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 30, 2009

The Disappearance of Lauryn Hill

As I write this, I am watching Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. And like the rest of the masses, I have one question: what the fcuk happen to Lauryn Hill? No seriously, what the fcuk happen to Lauryn Hill? She got like five babies now! And I guess I should be calling her Ms. Hill if I don’t want to get in trouble.

So as I try to answer the riddle of our generation (I mean f who shot Biggie or Tupac? What the f happen to Lauryn Hill), I think back to the years 1998-99 when Miseducation dropped. Let me tell y’all, out of the crew, I was the only one who had a car (a 1986 Dodge 600 thank you very much) and we rocked that tape (please notice I said tape) HOARD! Forwards and backwards and then forwards again! Remember the lil’ kids in the classroom? L-O-V-E! Remember: I mean it could all be simple, but you’d rather make it hard, girls you know you better watch out some guys some guys are only about that thing, nothing even matters at all, you might win some but you just lost one, when it hurts so bad why’s it feel so good? Lauryn was singing right to us! And to every other woman in the world, I know. But at the time, she was singing just to us. And we felt all her highs and lows. Triumphs and disappointments. Could totally relate to all the “knowledge” she was dropping, making us think and ery’thang, as we began to enter womanhood. I remember us going to see her live at Constitution Hall! Man, Lauryn was on top of the world!

And then she won all ‘dem grammys. And then she just straight disappeared. And then she came out with that second all acoustic album that I have heard referred to as ‘three chord monty’, got sued by her band, had that other baby, then another and everyone was like what the fcuk happen to Lauryn Hill? Let me tell y’all what happened! Come close, I have solved the puzzle!

Lauryn Hill didn’t know a damn thang! And she knew it! She was 23 years old when Miseducation came out. A baby. I think back to when I was 23. Fresh out of college, looking at the world with bright eyes, having hope for the future, possessing what I swore was all I needed to know about men, relationships, marriage, friendships and everything in between. Man, you couldn’t tell me I didn’t have it all figured out. Ha ha ha. How wrong was I? Oh so wrong.

Do y’all think that Lauryn listened to Miseducation like two years later, shit 6 months later and asked herself, “what the hell was I talking about?” And yet she still had to go sing those songs night, after night, after night? No forward movement or progression? Her shows were very packaged. You know how Jay Z has said that by the time his album comes out and he has spit a lyric that everyone thinks is hot, he’s already moved past it? Yeah. I think that Lauryn, like all of us, grew. Grew up. And grew away from what she thought was right, wrong, black, white and shades of grey. And she wanted to put said growth on a record. And the music industry said, nope. Another Miseducation, please. And she couldn’t do it. And she didn’t do it. And then when she finally chronicled her "growth" on the second album, she was accused of having, "she think she soo deep" syndrome.

Ahhhh... Understood. I mean I swear I am providing nothing but pearls and precious jewels on this here blog, but really I'm just talking. Or writing. Once a week. But I mean the potential to get the big head is great, to feel like it's my responsibility to educate the masses and tell it like it t-i-s, and then ask what the class has learned today. It's a fine, fine line between using your life and other experiences to tell a story and hopefully touch someone's life vs. preaching your point of view from the mountaintop until your audience is blue in the face. But it's hard to walk that line. I mean when you grow you want to show it off, flaunt it, two step with it, put it into rhyme, submit it to Chicken Soup for Everybody's Soul, shimmy in someone's face with it. I done grown! And this is how!

And while no one knows what happen to Lauryn Hill, but Lauryn Hill, I think it's safe to say that ten years later, we are all in different places, some expected, some unexpected, some totally wtf? All a little older, with more perspective, knowledge, and hopefully having grown somehow, some way. But some things ain't changed. People still asking, what the fcuk happen to Lauryn Hill?

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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

link of the week

i was just thinking to myself....what happens when i don't want to be friends any more? on facebook that is. and of course the nytimes is already on it.

oh the logic of some folks: “If someone with more than 1,000 friends unfriends me, I get offended,” said Greg Atwan, an author of “The Facebook Book,” a satirical guide. “But if someone only has 100 friends, you understand they’re trying to limit it to their intimates.”

more gems when you check out the link.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

are you serious?

