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, March 12, 2010

Kitchen Closed

So the other day my brother and I were driving along in our automobile when his phone went off with some song I had not heard of because I am not hip – meanwhile I knew the New Edition ringtone right away. Heh. So I’m like, “what is that?” And I hear, “Purple Kmumuble…” And I’m like, “whaaaa?!” And he says, “it’s by the Dream.” Is it the Dream? Or just Dream? Anyway. So now I’m sounding like somebody’s grandmomma talkin’ bout, “What you say bay-bay? Purple Kitchen?” And he’s like, “NO! You old ass lady! Purple Kisses. Purple Kitchen makes no sense.” And I’m all, “Don’t act like R. Kelly wouldn’t make a song called Purple Kitchen.”

Him right on cue: “Gonna beat it up, in your purple kitchen.”
Me: Throw some eggs and sugar in there, we gon’ make a cake in your purple kitchen.
Him: We gon’ cook all night…
In unison, to a typical R. Kelly beat: In your purple kitchen, purple kitchen.
Laughter. And then we decided to stop before R. Kelly’s ‘Negroes are engaging in some iganance that I must be a part of’ antennas went up and he got to “crafting” lyrics and making a beat. So then five minutes later.
Me: But for real though, why did this [new] guy who I haven’t heard from in forever call me up and invite himself over to my house talking bout I should cook something?
Him: Awww shucks. He tryna see your purple kitchen.

So yeah I haven’t lived alone in foreva. So I had totally forgotten the games these nigs play. I mean no one is inviting themselves over once you reveal that you live with yo’ momma, AND yo’ daddy (say what lil’ Black girl you got a daddy and you know him), AND yo’ 84 year old Big Momma. Yeah that ain’t happenin. Like at all.

But now that I’m on my own – all these people, i.e., men folk, think it’s cute to try to invite themselves over to my house. On some, Andre 3000, "We both goin' to where you livin..." No, you kiddin'. I’m sorry, did decorum just give up hope, get drunk, and jettison herself off a balcony in these last five years? As we get older, aren’t we supposed to start adhering to certain courtesy “rules,” like, ‘don’t call nobody after 10pm unless it’s a for real, serious emergency?’ And at the top of that list - don’t be inviting yourself ova to someone’s house all willy nilly. See I am getting older – I just said willy nilly. Especially if you don’t get down with that person like that! Pun intended.

And then to add insult to injury, you wanna invite yourself over to my house and then tell me to cook? Nygga please. I don’t even cook for myself. Right now. Tee hee. I’m definitely not cooking for some half stepping, make that quarter steppin’ man, who I only hear from every few weeks. But you’re more than welcome to take me on a proper date. Sigh. This type of behavior reminds me of that saying, “when I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it I’ll give it to you.” Remix - When I want you over to my house, I’ll invite you. Welllllll.

Cause you ain’t slick. Not so subtly hiding behind the wack ass line that is - we can get some Chinese and you can give me the tour, is - I’m really tryna see your bedroom. And then your purple kitchen. Nope. Nerp. Happen not gonna. I may not have lived alone in a long while. But I’m not 19 anymore. I was not born last night. Or at night. And you can’t come into my house or my purple kitchen tonight.

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

Just cause this makes me laugh!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

rethinking mr. perfect

so approaching 30 means thinking more about marriage for a single girl like me.  i've always thought that eventually i'd be married, without much angst and worry about the mechanics of it all.  but as i get closer to the bewitching age, marriage keeps popping up.  family members ask me when i'm going to settle down.  girlfriends ponder the man situation at just about every girl's night dinner or work day lunch. 

then rum punch posted this and she mentioned this woman lori and her thoughts, on being single.  i headed over to the article and found that she had a refreshingly honest voice about being single.  she talked about how single women can't admit to being lonely for fear of having their independent woman card revoked.  i loved what she was saying and how she was saying it.  all the things i was thinking about this marriage thing.  and then i saw she wrote this book:

marry him: the case for settling for mr. good enough

sounds interesting, right?  the title kinda throws women (and some men) i talk to off.  we're taught from an early age that we are princesses who deserve nothing less than the best.  we've gone to school, gotten our degrees, established financial independence.  why then should we settle?

