAW must meet with the laborers and give it to workers straight. The reality is many won’t be working on assembly lines anymore. This industry is on life support, and taxpayers are ready to pull the tube.

Shouts out to the folks in the Chi, who demonstrated that good ol' fashioned civil disobedience sitll works! The irony...
BIG 3 betta not even play games when the funds are doled out.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Last Angry Black Woman?

Back in the day I worked as a teller. Two years of my life were spent counting out cash and depositing checks sometimes three or four times more than my monthly salary! Needless to say, after while I become dissatisfied with my existence as a bank employee…and the longer I endured the more I noticed the division within the branch. The teller line was made up of five minority women, one from the Philippines, one from Mexico, and the rest were sista girls from the good ole United States of America. But the branch manager and the client services associates who opened the new accounts and certificates of deposit were white…

So when an Asian lady called one of my sista girl co-workers a nigger and drove off because she wouldn’t deposit a 3rd party check for her…the branch management had a difficult time understanding why we were calling Al and trying to hold a march without hearing the customer’s side of the story first. And of course the customer’s story had undergone a few edits when threaten to have her accounts closed… as the customer recalled it she said that my co-worker could have been nicer. Say whaaaaaaaat? Black folks know the difference between nigger and nicer. The woman could barely speak English but she knew how to spew the hate…and she wasn’t on some rapper-drop the “er” nigga tip…it was nigger in all of it’s ignorant glory!

Oh and the moral of the story ya’ll was that after this conversation…the customer’s accounts remained opened. Because really, we all know money talks and bullsh*t walks, and minority folks just have to deal with it when it hits the fan.

Bellini’s post last week got me to thinking about this incident at the bank again and how allegedly we now live in a post-racial society. An era of good feelings-where people see each other as people and by the conduct that comprises their character. Um. But, I still live in America. I know with Obama elected I should be getting over some stuff, but I still think that the prejudices that have patterned the American fabric have become deeper more intricate threads in our societial makeup since the night of November 4th.

Now I don’t know how many of ya’ll have experienced clear and apparent racism, the bank fiasco was the first time that I was aware of it going on so blatantly. But in these days and times I feel like I am the last of the skeptical Black folks left. I Stand on a soapbox in a vacant lot. I feel like I alone still think the man has it out for my fragile community. I guess because I haven’t forgotten
Miss Evers’ Boys and I still wonder how crack could devastate generations of families in a decade.

But I wonder if I am just being overly sensitive. In this post racial world, I wonder if I let my angry Black woman unnecessarily ooze out when a white co-worker assumes that my black coworker lives in an apartment when I know she’s a homeowner who drives a Porsche. And the debating continues when an Asian girl at Lee Kim Nail says a college in Richmond, VA has a lot of Black people there. Not that there is a problem with that, but she prefers a school in the country not the city. Hmmm, well if that is your preference, then why not just say that? Why did you have to bring up how many black students attended…if it weren’t a problem? And though I wanted to punch her in her mouth, I wasn’t trying to mess up my $15 manicure. And since she saw me sitting there surely she didn’t mean anything by what she said-I mean no one is that ignorant anymore. Maybe I am just being too emotional, maybe there are a lot of Black people at that school and she was just saying…

Even with Obama-elected and believing in the saving power of Jesus, this girl’s words made me angry. I was offended. And hurt. And I haven’t let it go yet. And in the post-racial world where we all sing Kumbaya, I am confused about what I should do with these feelings of anger I sometimes have as a Black woman living in America and how should I reconcile them with being an American.

See You In Seven

Monday, December 8, 2008

Did 808 & Heartbreak…break your heart?

Ahh, I have been letting this album simmer for a minute and I like it! But I can’t say the same for others that I shared it with…here is a little bit from one of my convos.

“I hate it, I absolutely hate it…I played it 3 to 4 times and I can’t stand it…too much auto-tone.” says confused ears.

Those were fighting words for KW #1 fan, my sis…"You need to revisit Graduation homie, the breadcrumbs are there!" (chuckle)

“But I expected you two to like it…” injects confused ears.

“Why? Because our ears are blessed with filtering out junk?!? This album is the most genuine and honest album KW has ever dropped! He opens up to us in a new way and spills his guts on this one.”

This album is what I, just me now, call true growth! “It’s amazing - so amazing - so amazing!” (chuckle) KW has challenged the box they put him in artistically. I LOVE that he is pushing his fans’ expectations. Nope it is not what we expected nor is it an all-time classic album but it is pretty good. I can’t help but wonder what my friends at 5 and a possible think...what say you?

Here is one of my favorite tracks…Street Lights.

Much luv until next week…peace :)