Some of us are miserable assholes, pitiful, pathetic… I mean we’re just not happy. Worst of all, we continue to stupidly think somebody owes us something…B**** please! So, now we have Amnau Eele of the Black Artists Association feeling slighted because the First Lady has not worn attire by a black designer. She launched her fusillade of attacks within 24 hours of the Inauguration. Are you serious? So, we couldn’t even be happy for a week – I see? Nope, too much like right. So, when our President and First Lady got their boogie on that radiant night, you were just fuming with disgust?

I thought black folks got the memo during the Democratic primary that President Obama ran to be President of the United States of America. I thought blacks folks understood that by virtue of having the 44th president be a black man, change is finally coming. Black folks we are finally getting’ access. I thought I would save my spiel for Black History Month, but it seems the situation warrants I speak right now.

There are and will be all kinds of black folks who will finally gain access. For starters, we have Reggie Love – Personal Assistant to the President, Desiree Rogers—White House Social Secretary, Valerie Jarrett—White House Advisor, Dr. Susan Rice—United Nations Ambassador, and dozens of black aides that we just don’t know about yet. And with future presidential and state campaigns, their expertise and counsel will be called upon. And let’s not dismiss the fact that there is a whole generation of black kids who will only know and grow up with a black president (yeah, I’m banking on him having 2 terms already—I gotta keep it real wit’cha). Two friends all had babies this month, boys at that --and I reminded the parents that their sons have been born in unchartered waters. You have black parents eager to have their kids participate in the annual Easter Egg Hunt at the White House, curiosity is peaked to a zenith. And it’s not just black folks, it’s everybody.

I’m sure there will be additional incidents of folks feeling slighted, but just remember your ass is not special and don’t nobody owe you shit, surely not Mr. President or the First Lady.



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Are You Ready For This?

January 20, 2009: I know I cursed Courvoisier out in my mind fifty-eleven times! I was trying to smile at her, but in my mind I was calling her everything but a chile of God. I mean if she hadn’t come down from Philly I would have been at home watching the day’s events like I planned under a blanket. Instead I was standing in a line with hundreds of people. Crushed up against a gate. Separated from half the folks I came with. Cold. And tired of waiting to move forward.

Even now, a week later I can’t believe I was part of the nearly two million folks who made it down there that day. Before when asked if I was going down there, my response was “I ain’t crazy!” But there I was part of the number. When we knew we’d need transportation: we got our transit fare early. When we knew it was going to be cold: we put on our layers. When we knew we would get hungry: we packed sandwiches. But even with all this preparation I don’t think we were truly ready to be a part of something…a movement.

January 20, 2009: I know I cursed Rum Punch out in my mind fifty-eleven times! I was trying to smile at her, but in my mind I was calling her everything but a chile of God. I mean they had told us that we couldn’t get to the mall. So basically it was a wrap. We weren’t crossing the gate. Half our group had made it through and where they were now, we didn’t know. It was a hopeless situation. Courvoisier thinking her toes are going to be amputated and Rum Punch wants us to walk to where? Go around what? I don’t think so!

And even now, a week later I can’t believe that I was part of the nearly two million folks who made it down there who were counted as witnesses to history. “I ain’t crazy!” was what I said, yet I was the one who was running down the street when I could finally see the monument. The jumbo screens. And the millions of people watching and waiting for a new era to be ushered in. It was amazing ya’ll! To see millions of people for miles, cheering together, breathing in unison, hoping for a more perfect union. I’d never experienced that before. It was worth the cold, confusion and desperation!

January 20, 2009: I know I cursed Mayor Fenty and his band of cops about fifty-eleven times! Had they not thought about how two million people who were ready to leave were going to do so? Congestion. Some people had knocked down a barrier fence so that we could get out of there. A family with a wheelchair bound woman needed help lifting her over the bottom of the gate. Parents yelled to watch out for their child in the stroller. After a historic moment centuries in the making folks forgot how to be patient, helpful or even civil. But I understood it. It didn’t make sense. A cop lost his cool as the crowd flowed towards him because a cop car needed to pass through the sea of people. We were part of a slow moving current that flowed up 18th street, all the side streets were blocked. The entrances to all the open metro stations teemed with people. We wondered how the platforms below ground looked. Earlier we heard someone was hit by a train.