but when i cracked open the book and began reading, i realized that the settle part wasn't the point AT ALL.  in her book, lori talks candidly about the trials and tribulations of being a 41 year old single woman who can't find a man.  she consults dating experts, psychologists, married couples, single women and anyone else with a relevant point of view about why she's single and can't find her mr. perfect.  and there in lies the rub.  getting away from the notion of mr. perfect.  he doesn't exist and if she met him, he probably is not interested in her.  she discovers some hard truths about herself and women like her.  in her 20's and 30's she turned away men who would have been great husbands because they weren't fun enough or liked all the things she liked or were too regular.  instead, in a chapter titled "confusing good daters with good husbands," she discusses how she went for the alpha male types who seemed to be her dream men, only to realize later in life that the qualities she wanted in a husband they didn't possess.  the guys she'd overlooked went on to marry and make great husbands.

when i first looking into buying the book, i thought "oh, but she's white...."  do white women have the same experience in the love department as black women?  can a 41 year old white woman speak to mint julep about getting a man up in through her situation?  my initial thought was no but i bought the book anyway because i'm trying to make time to read more like i used to when the subway was my main mode of transportation.  and suprisingly, lori has made me think about some things in ways i hadn't done before.  she's also said some stuff that i been saying for a while now.  white women do have their unique dating issues like their aversion to bald men and their ability to throw away a decent man because his breath stinks.  i don't think black women are quite so unrealistic, we at least have an inkling about the fact that we can't have 100% of what we want in one man.  we shoot for 95%. 

the book cautions women to think critically about what they want and to keep an open mind about the man best suited to be a husband.  "...it's not about changing the other person; it's about accepting things about the other person that you'd like to change, but can't."  it's a great read and i highly recommend it for single women (and married women).  you don't have to spend money like me, check out the short article (same title) she wrote for the Atlantic in March 2008  or the video below for a glimpse.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

reality radio

if you have no clue what i'm referring too - it may be a good thing (but don't worry, Beelini will get you up to speed); but if you do - then i know that you know there's a 99% chance you have listened to a RADIO One commercial with a corresponding jingle and CEO, Cathy Hughes reminding you that "This is reality radio... what's your reality!"

i loves it. ev'ry da## piece of it...
i reckon i might be the minority of her, 'cuz over at the 5 spot, i know for sure Rummy detests the infomercials (tee hee, tee hee)

HR Bill 848 - Performance Rights Act

in a tenuous economy, a faction within the music world (artists & record companies) would like to get their cut from radio (AM & FM stations) be'cuz they supposedly already get their cut from satellite radio and the internet). radio only owes the songwriter a cut. interestingly enough, there is a faction in the music world that is opposed to this measure besides Cathy Hughes. this group consists of songwriters. songrwriters are afraid that this measure will undermine their cut. and ya thought Cathy was leading the crusade by herself however, add'l language has been inserted in the bill to assuge the concerns of songwriters by stating their cut won't be diminished or adversely affected. so you say

back to Cathy
so Cathy is straight clowning folks (Representatives: John Conyers, Sheila Jackson Lee, Hank Johnson, Bobby Scott, Mel Watts, etc.). and i think this is hilarious. Radio One is Cathy's playground, she calls the shots. given she has urban radio on lockdown, you may choose to turn the dial or turn it off, but she's lurking on another sista station near you. i know some folks are feelin' it - ok a lot of ya ain't feelin' it, but you'll get over it. if your enterprise was takin' a beating and you cultivated it from the roota to the toota, i betta see you out there swingin' and that's what Cathy is doing... but Cathy you ain't got no problems as of yet...

if HR 848 is anything like the healthcare bill, the reality is your reality won't change so much



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Setup a Meeting to Discuss

There is nothing that can be taught in the halls of academia that can prepare a person for the wonderful world of working. Could someone please tell me why I did not eat lunch today until 4:30? And I got to work around 8:30! In a word "meetings". Back to back ones at that. I told ya'll before how we like to get down in the good ole government. And that is the problem!

