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, January 2, 2009

Good, Better, Best...Never Let it Rest

Hey y’all! Happy New Year and all that jazz! I hope everyone had a safe and great New Year’s Eve and Day. I know that I got my pork, black eyed peas and greens, so I hope 2009 treats me right! So last night after dinner, Bellini, Amaretto and I sat around and chatted. We talked about everything from Obama to the viability of HBCUs to Biggie vs. Tupac to recasting Waiting to Exhale (well at least Whitney Houston’s role). And somewhere in there we talked about today’s Black parents and whether or not they are properly equipping their children for the world.

I mentioned how one day my former boss (a Black woman) said to me, “Sometimes I don’t like for my kids to listen to Tom Joyner’s show, cause they get to talking that race stuff and I don’t want to them to hear all that.” Say what? Your kids do know they’re black right? And they do know what that means for better or for worse? Here were two girls, ages 10 and 13, attending a majority white girl private school, and saying things like, “those girls are soo smart.” Like they weren’t. Already feeling inadequate. Confidence shook. Coveting what the rich, white girls have and do. And you don’t want them to hear about race stuff? Um ok.

Here’s a Rum Punch story from the vault. Senior year of high school I took AP English. The teacher was in a word, crazy. No, two words, pure craziness. When we took practice exams I did really well on reading and interpreting passages. However, when we would have to write essays on our assigned literature, she stayed giving me low scores. And her patented phrase was, “I grade on the AP scale. So this is what you would get on the AP exam.” Ok this heffa was givin me 2s and 3s which translated into real life Cs in English on my report card. Now if you don’t know, a 4 is what you usually need to receive college credit. Best score is a 5.

Needless to say my confidence was shook. I pressed on. I worked harder. Met with the teacher. Tried to dig deeper and find extra symbolism in every aspect of every book we had to read. My mother even helped me with essays. And this woman didn’t change the score/grade she gave me. As the test date grew nearer, I said to my mom, “I don’t see why I should take that test. If she grades on the AP scale, I probably won’t pass.” Well Mama Rum Punch wasn’t having that. “Oh you’re taking that test.” And I did. And I scored a wait for it, wait for it, 5. And once the test results came in, my mother stormed off to the school, found my teacher and said, “In your face btich.” Or something like that. But knowing my mother it was probably just that.

That whole experience was truly a turning point in my life. Even though I had been told by so many people, my parents, extended family, friends of the family, and church folk that I was the best. It truly didn't crystalize until that moment when I was faced with the options of pressing on or running away. And so it hurt my heart to hear my boss's children say they were less than and not have their mother, stop in her tracks and dispute that fact. Let them know their history. Who they are and what they're made of. And make sure they let no one tell them differently. I'm thankful that I was pushed past what I thought was my potential. And if even today I were to fix my lips to doubt myself, Mama Rum Punch would give me the look. That girl you musta fell and bumped your head and lost your mind look. And the moment would pass. And I'd be ready to take on the world once again. Because that's what I was raised to do.

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

Thursday, January 1, 2009

new happy new year

apologies for the late post but hopefully everyone had a safe and happy new year's eve and day.

last week's post got me to thinking about new beginnings and new traditions. my usual new year's eve consists of collard greens, hoppin' john and praising the Lord at 12:01.

but as I pondered what to do for new year's eve this year, folks kept asking me where I was going to party and whether I had my cabbage and black eyed peas ready.

so I started a new tradition this NYE by praising the Lord a little earlier in the evening and watching the fireworks from my balcony with some new friends. I'm keeping my collards though cause somethin' just aint right about cabbage on NYE. But what a way to start a new year!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Morris Brown

I am not a graduate of an HBCU. My parents are. And one of my siblings is. Dozens of my friends are products of HBCUs. Sometimes I get the shoulda, woulda, coulda moments of regret about not matriculating from an HBCU. So, it saddens my heart to read about the woes still facing one.
Morris Brown.