The only thing we could do was to walk it out. Over private property. Security guards yelled for people to get off the grass-did they not understand no order is possible in chaos? Save your breath! The three of us hopped over cement barriers. Trampled bushes. At some point no space was off bounds. All we could do was wonder why there was no clear exit strategy. After walking for an hour and a half the crowd started to thin out and we finally able to catch a cab uptown back to our car. It was shocking to go from being unable to move to freely maneuvering the city. Downtown had been shut down but in uptown, business continued as usual, it was almost unaffected by the change we had just witnessed. The three of us ended up going to a restaurant in Maryland where others laughed, dined and watched the inaugural parade on television. We ate, excited yet exhausted.

January 20, 2009: I know I that thanked Courvoisier and Rum Punch fifty-eleven times in my mind for making me go. I was not ready for the day. The cold, the people, the foolishness but it was well worth the experience. And now I can say: Yes I was there. Are you ready to hear my story? To be able to do that, is priceless!

See You In Seven

Monday, January 26, 2009

Frozen Feet Don't Fail Me Now

1/17/09 - 11:31 am

So here I am in Philly,
Do I really want to do this?
Up til’ 2 the morning before,
Four loads of laundry,
Three text messages,
And two hours later,
Here, I am…

Little did I know,
This was about to be,
THE most memorable,
Experience of my life,
With two women,
Who I now can say,
Are the greatest!

1/19/09 - 3:17 pm

With packed bags,
Scheduled to leave,
Monday evening,
The pressure of being,
So close,
So close not to go,
Overwhelmed me,
And I couldn’t help,
But force others to come with.

I mean how often does this happen?
Ummm...NEVER before!

Everywhere you turned,
Every station you heard,
There it was.

1/19/09 - 4:39 pm

Mama says
“NO one wants to hear, how you were there,
But…didn’t go”
I reflect.

You hear that Amaretto?

Those who went to see MLK 63
Didn’t have jumbotrons?!
I guess I am completely out,
Out of reasons not to go.

1/19/09 - 10:59 pm

So we planned the best that we could,
With the little that we knew.

1/20/09 - 6:01 am

Teamed up with six bodies,
And bundled up with four layers,
To brave 10 degrees,
Something I had never done before.
I was excited the whole time,

“Amaretto, Am I going to loose my toes?
I can’t loose my feet.”
At this point,
No longer six people deep.

1/20/09 - 10:23 am

All those negro spirituals,
Chants of O-B-A-M-A!
Bahamian flag waving in the air,
Where are you now?
To lift my spirits,
Looking through the gates,
Just need to sneak on the other side.
So close to people that I can't breathe,
Without feeling someone’s breath,
Light headed from all the smells,
Sick and tired of moving on someone else’s accord,
Can’t even eat my sandwich, (chuckle)

Rum Punch, I can’t see you!
Amaretto, I kind of see your face!

“No more people are crossing PA, ma’am”


I give up.
My toes give up.
That old white woman,
They are taking away on the stretcher,
I am with her…
Get me out of here.

1/20/09 - 11:07 am

Regroup in the coffee shop,
You want to do what?
Rum Punch ...walk 20 plus blocks?
"Nah...more like 12 (chuckle)"
"It is more like 20!"

No sensation in toes,
20 blocks,
We walk one,
And I barely (chuckle)

"Get your Obama air fresheners!"

Man, I need,
Obama hot boots,
So I can feel my feet.

Then I am blessed,
M-A-C-Y's is open,
In and Out,
Warm shoes on feet,
I can feel my toes,
Mission is back on.

There goes Amaretto skipping down H,
20 blocks?
Ah, that is nothing.
We were there!

1/20/09 - 11:59 am

In time for the start,
With millions of others,
We were 3 of the 2 million...
I wonder how our half made out?

What's that...they are there!!
They made it,
We ALL made it!

SO happy I could cry.
And I did,
Smile, laugh and cry.

Over an estimated 50 million,
Watched us and many others.

But how the hell do we get out of here?

Much Luv until next week...peace :)