I mean I like to socialize as much as the next person, but more often than not I can do without these caring and sharing sessions around oak tables in windowless conference rooms. Let lighting strike me tonight, if my manager did not spend 30 minutes talking about his trip to see the groundhog see his shadow. Why? Because the resident brown noser felt that our budget pitfalls was the perfect segue! Huh? Now I won't lie to ya'll I enjoyed the diversion and I learned that groundhog day is big business to some... but I could have spent that time surfing the internet, or just mindless starting at my cubicle wall!

But as my boss circles the table asking for everyone's two cents-but not really caring about our opinion because the next course of action was decided before we all got together-and really we are just participating in a formality...

Everyone is either dreaming about being here....

Or wishing they were this guy!


If only meetings involved more 80s hair....I think I wouldn't mind giving up my web surfing time...and maybe I could eat lunch at a decent hour!

See You In Seven

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mud, Music, Love, Laughter...

Mud, Music, Love, Laughter documents the journey of a talented young ceramic artist determined to make a living off her artwork. Adjusting to her post-marital life by working with clay, she learns to love and laugh again. This column follows her as she takes a nontraditional approach to changing her career.

For those unsure of how to make an unconventional transition into the art world, Mud, Music, Love, Laughter serves as a real world, How-To story. No one knows, the ending or whether the decisions made by the artist are the best, but she is a student of the ceramic arts community that plans on achieving her goals. There is no formula to her approach, as it adapts everyday. However there is one thing that will never fail and that is her persistence.

“Keep in mind I am an artist and I am sensitive about my ish!” – Erykah Badu
This statement has been hard to accept and it has crippled me beyond measure. It is time that I work towards the person I really want to be—an artist. For the past four years it felt like I was stuck in the closet. Living in denial, telling myself that the occasional freelance job was enough. Well it wasn’t and it will never be. I don’t recall the day that my cosmetic bag replaced my sketchbook in my purse but today is the day that the sketchbook returns.

I still remember the first time I learned how to paint. It was using one of those elementary watercolor paint sets and my father taught me how to paint a pink rose. He showed me how to finesse the brush in such a way that the pedals emerged from the white spaces on the paper. Starting light and using very little paint and water at a time, letting it dry, to only paint another layer of color. It was magic!

He taught me patience and discretion.

Only now that I am older, do I realize I was on the right track throughout my childhood. I wore my passion on my sleeve and was eager to develop my artistic skills. Somewhere this got lost between falling in love, getting married and planning a future. Fast-forward a couple years later I am forced to face the reality that my life lacks passion. I had to start somewhere. That somewhere was with mud.

Painting came easy but mud was temperamental. It was an unfamiliar medium. But I am no stranger to working with my hands or to a challenge. I had made up my mind that I was going to do this. So I might as well get into the practice of saying “I am an artist”.

The first couple times I said it, boy, were those words heavy.

You are an artist? Well, can I see your work? Not knowing how to honestly answer this question, led me to Step One: Create the work.

How can I be an artist without any work?

I’ve got talent but I need inspiration.

Step One—hurdle one.

Here I am, three years shy of thirty, divorced and searching for inspiration. I might as well pack it up and go home. And it was in that sentence that I found my inspiration—Home. It was always the contingency plan. The question was, “Was I truly ready for island life again?” And despite my sad state, the answer was “No.” I wasn’t ready but I sure could really use some island inspiration right now. Sketchbook meet coral reefs.

That night I sketched like a mad woman. I was going to create art out of mud. Music blasting from the speakers, I could breathe. I was alive. Rejuvenated.

Much luv until next week... peace :)

P.S. Following suit... jump up in the air and stay there! OOOOoooo! Booty don't know how to keep still to this joint.