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, July 24, 2009

Somebody's Gotta Win, Somebody's Gotta Lose

So I must confess that growing up in the Rum Punch household was hard stuff. No, we weren’t sent to bed without dinner or told to get switches off the tree – but every adult family member followed and stuck to the following code: Don’t let a child win at anything. Ever.

Not Candyland. Not Monopoly. Not gin rummy (our family’s official card game). My own mama even knocked me off a base during a family softball game. Yeah. You had to earn your win. Practice. Fail. Get yo’ ass beat over and over again. Throw a fit. Have mama/daddy/auntie look at you like you was crazy. Try again. Only to get beat again. Until one glorious day when you finally, finally, finally beat the master. This is how things went down in my family. And I didn’t truly appreciate it until…

I was watching HBO’s Brave New Voices - where teens from around the country performed in a slam poetry competition in D.C. So the teens recited their poems and were judged by you know real, professional poets, like Sonia Sanchez and such. So the MC would say the judges scores: 10, 8, 9.5. And do y’all know that if the people got anything lower than a 10, these lil’ kids in the audience would start to boo? And boo. And boo. Until they pretty much had to start giving 10s for stuff that was kinda crappy. Oh Rum Punch don’t call these kids’ work crappy. Oh but I will.

As a writer, I have been in many a critique group. And for those of you who don’t know, this is what happens in a critique group: people read your work ahead of time and then come armed to smack it and you down. Some praise your work. Some shyt all over it. Some provide constructive criticism. Most identify areas where you need improvement. No one tells you it is perfect. Ever. Cause it’s not.

And during the critique, you are not aloud to say a word. You can’t explain what you were trying to say in that paragraph. You can’t question someone's thought process/attempt to find deeper meaning in why you chose a character's name and let them know their reasoning is completely wrong and you just happened to like that name. You can’t scream, “bytch is you crazy? How dare you talk about my work like that! Do you know what it took to write these 35 pages? Wait til it’s your turn! You gon’ get yours!” All you can do is smile and nod. Hear what they say, go home, edit, correct and improve. Cause your shyt ain’t perfect. It never will be. But you can make it better.

And so I am baffled at these new fangled parents instilling this everyone’s a winner all the time mentality. Giving out trophies to all. Protecting the youngins at all costs. Uh can I tell y’all I ride past a house on my way to work and there is a net around a trampoline?!? Um say what? Isn’t part of the fun learning how to keep yo’ ass on the trampoline and not hit the ground?

It’s going to be a hard knock life when these lil’ chillun finally fall and find no safety net. Just a cold, hard ground. When they don’t get that perfect SAT score. Or get into that college. Or get that great first job. Or when their boss chews them out for the first time. Or a co-worker tells them they suck – just because it’s Wednesday. Or they are one of those embarrassing contestants you see on American Idol cause they didn't have a Big Mama to pull 'em to the side and say, "bay-by, you can't sing. At all. Now, go learn you a trade or somethin'." No matter the case it will be a sobering day when they learn that everyone can’t and doesn’t win everything, every time. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes you lose lots. Until you finally win. And get to enjoy the sweetest, tastiest, most delicious victory that makes playing the game totally worth it.

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

Thursday, July 23, 2009

that new new for you

"A NEW boyfriend has a way of putting into stark relief the pros and cons of a predecessor."
--catherine saint louis for the nytimes.
truer words ya'll, truer word. although ms. saint louis was using the joys and trials of relationships to illustrate the rising appeal of ulta, a less expensive alternative to cosmetics giant sephora, she really hit nail to head.

you know how you get done dealing with someone, but not really done mulling them over in your mind? you do the facebook check every few days. a lil twitter stalking. or as in the olden days, you lie in bed and go over every conversation you can remember. every moment ya'll spent together. dissecting each look, each word, each smile, each touch.

until that moment...

when you spring up in bed in the middle of the night
when you see them on the street in the light of newfound awareness of the wack factor
when you minding your own business at the bar and a fine ass walks up to you and says hello

until that moment right there when you say to yourself


why was i so open. why did i think i was so in like (or love) with him. he wasn't even alladat. he was just a basic bitch (c) @lilduval.

when i had my moment a few months ago, it made me laugh. and now ever time i see dude i just chuckle (c) courvorsier deep in my soul.

now i'm not so much bitter or angry. but please believe, in the moment when it was done i was kinda mad and hurt. more so cause i like to be the one ending shit round these parts. nigga you don't leave me. i leave you first. i know, i'm conceited, i got a reason.

