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 26, 2008

Cooking With Tradition

I hope that if you celebrate Christmas, you had a great Christmas! If you don’t, I hope you at least had a great day off! So I was going to write this post the day after Thanksgiving. And then this happened. So I will try to tackle it today after another holiday where major meals were prepared. What is up with women who can’t and don’t learn how to cook?

Example: Y’all know I have a love/hate relationship with Sex and the City. Well you know none of them heffas cooked. Wait that's not true. Charlotte knew what was up. She cooked. She even learned how to make a traditional Jewish meal to reel her huzband in. Anyway. Aidan, Carrie’s man at the time was off the Pennsylvania to deliver a chair. And Carrie who was cheating on him with Mr. Big and doesn’t trust herself to be alone says, “don’t leave. I’ll bake you a cake.” Or something like that. And Aidan says, “you don’t cook.” Hmmm and you’re ok with this? Do you know that I knew this chick who proudly said, "I can't even boil water." What? Please don't tell people this. That is not cute, not cute at all.

Look I’m not saying that all women have to be able to throw down in the kitchen. Admittedly I’m no gourmet chef. But I can make a meal for myself and others. I have signature dishes. Of course I’m not saying that you need to know how to cook to get a man. But I always thought that it could help during the vetting process. I mean we've all heard that the way to a man's heart is through is stomach. Right? I was watching a Bridezillas show and the guy was saying talking about how he and his fiance got together. He said, one day she spent the night, cooked a meal the next day, and he never told her to leave. I mean what man (or woman for that matter) wants to eat out all the time? And what happens if he spends the night at your spot and you can’t at least make some bacon and eggs in the morning? Do y'all have to always shower, get dressed, and head out into the world for brunch? My mother was not a cook before she got married, but she learned through trial and error. And while we were growing up, she cooked most of the meals.

Now I’m not saying the woman should be the sole cook. I was watching a Wife Swap the other day where there was family that was neat, organized, always on a schedule. And the other family was not. So when disorganized wife joins organized family, of course she couldn’t handle the pressure. She was very late cooking the husband dinner one night. Here this man was opening and longingly staring into a cold stove, walking around the kitchen looking completely clueless. Say what? You better make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich or something. Please don’t act like a complete idiot because you didn’t get your dinner on “time.” Even though my father didn’t cook the “big” meals, if we kids were alone with him, and it started getting close to dinnertime, he could put something together, so us kids were fed and satisfied. And you know it’s always fun when daddy cooks!

I would think that if anything, you would want to know how to cook for...yourself. There's nothing like the satisfaction of eating a tasty meal that your own hands have prepared. And think of all the money that you save when you cook your own meals! And then should a man come along, you can show him what you're working with. I know that we women are supposed to be all liberated and whatnot, but I think there are some traditions that we women can't completely shake off. We can redefine them of course, i.e., believing that a man should also do the cooking, sharing the role, taking turns, making sure there is balance in the relationship.
Men, what do you think about a woman who can’t and doesn’t want to learn how to cook? Women, do you think that cooking should be part of your 'trying to get a man/be somebody's wife resume?

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

Thursday, December 25, 2008

home for the holidays

merry christmas! [insert niceties here].

up until a few days ago, I was planning to spend this Christmas at my new home away from home with my landlady and my chef neighbor. but grandmama was not havin' that and she persuaded [read: commanded] me to come home for Christmas. and I'm glad I did. nothing like mama's collard greens, playing monopoly with my sisters and and watching my niece open her presents to remind me why it's always good to be home for the holidays.

but next year i'd like to have an "unconventional" Christmas in a place I've never been where the weather is around 80 degrees or so. somewhere I have to take a flight to and pack a bikini for. obama-style although Christmas in hawaii has been on my list way before barack came on the scene. rum punch be my witness. but since hawaii will probably now be to christmas what miami is to memorial day for the ybf crowd maybe i'll switch to grenada or st. martin.

where would you go on your unconventional Christmas?

happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

still w/ age somethings don’t change?...

Over the weekend, I attended a birthday shindig for some women in their 30’s (let’s just say north of 35). There was a Dj spinnin’ but it didn’t matter, ‘cuz folks weren’t dancing. Now granted the space was a lil’ tight, so I reckon folks weren’t trying to do to much. Except you always have folks breakin’ out into a line dance—why must we do that all the damn time? And women why are you so cliquish – it was ridiculous. Women say hi/hello. It goes a long way! I had seen some of these women over the summer, perhaps the weather makes folks a lil’ more friendlier, these heffas were icy bitches. The shindig was a week before the Christmas holiday--you can be jolly for a minute. Now I could understand if the fellas didn’t want to fool with their asses.

