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 15, 2010

A Whole New World

Now usually I don't get all sentimental, but it seems appropriate today. Today is Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. The man who we learned in school was a seemingly one man show who championed non violence, made a great speech in DC, and was then assassinated on a balcony in Memphis, TN. The man who we learned once we reached adulthood was in actuality flawed and complex, but was bold enough to call out the wrongs that he saw in the world and make his life's work about changing said wrongs.

And today many of us are witnessing the aftermath of a devastating natural disaster that has left the already impoverished country Haiti in dire need. Unless you've been living under a rock, you have seen the photos, you have heard the news stories, and if you're like me then it's worse than you could ever imagine. And if you're like me you can't help but say, "there but for the grace of God go I..."

It seems that it's always in tragedy when the "privileged" people unite and realize that there are actually people in this world who are suffering. And I'm not on some Pat Robertson mess, but I wonder if these type of natural disasters - the tsumani, Hurricane Katrina, etc.,- that hit areas that are already experiencing so much devastation are God's wake up call in a sense. To remind us that we are truly blessed. To remind us there are millions of people who have been going without while we have enjoyed so much, and then some. To remind us that there is work to do.

These kind of events make me reflective because as I watch everyone rush to help, I can't help but wonder, where were we before this? And I'm not just talking about Haiti. I'm speaking in general terms - about how we view the world and the part we play. I sit here and type this and think that yes, I call myself a Christian. Yes, I go to church on Sundays. Yes, I pray daily. But what have I done for the least of these? When it's not a tragedy? When the cameras are gone? When it's just a Tuesday and I don't feel like watching that piece on Darfur, or the international sex trade, or unfair labor conditions around the world, or give look the homeless man in the eye as I go to dinner.

As we pay homage to a man who said, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," I think about a man who was instrumental in bringing people from all walks of life together to challenge the status quo. And I think about those everyday, ordinary, flawed and complex people who put their lives on the line, who stood in the face of danger, who believed there had to be something else, closed their eyes and envisioned a better world. And I wonder what a better world looks like to me? And what will I do to make it happen?

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

**Let us continue to pray for the people of Haiti. And I encourage everyone to make a donation to a relief fund. Volunteer. And remember they'll need your help months and years from now.**

Thursday, January 14, 2010

my companion

for the longest (read: a couple of months) i've been talking about wanting a dog.  my friends scoffed and wondered "how selfish!" "when will you have time for him?" "you work way too much to have a dog."

and yet i persisted.  i reasoned that i would make time if i could just find the right one.  i researched what kind of dog would best suit me.  i even moved to a new apartment that allowed pets in anticipation of my soon to be new best friend.

and then just like that over christmas break, i did it.  i got a dog.

and after about a day caring for him i thought to myself, wtf have you done?  this thing relies on you.  he follows you around.  he won't leave you alone.  and you can't give him back without a bunch of i told you so's and side eyes from family and friends alike.

so i swallowed my fiercely independent doubts and got used to having some one else around. despite those moments of oh god, i have to go home before he goes in his crate! surprisingly there are more often times of yaay, i can't wait to get home to see him. i worry about if he's okay when i'm not there.  and then i pinch myself to see if i'm still the mint julep i've grown to know and love.

but more than anything else my furry friend has given me a routine to follow.  given me some one to think about other than myself.  given me some thing to commit to on a real tangible level.

because he will be with me for at least the next 10-15 years.  hopefully to meet the man who i'll date and then marry.  to welcome the bundles of joy that we'll bring home together wrapped in pink or  blue.  to learn to tolerate kids as much as he tolerates me.  to be a constant in my life of regular uncertainty and lane changes every 1-2 years.  that's the reason why i wanted him in the first place. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

political potpourri 2010, vol.i

to know me, is to know, that i have a love/hate relationship w/ the Washington Post's Style columnist, Robin Givhan. At times, I feel like she's going too hard on sistas w/o cause. And Bellini don't like shit like this. I mean really Robin, did you have to go there? And so Sunday, when I saw her on Washington Watch (w/ Roland Martin)- I had to hold my breath... 'cuz only the Lord knew what was going to come out of her mouth. So, the topic was the First Lady heart palpitating and her perceived agenda or lack thereof in 2009. Basically, Givhan expresses a view that many women were disappointed with Michelle's choice to be in Mom-in-Chief. Moreover, these women highlight the fact that Michelle espouses sterling professional credentials ala Hillary and that her talents should not go to waste being Mommy-in-Chief. Robin Givhan who have you been talking too??? clearly not Bellini.

You know I do expect black journalists to exhibit objective sensibilities the two are not mutually exclusive. Robin, it appears to me, you have lent your ear to mainstream feminists and their sentiments. Ummmmm... Robin, I expect you to do better. And although, she acknowledged via mild concession that this is the first time the White House has little children as occupants, she had to be prompted by Roland Martin first. The fact that there's never been a black First Lady, folks should not have crystallized expectations of what her role should be. Michelle is allowed to paint the picture of what the First Lady is and means to her. And perhaps, I was disappointed in Robin failing to acknowledge a full objective perspective on FLOTUS... but Robin there are still 11 months left for you to redeem yourself in 2010.

And in 2010, why are folks already mad at RNC Chairman, Michael Steele. Under his tutelage, the Republicans have amassed more money than his predecessors. He neutralized the national map by winning gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey. And he might seize the senatorial seat of the Democratic liberal bastion of Massachusetts. damn, not bad Steele So as HNIC, Steele put the ultimatum on the table, "FIRE ME!" say what But you won't be firing him based on his stellar record? Oh GOP, will you or won't you pull Steele's bluff???