but here's what i know for sure. more likely than not, there will be a new boyfriend. not only because i'm the hotness but because men try to holla at anything and everything one will prolly try to holla at me at some point in the future. and when one such dude tries to holla, i may kinda like him. and he'll kinda like me and we'll become boo'd up. and undoubtedly the new boo will provide an opportunity for vivid contrast and comparison to the last. and so being an expectant optimistic girl in a pessimistic world, the possibility of the new makes me so aaa-cited!!! (c) ruby. for the good and for the bad. i'll know that old brand of bullshit when i see it a little sooner than the last time. and i'll savor the sweet way he calls just to talk to me about my day a little longer because the last dude didn't.

and that, my dears, is why forever gon be fun (c) cee-lo green.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

a bubble busted...

it all started yesterday. By the time I arrived in the office, I skimmed the Washington Post to find out Dr. Henry Louis Gates, distinguished professor, director of W.E.B DuBois Institute of African and African American Research at Harvard University was arrested at his home. Now, there are two sides to every story, so I’m not here to speculate. But, what I will share is Gates reactions to said events and my analysis.

"There are one million black men in jail in this country and last Thursday I was one of them…This is outrageous and that this is how poor black men across the country are treated everyday in the criminal justice system. It's one thing to write about it, but altogether another to experience it."”
what’s your point? is it the fact that you were a faction of this group, problematic to you? Or should be to America? Gates, expound please.

All that you have stated is pure fact on both accounts.

"You don't know who you're messing with."
now that, was the killer
Gates, who the fcuk you think you is?

prestigious, Harvard professor, blah, blah, blah….
didn’t Kanye say, " you’re still a ni**a in a coupe?"

I get vexed when negroes start thinking be’cuz they’ve acquired shit that there a$$ is special. You are not. I repeat, you are not. You are educated, enlightened -- yes. but special– negative son.

Well, go on Gates utilize your media apparatus vis-à-vis Harvard U, the Roots, Washington Post, etc. to articulate your dissatisfaction with the US criminal justice system.

And to find out, it all started be’cuz “a neighbor called to report two black men wearing backpacks were breaking into his house.” tee hee tee hee… ok, it’s not funny, but the situation is hilarious to me. Where’s the neighbor, I so hope they reveal themselves w/ Bostonian accent and all. My hunch tells me, it’s an elderly white woman.
Gates you don’t know your neighbors and such, friendly a$$ negro?

Granted, Gates leases his Cambridge residence from Harvard.
"Gate's home is owned by Harvard so he picked up the phone to call the university's real estate maintenance office. Before he could finish the conversation, a police officer was standing on his porch and asking him to come out of the house. "Instinctively, I knew I was not to step outside," Gates said, describing the officer's tone as threatening. Gates said the policeman, who was in his 30s and several inches taller than him, followed him into his kitchen where Gates retrieved his identification. "I was thinking, this is ridiculous, but I'm going to show him my ID, and this guy is going to get out of my house," Gates said. "This guy had this whole narrative in his head. Black guy breaking and entering."

why the hell did you let ‘em in— I know Olgetree schooled you better than that… then again if the door was ajar and the bolt lock was malfunctioning… I guess he ain’t have a choice.

They got guns after all?

"I weigh 150 lbs and I'm 5' 7''. I'm going to give flack to a big white guy with a gun. I might wolf later, but I won't wolf then." chuckle, chuckle the tenets of negroism can never be forgotten no matter how far we think we’ve come – remember that...

"But Gates did keep asking for the officer's name and said he began to feel humiliated when his question was ignored. He then said: "This is what happens to black men in America."
but why are you distinguished Harvard Professor, academician, blah, blah, blah feeling less than worthy all ‘cuz a white boy won’t answer you? I’m tired of black folks leveraging their feelings of self-worth based on white appreciation. fcking ludicrous

"I had to wait in a jail cell," Gates said. "I have mild claustrophobia. The jail cell was very claustrophobic."
"I had to wait in a jail cell," Gates said. "I have mild claustrophobia. The jail cell was very claustrophobic."
sorry – I just had to state the quote twice. downright pathetic
Oh, but Gates, I feel a lil’ empathy – sympathy negative son, "I am appalled that any American could be treated as capriciously by an individual police officer. He should look into his soul and he should apologize to me," Gates said. "If so, I will be prepared to forgive him. I think that poor people in general and black people in general are vulnerable to the whims of rogue cops, and we all have to fight to protect the weakest among us. No matter how bad it was going to get, I knew that sooner or later I would get to a phone and one of my friends would be there to help."
uppity negro, get over yourself.

