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, May 15, 2009

Don't Make Me Go There

A few months ago, my associate pastor preached a sermon by this title. The message was two fold and excuse me for not having the accompanying scripture*, but follow me anyway. And please know that I’m interpreting the sermon for how it works for me, in my head, in my life. She doesn’t actually cuss from the pulpit.

So, first she talked about the usage of the often uttered saying – Don’t make me go there. What it has come to mean nowadays. That it’s when someone has pushed you to the brink, to the edge, and is about to take you, well, there. To that ‘no this mothafcuka didn’t’, contemplating violence all day long, til you’re forced to leave work early cause you got to handle something, calling the homies, doing drive bys, bout to take off your earrings and get you some Vaseline, way down in the murk and mire place.

You don’t want anyone to ever take you there cause if they do it will be ugly. And unladylike. And seemingly out of character. And perhaps a wee bit violent. And just, overall, won’t end well for anyone involved. And so you fire off warning shots to the wrong doer with these five words: DON’TMAKE MEGOTHERE! This is the clean version of you better back the fcuk up. Get outta my space. Don’t come for me. Check yo'self before you wreck yo'self. Leave me the hell alone. Give me 50 feet or I will kick yo’ ass. For real. DON’TMAKEMEGOTHERE!

But then she flipped it and said that don’tmakemegothere is when God is trying to move you to another place. A healthier place. A better place. And because of fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. Lack of faith. You say: don’tmakemegothere. Don’t move me out of this comfortable spot. Don’t challenge me. Don’t send me in a new direction. Don’t have me try to reach my full potential. I am afraid. I am not ready. I am not sure I can handle it. don’tmakemegothere. [End of synopsis of pastor’s sermon]

[Beginning of Rum Punch breaking it down and applying it to real life sit’chuations]

But God moves you anyway. Picks you up kicking and screaming. Crying and fighting. Bitching and moaning. Pouting and fussing. Drops you off. And waits. For you to fcuk up. Call that nygga back. Walk away from it all. Curse the world. Sleep with him again. Leave it unfinished. Live beneath your station. Settle. Get complacent. Struggle. Question. Lose faith. Regain. And then finally understand that God means this move. This change. This growth. This different direction. This new experience for good.

Funny how your DON’TMAKEMEGOTHERE! and don’tmakemegothere moments tend to intersect. Usually on what seems like the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, when this just can’t be life, when you fittin' to set it off in this mothafcuka cause someone done lost they mind up in here, up in here and is trying you, pushing you there - you get taken to another level.

You get a tap on the shoulder. A whisper in the ear. A hard shake from the powers above, reminding you that you’re better than this. You’re too cute for this.** You’re more than this setback. And that this moment does not and will not define you. So you might as well start packing your bags and filling out change of address cards. Cause you’re about to be moved again. Over there.

Over to another place where you are given the strength to take a road higher than you could have ever imagined. A place where you: Forgive. Resist resorting to violence or cuss words. Face fears. Quote scripture. Laugh. Walk away. Relax, relate, release. Leave it where it be. Let it go. Praise through the pain. Start all over again. Pray. Remind your own self that this is just a test. Move on. Shake that load off. Keep going. Know that tomorrow is another day. That this too shall pass. And what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.

And other clichés. But it’s these clichés that give you comfort because you know their truth. Cause you’ve been to the edge of there before. Past there, even. And everywhere in between. And you always make it back safely.

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

* I do believe that she was preaching from Jonah, though
** Shouts out to Courvoisier! ;-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

after a year and a day

i'm a big fan of clifford harris, jr. i was truly devastated when he fell into his latest round of legal troubles. i can remember exactly where i was when i found out he and tiny had been arrested on weapons charges. as it happens, a friend and i were in atlanta for the taping of the ghettofab bet hip hop awards. i was anxiously awaiting t.i.'s performance as this would be the first time i'd see him perform live. however when he didn't bound onto the stage after winning his first award, i knew something was up. my friend and i quickly pulled out our crackberries and furiously tried to figure out what had gone awry via goggle. and there it was in black and white. RAPPER T.I. ARRESTED ON FEDERAL GUN CHARGES. plus images of tiny with her fiery red and blond hair draped over her face as she sat on the curb in shame.

as the details unfolded, it became clear that the talented mr. harris wouldn't be getting out of this one so easy, even with the best defense money could buy. these were federal charges carrying federal time with federal evidence to back them up: confidential informants, surveillance tapes, confessions, etc. etc.

and so, t.i. embarked on the biggest public relations campaign of his life, complete with a new album, multi-city tour, and a cheesy mtv reality show following his road to reduction in sentence. yet when the time came for him to learn his fate, it was still a year and a day despite all the life lessons and scared straight tactics. still t.i. seems committed to his nicer, shinier persona, having recently launched a new ad campaign called Responsiblity Is A Lifestyle: It's Time to Bury Da Beef.