So, after we popped champagne, I thought folks would get down… I was utterly wrong. Now the ratio of women to men was surprise 1:1. As far as I could see, everybody was single, yet no one was willin’ to mingle? I had invited my waxologist, who is hella fun! She was on the prowl—identifyin’ the brothas she liked to get to know better. Get him girl! As, I retrieve my phone to check for Rum Punch and company, a guy finds hisself all in my bizness. “Why you textin’ him, leave him at home.” Really! First of all men, if you’re gonna talk to a women – introduce yourself. For one, tell me your name. I was instantly turned off—that shit was so lame. Finally, when Rum Punch and company arrive, I share that the party is wack – time to venture to the next spot…

The party was moved 2 buildings over, different atmosphere, more open space, etc. The change in scenery, didn’t change a damn thing. You would have thought folks would have have been merry and jolly – the lounge was decorated in festive holiday colors-- but nope-- folks were oblivious to the subtelties of change! Women were sittin’ on the couches chattin’ with their girlfriends as if she hadn’t talked to her all week. And the fellas, they were just standin’ holdin’ a cup of whateva. Maybe I’m off on the one to one ratio, some brothas were gay or maybe even on the DL...

I’ve never been to a party where men were so disengaged and the women were content not minglin’? It was weird. Did Bellini really come out to this? It had rained all day, and I convinced myself to attend. Since the champagne gave me an instant buzz, I reckoned that I needed to eat ‘cuz the last time I ate was in the afternoon. Thank goodness the food was tasty. Then the Dj plays “Milkshake” courtesy of Kelis – I’m eating and groovin’ all the same. A sista girl had to come give me a hi-five for givin’ it up while I was eatin’. I’m assumin’ this guy had been observin’ me from afar… So he motions for me to come his way like he’s a puppeteer while I was eating. Really?!? So, when I tell him to come and have a seat, he was a bit perplexed. Come conversate with Bellini, let me see what you’re about while I eat. He wanted to dance, but lil’ did he know, Bellini made her mind up to go home. Now that you witnessed that I could do more than a 2 step, it was too late—I was ready to go home. I was willing to conversate, but that was about it. And I’d be remissed if I didn’t mention his hands were rough! The night was over for me. Dammit, I know it’s the winter, but you should take extra precautions with your skin. Lawd, a grown ass man and he didn’t have a clue. So has it come to this... with age-- men and women are just that damn boring and don't have a clue? I wish I snapped some photos to share with folks—the scene was pitiful. I betta bring in the New Year right and go to a real party, be’cuz 2009 can’t start like 2008!




Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fret Not

Turn on the television. Talk to almost any person. And they will surely tell you about all the things that aren’t going well right now. The American auto industry on the brink of collapse. The wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the snow in New Orleans tells us all that something is up with the environment. And while these are the stories that feed the main stream-there is so much more going on beneath the current in the lives of everyday folks; particularly in the lives of people that I know.

I have friends who fear losing their jobs. I know folks who hate their jobs. I know folks who haven’t worked in months. I got family fighting illnesses, even when their doctor has told them to throw in the towel. I have friends who are enduring painful martial separations. I see people whose broken hearts have yet to heal. I know people who have dreaded Christmas because they can’t afford to eat let alone purchase presents

Often times I find that I am at a loss for the right words to say. I want to provide some sort of understanding or comfort to ease their worry, but I’ve got nothing! And somehow offering a “Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!” just doesn’t cut it!

And as a new year approaches, it just seems no one I know is where they once planned to be. Some certainties became less secure this year. On the train ride to see my family for Christmas, I thought about the things going on in these lives. I was saddened because while this is the time of year when folks are both joyous and inspired…there are many folks living among us who are fearful, lonely and depressed.

As the train sped closer to the place I call home, a familiar refain pulled me from my thoughts. It was a song I grew to love years ago on a trip to Jamaica-that again, on this night gave me some perspective. Upon hearing it I knew that everything was going to be alright. Maybe not perfect. Maybe not what we wanted or how we wanted. But alright just the same. There are so many things that we let worry us that we, in all honesty, have little control over…so what’s the point in worrying? What does worry change?

To the folks swimming in the undercurrent, barely hanging on, not knowing if you are going to make it… trust me, you will. Don’t worry about a thing!

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas Ya’ll!