Black folks, when will we ever learn. Gates, at least you had somebody to call, someone to be there for you. But for most of our brothas, they ain’t got nobody with the means nor wherewithal.
I guess with all of this, I have no choice but to watch the second installment of Black in America airing on CNN tonight @ 9p.m. and tomorrow night @ 8p.m.



and he had the nerve to recount the story while restin' @ Martha's Vineyard safe -- in Negro heaven

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Love Is Blind?

So good readers of the 5 spot what would you do in total and complete darkness? Would you dress yourself? Eat a dinner? Date?

I really wanted to see ABCs
Dating in the Dark last night, but I got into the book I was reading and totally forgot that it was on. But aside from being a “reality” tv lover and a gal who enjoys hearing couples’ “the story of us” I just wondered what it would be like for people to meet without knowing what the other looked like. Now would I be so bold and brazen to meet someone in complete darkness and attempt to share the goodness that is Amaretto? Probably not. Having eaten dinner at a restaurant in total darkness, I can say that the experience is completely disorienting and messy…and then you get use to it…and then you go back to your life being able to see what’s in front of you and you appreicate how much easier eating becomes.

I definitely can’t say that I am the type of well adjusted un-shallow person who could hold on to how much my date made me laugh when I finally see that he has an eye patch and no front teeth. Could I really take one eyed Willy to the meet the family or even just outside into the light of the world? Me thinks not. Because we need things to make sense when we see couples and hear their stories. Life makes sense we when we see two attractive people together or two ugly people together, but we start to wonder what’s good when a dime is with a penny. We think something just ain’t right, screw personality and a sense of humor someone’s either got have the best sexual abilities EVER or someone’s gotta have a trust fund. Period.

And while I submit that the blind citizens of the world probably have the best relationships with people in their circles…it seems that
Dating in the Dark’s gimmick is the great moment of reveal! Will the connection remain after seeing what they connected to? The viewer gets to delight in hearing the contestant go on and on about mister or miss wonderful all the while knowing that based on appearances no amount of maturity will keep the constant thinking how dreamy they are. It all rather like a Greek tragedy. Seeing someone in the light makes all the difference in the world. I think that says a lot about society and people and a whole bunch of other things about this world we live in… but Dating in the Dark makes for great television and I can’t wait to watch it next week!

See You In Seven

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ordinary People Suffering From Celebrity Woes

In the age of iPhones and Facebook, it seems as if ordinary people are likely to suffer from celebrity woes. There used to be a time when I wouldn’t have to worry about public scrutiny because there was no public for the ordinary folks. Kiss those days goodbye people! (chuckle) Easy access to the web and convenient picture taking devices have destroyed your privacy. You guys know how I like to do… case and points (chuckle)

1. Popo-razzi (Photographers who take candid photos of ordinary people)
Case: Out on the town, sipping drinks with the ladies and somehow photos of you doing this end up on Facebook or some social night life website. Your girlfriend emails it to you to say, “Where were you last night?” All that is missing is the caption.

2. Stalker
There is really not much to say about this… in fact,
I blogged about this one already. It is what it is… even ordinary people have them now.

3. “Who rocked It?” (A lil’ play on YFB’s Who Ran It?)
Case: We all know the store makes one more than one dress but nothing is worst than showing up to the same event to find another chick rocking it also. Well how about having a picture of you posted in an outfit and then having another picture of the same outfit worn by another chick. Really, there is no going back… who rocked it? I am going to have to say the person who didn’t should take the picture down. (chuckle… j/k)

4. Pulling a Megan Good (Wearing the same outfit on more than enough occasions)
Case: Nobody wants to see a celebrity wear something twice, whereas for ordinary people, this is why we do laundry. BUUUTTT, I got to say it NOBODY wants to be photographed in anything more than twice within the same month. After a friend told me because she was tagged in the same dress on more than 3 occasions, she tossed the dress, I was like “Hold up, what is the world coming to? What does my virtual wardrobe look like?” (chuckle) I am firing the stylist!

One word… craziness… I tell you! (chuckle) I know some folks who let this mess actually get to them. All I have say is own this, you have to be able to laugh at yourself every once in a while. And if you don't want to own your behavior and appearance... stay in doors. (chuckle)

Here is a throwback for you…

Much luv until next week... peace :)