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, February 6, 2009

Loaded Questions

As I travel this life and navigate adulthood, I find myself encountering situations, where at one time I swore I knew what I would do if it ever happened. And then it happens. And I’m like wtf? What to do? What to do? There are some questions that have been swirling in my mind. These aren’t black and white situations. There are shades of grey, purple and red all up in there. And so I ask you dear readers, for your thoughts, ideas, or answers to any of these questions!

1. Which is worse for a girl/woman: a father divorcing a mother while the daughter is at a young age and doesn’t really grasp the weight of the situation and what her daddy means to her yet? A father divorcing a mother while the girl is a teen and she has bonded and developed a relationship with her father? Or a father divorcing a mother and leaving her for another woman when the daughter is a grown woman and has formulated what she thought was concrete idea of who her father is?

2. If you learned that your friend’s spouse was cheating on them… Would you tell? Should you tell? Is it your business to tell? What if you knew that their reaction would be one of complacency? Does that make a difference?

3. Do men really think you’re a ‘ho’ if you give it up on the first night?

4. If a couple divorces… Do you have to take sides? Does how you take sides depend on the reason for the split? If you as a couple always hosted an annual function and the couple has split, who do you invite? The one you like more, the one who was “wronged” in the situation, neither of them, both and wait for the fireworks?

5. If a man takes you out on several dates. And you’re not feeling him. At all. Do you still go out with him because he’s decent company and you’re hungry? Or do you cut your losses and live the single life?

6. What’s love got to do, got to do with it?

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

Thursday, February 5, 2009

saturday school

a few weeks ago I was chatting with rum punch about what it was like growing up in the south and how I wondered if my as yet unborn youngins would have the same experience. heck will my as yet unmet huzband have the same experience. having attended THE hbcu for black women, i've learned that black folks come in all kinds of varieties depending on where they or they people hail from: west indian, african, west coast, and the urrreaaa. and while at a majority white grad school, i encountered time and again black folks who had no idea about my experience growing up in the south. no clue about what it meant for me to know only that my peoples came from st. helena's island south cakalak and be unable to trace my heritage no further back.

so then i got to thinkin' dammit i want my kids to KNOW! cause what if i settle back in the northeast with my future family and my kids don't grow up in the south. or what if my husband doesn't share my story altho he might be "black" like me. what if he's second generation real african american or what if he's british black or grew up in laid back cali. how will i make sure that my kids will laugh when auntie rum punch wants to tell them about the world and the way things RRRRRRR.....dit dit dit dit!

every saturday morning i'm wakin' my kids up bright and early for a lil lesson.

The Arts
Pedagogy of the oppressed
the autobiography of malcolm x
the 23rd psalm and reciting it before school every morning
Attending a Black college homecoming (preferably the Marching 100)
Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes
The Elements
Learning the bus stop
The wiz
Five heartbeats
Boys in the hood
School daze
Different world
Cosby show
the color purple

Life Skills Training
Cornrows with beads on the end
killing a flying cockroaches
Vacation bible school
Easter speeches
Walking in the mlk parade
Seeing a Klan robe up close and personal
Getting baptized in that secret compartment under the pulpit
Learning how put the needle on the record player
How to identify the nearest exit in .3 seconds when folks start runnin
how to play spades and how not to renig
Watchnight and candlelight communion
Singing in the junior choir with them hot robes
Going to Sunday school
Staying at Grandmama house for at least a weekend with no cable and no air conditioning
How to open and eat blue crabs with no utensils and no help from ya mama nem
Knowing what "mamanem" means
How to hit the floor when folks start shooting

Field Trips
Martin Luther the King Junior historic site
Bainbridge Georgia
Memphis tenn
st Helena's island
Family reunions

Cooking Class
Fish fry
oyster roast
low country boil
making a thrill
waffle house after the club

for my folks who were raised in the south or spent some quality time there, what would you add?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

the original shock jock!

You know being a Washingtonian and all that, you find DC has many elements to it – southern charm, yankee loyalties, and a whole bunch of crazies! When you think about the funny men that have come out of this town… a la Martin Lawrence (favorite comedian of all time) or Dave Chapelle, you can only wonder the influence Petey Greene had on them. Petey had the #1 radio show in the District and a television show that aired on BET.

Now if you never got a chance to see the Kasi Lemmon’s Talk to Me that featured Don Cheadle as Petey Greene – get it on DVD, but don’t fret – see if you can catch PBS’ Independent Lens Adjust your Color: The Truth of Petey Greene. Petey was a fool of dynamic proportions, but he wasn’t nobody’s fool. He talked about stupidity, education, the value of money, drugs, penitentiary – all elements plaguing the black community in a very mundane style because he lived it himself. He was never preaching to the choir. And I must add he’s the only comedian that can use the N-word and I don’t cringe, maybe because he used C-word just as liberally.