Speaking of bluffs, what is Harold Ford doing? He's always into something. what's the expression something in the milk, just ain't clean yup, that sums up how I feel about Ford. Don't know what it is, something ain't right 'bout him. Irregardless sorry Amaretto- I use the irr- reference all the time he's contemplating running for the Democratic senate seat in NY... This could get interesting. And you have to believe sitting Senator Kristen Gillibrand wants to kick Ford's ass. But all is fair in love and war, no difference for politics!

Oh, how so that ever applies to Sheila Dixon. The first black female mayor of Baltimore will relinquish her mayoralty next month. Ladies, please heed to my advice, when I say say it with me "Neva,eva, eva - let a man fcuk up your shit!" Especially, someone outside of your husband?!!

2010 just got a lil' interesting...



P.S. I'll leave ya with this, my friend from the NO was shedding tears 'cuz of it.

P.P.S. My heart goes out to Haiti and its people...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Golden Rule

So it’s a new year (yay!) but I still work the same ole job with the same ole work drama (boo-but grateful). I sit in my cube wondering how people can work for the same company for 30 plus years because I don’t think I have the endurance or the patience to make it that long. We are sending these people off with cakes and retirement balloons-but really we should be erecting statues honoring the fact that these people haven’t inflicted bodily harm in all their years of working!

Sorry folks this is going to be another work inspired post! Lucky you…

So yeah one of the areas that I need to work on is patience. I feel like I just need to grow there because not everyone has an Amaretto state of mind and I need to really accept and understand that. Oh but why do people drive you to cuss them out and/or kill them just for the stupid things they say or do?* At one point I was going to state the it’s older white people who drive one (specifically me) to brink but really in 2010 I am going to let my negro dialect go…and just say all people can pluck the last nerve.

So let me share how I have already been plucked and we are only 12 days into the new year! Last week my immediate supervisor was going to use the word “Irregardless” in correspondence to someone outside of our department to which I told him not to use it because that wasn’t a word. Well don’t you know that this man looked up irregardless in Webster’s dictionary and called me later in the day to tell me that it was in fact a word and I could look it up online. Then he went on to tell me that there are other “ir” words like “irregular”. Sigh. Are you serious?! I wasn’t disputing the existence of “ir” words but irregardless wasn’t a word that I thought was recognized. Never attempt to tell an older white man (oops I wasn’t suppose to be making this about race). So never attempt to tell this particular man he was wrong because he will fight to the death to prove himself correct!
Nevermind that within Webster’s own definition of the word they state to use “regardless” instead. He didn’t see or acknowledge that part of the definition, just like Columbus didn’t see the communities of Native Americans on the land that he just discovered.

I grew in patience that day because he’s still living and breathing, I still have my job and as you can see I did as instructed and looked up the definition of irregardless online!

But then today a coworker tried to tell me that they weren’t using their government issued travel card to obtain cash advances. Did this coworker not understand that part of my job requires that I look at their statements so I can see everything that they are and are not doing? Their response was that they accidentally used their government card, because they thought it was their own. Sigh. When will people get original?! I guess because I am young and black then my birthday must have been January 11th 2010. But again, I guess this person didn’t know that I can see each time they used their card for personal hotel stays or for when they took cash advances for $200 from their neighborhood Wawa dating back to September. But really you want me to believe that this was a one time error? I know that times are hard, but don’t be insulting to my intelligence. You have been caught stealing and it’s because of me that your manager doesn’t know about it. I feel like someone should be licking my boots...or giving me a gift card to Target or something!

Sigh…and I wonder if someone would be as lenient with me as I was with them. I doubt it.

Despite the two notable bumps in the road to Amaretto Jenkins being and becoming a better person (because trust me their have been other incidents in this year) I’m still going to try to live by doing unto others as I would have them do unto me. Even when I don’t feel like people deserve my kindness, I know someone has felt the same way about me.

See You In Seven

*Because I am not a bitter or crazy black woman I don't actually think about doing these things to others. And if I do it's all internal discourse...because unlike some black professional women-my coworkers love me!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fictional Character Models

Sipping chicken tortilla soup at Honey's (my favorite neighborhood joint) and chatting with a girlfriend we talked about our weekend happenings. While we listen to the Love Jones soundtrack, I tell her how the guy I am getting to know called me 'Samantha'. You know who Samantha I am talking about... she lives in NY, blonde hair, etc. And just like a girlfriend she says "You are more like a Carrie but with Samantha's tenacity."

To which I responded "What is it about these movie characters that we watched as adolescents that makes us want to be like them? or identify with them?"

You know which ones I am talking about.... here are the ones that will always have a special place in my heart. (chuckle)

Nina Mosely from Love Jones
"I gather up each sound you left behind and stretch them on our bed. Each night I breathe you and become high " Oh how I would love to walk the street at night quoting poetry with my adolescent crush Lorenz. (CHUCKLE)

Shante Smith from Two Can Play That Game
The girlfriend in the group that is always SUPER cool and sets the tone for the rest of the group. This character cracks me up! Love her! (chuckle)

Joan Carol Clayton from Girlfriends
Can I get her wardrobe? From day 1, always fly!

Lastly, Thelma Golden... and no she is not a TV show/movie character but she might as well be because where is the Gallery Owner/Curator character for me to model my career? I could go with Tracy from Mahogany as stretch but she didn't have it all altogether so I can't endorse. (chuckle)

Who are your fictional character models?

Much luv until next week... peace :)