I hope that through my mistakes, young people can begin to learn, as I did, that we have to put our guns down and start to give our guns back. It pains me inside to hear about so many of our people dying because of gun violence. Just in the past weeks, a 13-year old boy was shot in the head in Harlem, a 17- and a 19-year old were murdered in a double homicide in Queens and a 15-year-old was chased, beaten, shot and burned in Chicago.

while he seems sincere in his new positive direction, i wonder what kinda records he's gonna put out after his federal stint is over. on paper trail he rapped less about hurtin folks and more about the sorrow of those dead and gone. but i wonder what will he rap about after the fed time is done. will t.i. become the new "conscious" rapper of our generation, speakin the truth to the young black you?

what say you?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

price paid to work and be woman

So, "like an epiphany" cue Chrisette Monday afternoon while in the office, eating my lunch and reading the NY Times article, Women Bullying Women at Work and then serendipitiously listening to Jill Scott’s "I Keep". I tell myself, divine intervention is at play here. The third omen to write this post occured Monday night, while watching the FOX series 24. Did you see the tete-á-tete between Janice and Chloe -- loves it? But you have to wonder why would women do that to one another? What is wrong with them?
for the most part Bellini gets along with most

So, today I will share with you some stories of women in the workplace. Men make sure you read this ‘cuz you’re sure to get a chuckle or too, and women you’re sure to hit some amens or jeer at being called out. So, here we go.

When it comes to the workplace, I've had some interesting encounters with women. During my first internship (related careerwise) my manager was a woman. She was uberprofessional, sharp, and on point. And, when it comes to me being a professional, I model myself after her. She kept drama out of our office, she kept the staff abreast of company politics coupled with an objective perspective. Oh, and she remembered birthdays and took you out to lunch. That's the epitome of a professional to me. Even now, folks will tell you Bellini is one smart cookie -- I learned from the best.

During my internship days, I met a female manager of an engineer firm. The only female manager. And she shared with me that she would take naps in the middle of the day. Close her office door shut, and zone out for 30 minutes to an hour -- rejuvenate her body. None of the men bothered her, actually they couldn't she was at the top of her game. She struggled her way to the top by acquiring all the right credentials (i.e. academic pedigree) along the way. As my former boss would say, "paid the cost to be the boss!"

Fastforward, 5 years to my first real job as a professional. My nemesis as Rummy would call her was a fox in sheep's clothing. Initially, she wasn't even in my department. clue #1 Due to some drama in her department, she transferred over to my department. Now, keep in mind I was the youngest professional in my office. Women looked at me with an askew glance, and men were just tickled pink with me -- go figure. The heffa out of nowhere coronated herself as my defacto overseer. Bellini can smell a rat right away, I spoke with my boss to clarify the division in labor in which he did. Yet, that action only nullified her temporarily. The bish started clocking/watching me. Aren't we all damn professionals? Don't we all have a life?

clue #2 When you don't have a man or no kids -- ladies and gentlemen run for cover! Women of that ilk can be of the deadly variety. My nemesis was all of that and then some! She clearly was older than me by 15 years damn shame. Ironically, the woman -- was a woman of color, but nope she wasn't a sista. The sistas in my office were cool as shit! We looked out for each other, go the extra mile for each other, cover for one another. I've heard tales about sistas being the worst species to work for and I have yet to have a sista as a boss. Time will tell, what keeps me guarded is that I will be the boss who also happens to be a sista and yet I will keep grounded due to all the stores Rummy shared at a past work experience.

Recently, I encountered a colleague who shared that the top female professional of her past company would crochet during meetings (senior, senior -level meetings at that) and I laughed in awe. My colleague was horrified, she felt like she took the feminist movement back 20 years. In a tactful way I essentially told her to get a grip. "You don't know what price she paid to be the boss?" touché

Ladies, as you climb that corporate ladder -- just be mindful and aware shit gets lonely at the top.



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gone But Not Forgotten

When I was a young Amaretto I swear I had a good memory. Actually, if I recall correctly it was one of the best! Once something got in my head it stayed and took up residence. Never was I one to claim that I had a photographic memory, but I was never a child who forgot her homework. Never was I a child so out of it that I needed my name and address pinned to my coat. So it’s a little unsettling to me, as I become older and wiser that here lately I am forgetting things. And I am not talking oh I forgot to water the plants, or how old Great Aunt Susie will be this year. I’m talking about I am suppose to be someplace at a certain time and there isn’t so much as a nagging feeling that I’m suppose to be doing something... I’m just sitting sipping my sweet tea watching Maury tell another baby daddy…that he in fact is not the father! Does anyone else wonder if folks are going to celebrate Father’s Day in 2020? I'm thinking no. Is it just me?

Hmmmm. What was I writing about? Oh, yeah.

So Rum Punch has long since sworn by her planning calendar. Since I am just getting on the camera phone craze (like as of March ‘08), I have yet to utilize the wonderfulness that are the schedulers that come with the phone. Nor do I see myself carrying around
these…though my mom swears by them. I am a single lady with no kids, so what do I need a planner for? There are no music lessons or swim practices I have to get the little ones to after a day at work. I mean straight up, all I am doing right now is hanging out and working. And yet people say “Remember yesterday when…” and well all I can do is stare blankly, because I don’t remember it…at all.

Forgetfulness is just one of the more annoying things about getting older. You come to expect the reduce energy, the gray hairs found in unmentionable places, the “miss” that becomes “ma’am”. But when you really have to think about what you wore to work last week in hopes not to wear the same outfit…there’s a problem. When as a child your favorite game was
Memory and you can’t remember where you parked the car, what year it is, or who the President is, there is cause for concern. Not saying that all these things have happened to me-I am here to entertain, but this type of shyt happens like everyday...so some people. I definitely know a Black man is President, and his name ain't Jesse Jackson....right?

It seems that as more stuff goes into my head, so of that other stuff is falling out. I guess that’s just part of the process of getting older. I might just have to eat more fish, tie a string on my finger and start using a planner if I want to remember what is it is exactly that I am suppose to be doing…

See You In Seven

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nathan Lee - Amazing Beatboxing Flute

On the road guys..

Much luv, until next week... peace :)