Now fast forward 25 years, and who do you hear on the radio? Russ Parr, Donnie Simpson, Steve Harvey, and Ricky Smiley. The last two aren’t based in DC. So, that leaves Russ and Donnie. Russ has a syndicated radio program so you’ve probably heard him in the morning in your city. Donnie is not syndicated, but he used to be the host of Video Soul on BET (back, back in the day!)—so I’m sure you remember the “cat with green eyes”. I can’t listen to morning radio. Everybody is goofin’ the f*** off and it’s just not funny—it’s stupid. Now, I will say Donnie is a more serious cat, laidback, but he’s still boring. Now, if I had a Petey Greene that I could listen to in the morning – I’d be hooked like a dope fiend. Nobody is talking about issues of substance in a meaningful way unless it’s clich├ęd. We have real shit going on in the world and you can’t tell listenin’ to the radio. Now, I understand people want comedic relief from entertainment, but it at least has to be entertaining.

I get that times have changed, but when you can get the aide to President Carter to come on your show to discuss abuse and call her a broad on the show and it’s funny as hell (sorry feminists) – yet people got the point -- you’re somebody! There are so many other classic Petey moments that I could share, but I won’t spoil it -- watch the documentary. RIP Petey Greene .

Howard Stern ain’t got nothin’ on you!



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Best Year Ever?

Sunday night I joked that 2009 must be the year of the Black Man. It seems like they are having the best year ever; at least through the lens of mainstream America’s media. With Mr. Obama in the White House, Eric Holder being confirmed as Attorney General, Ray-Ray making his child support payments, and Mike Tomlin (who will be played by Omar Epps in the movie) being one of the youngest head coaches to win the Super Bowl…it looks like for the first time in a loooooong time Black men have the chance to be on top!

But I wonder will this just be a fad? Will I start seeing non Black folks wearing Black is Beautiful T-Shirts? Saying it loud?! Replacing their hand shakes with uplifted or bumping fists?

Despite the changes that I have witnessed since President Obama told us he was about to do the darn thing I really still wonder about the American psyche. At work yesterday an older white co-worker joked that he was eclectic and was going to prove it by downloading some Fidy Cents (yes, he said Fidy and yes he made cent plural) on his iPod. And maybe I’m just being overly sensitive, because as a Black woman we tend to do that when it comes to us and our menz. But couldn’t he have been just as eclectic downloading some Marilyn Manson? Did he want me to think he was hip because he knew who 50 Cent was? Make his count of Black men he knows skyrocket to 4? Should I have told him that if he wanted to really shock and amaze that he should have downloaded some Lil Wayne?

Race in America is such a complicated thing, and it gets more convoluted in the day to day lives of Black folks. It upset me that people assumed that I was an Obama supporter just as much as the assumption that a Black man in a suit is such an abnormality. A Black who speaks well is a phenomena. A Black man working just shows how he is different from the rest of them. Yeah, the rest of them who ain’t no good, can barely speak and only know how to be criminal.

It just hurts.

It’s a pain that I live with-that many Black folks and other minorities live with, not knowing what it’s like to be without it. As the daughter of two Redskins fans (meaning I too am one) I was only cheering for the Steelers because their head coach was a Black man. I didn’t see him as a person. Couldn’t tell you about his career. Don’t even know the content of his character. But I rooted for him because I felt it was my duty as a member of the Black community to support the brother. Because we only get one chance in the eyes of white folks before they end the honeymoon, so Mr. President beware.

In 2009, with mainstream still trying to see us a people…it seems like we still have to prove that we are no different from the rest of them. I think it’s going to be one heck of a year…

See You In Seven

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Living In Fantasy Land

What’s up Courvoisier? I’m thinking we should get together and do a mural.
Cool that sounds good! When do you want to meet?
Some time next week.

Okay so next week came and went along with an additional three weeks. But we finally meet a month later and there is no real progress made. Hmm…okay.

So let’s meet up again?
Sure, in three more weeks? (chuckle)
Nah, before that hopefully.

Okay…so next week came and went along with an additional three weeks. (Yup, you read that twice because it happened twice.)

This is when the whole thing becomes hilarious to me. Those who know me know I am not one to do a whole lot of talking about what I am about to do, kind of just get on with doing it. I talk to plan and prioritize my actions.

So in between these meet and greets I am thinking let’s exchange some emails. Part take in a little virtual brainstorming, but oh-no that can't work if you don't respond to the email. Am I missing something? You asked me to get together. Are you serious? Or is this just a fantasy?

I keep thinking maybe it is me. Maybe I am too productive. I really don't see the point in us talking about what we will do and when. So I shall entertain a different notion.

Let's say this is a fantasy. The idea of painting this mural with my help is a place of comfort. You don't actually have to do anything. All you have to do, is when life gets too much to handle, call me up and ask to meet. We won't actually have a focused conversation nor will we decide on the next steps. But some how at the end of the day you will have contributed to this dream.

I don't really understand and I am not sure that I ever will. Dreams that are not pursued seem to frustrate me. I know that times are hard and your recent layoff couldn't have come at a worst time, but just think of all the free time you have to pursue this dream. I am not saying spend all day working on it but you do have more time on your hands now. However if you insist, I will be there as your friend regardless of the excuse you use. Just understand I can't help you fulfill your dreams...if you are not willing to pursue them and make the necessary sacrifice.

Shall we meet up again, in say three weeks? (chuckle)

Much luv until next week...peace :)