See You In Seven

Monday, December 22, 2008

Who Are The People In My Neighborhood?

As I was walking to work last week, I realized I say Good Morning to the same people every day. In fact one morning, a person (we are not on first name basis) said “Didn’t see you yesterday”

I thought, “there’s something nice about being familiar with your neighborhood.”

Now, hold that thought because at that moment I was taken right back to my childhood days. Remember, the Sesame Street song “Who are the people in your neighborhood?

Well from that point onwards I was singing until I got to work. Check out the people in my neighborhood. Sing along, my lyrics below.

Oh, who are the people in my neighborhood?
In my neighborhood?

In my neighborhood?

Say, who are the people in my neighborhood?

The people that I meet each day.

Oh, da sandwich lady cooks on wheels,

Quick, cheap and greasy first meals.

Selling egg and cheese for two bucks,

She’s only there for breakfast, which sucks.

'Cause da sandwich lady is a person in my neighborhood,

In my neighborhood,

In my neighborhood,
Da sandwich lady is a person in my neighborhood,
A person that I meet each day.

Oh, da hus’le man always has good deals,

On items you’re not sure he steals,

But he can get me the latest DVD,

At a price none of da stores can beat.

'Cause da hus’le man is a person in my neighborhood,

In my neighborhood,

In my neighborhood,

And da sandwich lady is a person in my neighborhood.

They’re the people that I meet,

When I am walking down the street,

They’re the people that I meet each day.

Crazy? I know. If only I had more time I would make a video for you guys.

Much luv until next week…peace and happy holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Raging Road Scholar

Have you ever been driving and wondered what the hell the person in front of you did to get their drivers license?? (no one in the earthly realm would have been so foolish to approve them for road travel…right?...RIGHT?!) The person in front of you doesn’t seem to know the rules of the road. They drive too slow, don’t signal or have had their signal on for the last 10 miles, and are driving with their headlights off at 8:45 in the evening. You finally get a chance to pass them and when you look over, you notice they are texting on their Crackberry, reading the Washington Post, putting on make-up, smoking a Newport, and eating an extra long chili cheese coney from Sonic, all while noddin their head to the treble of Common’s Punch Drunk Love blasting from their crappy system.

I think I’m a pretty good driver. Matter of fact, I know I am. I give the courtesy wave when someone lets me over, I’ve gotten one speeding ticket in my whole driving career and I never have been in an accident. (intentionally hitting jaywalking pedestrians doesn’t count does it? But hey, they stepped out there all willy nilly like, they saw me coming and looked at me like I was supposed to stop…so I asked myself WWJD…and before I came to a conclusion…BAM…over the hood they went and then under my back tires as I backed up to see what was the damage) I know everyone is not as cautious in their driving as I am, but there are some things people are just supposed to know and do!

To further prove my point that there are idiots on the road a study shows that out of the 50 states and the nation’s capital, DC, MD, and VA ranked in the bottom 11 for the country’s worst drivers. With DC being ranked 50 out of 51, MD at 42 and VA at 40. Well the test was not based on actual driving, but rather on the knowledge of common sense traffic rules and regulations. I understand knowledge of the rules doesn’t necessarily directly collate to how people really drive, but I’ll bet my left lugnut that the bottom 10 states on the list have a higher rate of accidents per capita than any other state.

So here is my proposal. Everyone must take the written exam and the pass the little driving obstacle course (VA drivers got it too easy) every 2-3 years or at least at the period when your license expires. When your license expires, you should take the exams again to make sure you're up to date on traffic rules and regs and so someone else (not your nearly blind mama) can evaluate your driving.

Can’t pass the exams? - You can’t get your license! Period.

There shouldn’t be much of a problem since everyone is suppose to get better with experience. Afterall, Isn't it the “experienced” drivers that are masters of steering with their knees while eating their Taco Bell Chalupas? And yet it's these same “experienced” drivers who are also involved in the most accidents. It just seems like anyone can get a license if they know how to open the car door or have played Grand Theft Auto on their PS3. Sorry, I just aint cool being on the same road with you! Forgive me for wanting to get to where I'm going without incident. And many of you people are making that hard for me! Maybe my proposal will educate folks, and have them take driving seriously. And since knowledge is the key, maybe this enlightenment will positively reflect on the road-You know, with people staying alive and such.

What does the rest of the class think?

See how you'd do. Take the same exam that was used in the study. http://www.gmacinsurance.com/SafeDriving/

And if you didn't do well...then please just stay out my way!

A Man