Given the severity of financial distress in this nation, I’m worried Morris Brown may not make it through. The unpaid water bill is raising a specter of doom over the institution. Times are rough. Out of curiousity, did any body seek Johnetta B. Cole’s (current president of Bennett College and former president of Spelman College) savvy administration skills—she brought Bennett into the black? Currently, enrollment is 240, but I guess that is a step up from 56. There was a point in time enrollment nearly peaked at 3,000. And I wonder, how many applicants are applying for the fall of 2009? After the institution’s previous loss of accreditation back in 2002, I'm sure there image hasn’t quite been the same. I’m sure in the school’s restructuring loan, funding most have been contingent on enrolling a specific number of students. I wonder if a viable option is the demise of Morris Brown as we know it, yet the consortium of HBCUs in Atlanta could absorb the campus, thereby allowing the legacy of the HBCU to be sustained. Should the city of Atlanta have mercy over its soul?

I do believe alumnus Louise Hollowell has it right, “We want people to help us, we must get up and help ourselves first.” A Yes We-Care fundraiser is in full effect and alumni and students are banding together in hopes of resolving the imminent problems plaguing the institution. There is so much irony in this story.

Well folks when you poppin’ champagne tonight or praying at church, be thankful and be safe. Happy New Year!



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Senior Moment

Last night I had one of those Am I old? moments. And while I can't say that these moments happen all the time, but there was a time in my recent memory when they didn't happen at all. The first time I pondered this was a few years ago when my cousin and I were on our way back from New Jersey. We were chatting, laughing and singing along to the radio when the DJ played Snoop Doggy Dog's Gin and Juice as the old school jam of the day. Saaaaaaaaaay What? Old school jams belonged to Grand Master Flash and Run DMC. NOT Snoop Dogg-the artist whose Doggystyle album had everyone saying "bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay"! I mean we are talking about Snoop-you don't love me you just love my doggy style-Dogg is suddenly old school?

So last night, I'm wandering around Wally World when I overhear the following conversation between two young ladies.
Youngin' Number 1: I got the Legally Blonde DVD. I love that movie!
Youngin' Number 2: Oh yeah! I like it too. It's funny.
YN1: You know what movie I watched for the first time the other night? Cruel Intentions.
YN2: What? Cruel Intentions? I've never heard of it.
YN1: Yeah, it's this old movie with Reese Witherspoon in it...
Amaretto: (Nearly faints at YN1 usage of the world old for a movie that came out in the late 90's. Has to concentrate on not hitting wide bodied mothers and their brood of children while lost in her shock. Cruel Intentions is now old and should be on the Turner Classic Movie Channel like Casablanca or something!)
YN1:...it was good though. You should watch it sometime.
YN2: Cool.

After the shock of it all wears off of me, these type of moments become funny. No one tells us how to respond to aging. Or what we should do when we realize we are no longer the youngest person in a room. Within my circle of friends we often talk of our aching muscles, first strand of gray hair and all the things we just can't do no mo! I know my mom was amused as I lamented that I could now round my age up to 30 after I passed the 25 year old mark a few years ago. She had to calmly but repeatedly tell me that you don't round up ages. So while age ain't nothing but a number, I shouldn't round it up. Okay, I'm trying to remember that. And I shouldn't freak out that I'm now lumped into the same demographic box as 35 year olds.

But as another year approaches, and everyone I know is getting older, I know more of these Am I old? moments are sure to occur. And while I know that I am still young and fly, I have to remind myself that my childhood isn't as recent as I tend to remember it. I can group some of my friendships in decades now, which is amazing to me! But it's all good, and it's all a blessing, though sometimes its disguised and I have to look for it. Yet, as 2008 closes, I can truly say that I'm excited about what's going to happen next in the life and times of Amaretto Jenkins!

I hope you all have a save and Happy New Year! And just know, that somewhere tomorrow, I'm going to be partying like it's 1999...again!

See You In Seven

Monday, December 29, 2008

Saying goodbye is always hard...

Leaving the islands and returning to the city of brotherly love.
Hope your holidays were GREAT!!

Much luv until next week…peace and happy new year!!