Saturday, February 25, 2006

Smell - O - Memory

I love certain smells. The smell of fresh cut grass; fresh ground coffee; pasta sauce that has been cooking slowly all day and is nice and garlicy; anything being bbq'd over hot coals(propane bbq's don't achieve this); gardenias in bloom.

Each one of these holds special memory's for me, but the gardenia one is the strongest. As a teenager, in So. Cal, we had a big beautiful house, with orange trees, apple trees, strawberry and peanut plants, a couple of ant-filled orchid trees, and gardenia plants. The gardenia plants were right outside my bedroom window, and at night, when they were in bloom, I'd have my window, which was the entire length of the wall, opened all the way, and would fall asleep to that magnificently sweet smell. My mom would clip a gardenia or two, and place them in my room as well. She was a wonderful gardner. That's one gene that wasn't passed down to me! I can even kill cactus, and as any gardner will tell you, they are extremely difficult to get rid of.

The smell of gardenias also reminds me of our vacation in Hawaii, the summer of 1973. I was 15, and my sister was 18. Oh my......2 teenage girls in the Mecca of fun! What was amazing, was as soon as we got to the Kahala Hilton on Diamond Head, which had just opened a few weeks prior to our arrival, and into our suite of rooms, mom and dad looked at us, and said: "Ok, girls, you know we wouldn't normally say this, but since we are here, and more than likely won't be here again, there is no curfew for you. Stay out as late as you want, but make sure we know where you're going and who you are going with. Otherwise, curfew will be reinstated." Of course, my sister and I were amazed by this! Not that our parents were strict, but they certainly weren't frivolous either! We had curfew back home, and it was enforced, with any infraction resulting in us losing our freedom! So boy oh boy, did the possibilities seem endless to us! And what fun we had, too!

At 15, I looked like I was 18, which was the legal drinking age in Hawaii back then. Mai Tai's, Chi Chi's, and Tropical Itches were a plenty for me and sis. Oh did we have fun. Then, we met a couple of waiters from the hotel's restaurant, and they had some Maui Wowee....and well, the fun began! Club hopping, make-out sessions, and just general "We're in Hawaii and aint it bitchin'" fun was the schedule for the entire time we were there.

But the best memory of Hawaii, was seeing my mom tipsy after drinking a Tropical Itch, by the pool, in the sun. Most everyone knows that drinking alcoholic beverages in the sun intensifies the effects. But with a Tropical Itch.......the key ingredients being 7 different kinds of rum, in a tall hour glass shaped glass with a back scratcher....which I still have to this day......and my mom, who wasn't much of a drinker, but since we were in Hawaii, the rules were a little different. We had to walk her back up to the suite, as she was getting a little, well, rambunctious for public display. Then in the room, mom decided to clip her toenails. To say that this was hilarious would be an understatement. It was just damn fuckin' funny to see mom blitzed! And at 15, this was the first time I ever had.

Here's another story of mom getting tanked while on an exotic vacation. She and dad were on a cruise to some distant foreign port, and the gang that they were with were in one of the bars on the ship, drinking shots of Oozo, not sure on the spelling for that. I believe that is a Greek liqueur, a very strong licorice flavored one. My mom had about 10 shots of that stuff, and after downing that hooch, stood up, and promptly fell to her knees. The woman had to crawl to the elevator, and crawl from the elevator to their cabin, where she proceeded to crawl into the bathroom and vomit all the contents of her stomach, at the same time, the ship had a fire, and was evacuating all of the rooms, with all guests having to put on life jackets and get to the life boats. With my mom crawling the entire way. The hang-over was enough to make her hate licorice flavored anything for the rest of her life.

Oh, and yes, it was 10 shots, as she kept each of the horn shaped shot glasses and brought them home. Proudly displaying them on the bar in the family room! LOL Please don't get the wrong impression of my mom. She wasn't a drinker during the year. Only when she and dad would take vacations, and there is a story for each one from Rome to Ireland, and even road-trips in the USA. Not all involve booze, but they all involve mom, and her wonderfully warped sense of humor!

Man, I miss that woman.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Somtimes the mirror tells the truth.

As you can tell by links to the left, I read a few blogs through out the day. There are some that aren't listed there, as they don't update frequently. For the most part, the blogs listed are very good. Some have garnered their authors notoriety, book deals, and a new beginning in their lives. Which, I think, is truly a wonderful thing! Some are personal, some deal with work, and one or two are photo-only. On the blogs that have comments enabled, I do leave a comment, if the mood strikes.

Most of the time, my comments are received as they are given, as observations from what was posted. There has been a few times though, that my observations are lambasted, and I am told I am being judgmental. I have increasingly found this as odd, as I cannot begin to judge someone I don't know. I read what they've typed, what they've put out into the public domain of the internet, and post my observations. Just as all the other people do. And yes, some of them are lambasted as well. So, I started thinking about this, and it dawned on me why one or two of the authors were getting so upset, as in the past, I had this same problem with comments left in the various blogs I've had.

When I first find a blog, I always go back through their archives. I'll pick the first month they started, and read that entire month. Then I jump ahead a few months, until I am relatively caught up to the present. That way, I can get a sense of where this person is coming from. What is important to them, their fears, their concerns, their joys, etc. This way, when I comment on a particular post, I feel I am better able to make a more informed observation. My problem, it seems, is that I remember what they've said in the past, and when I comment on a current post that brings up what the author has already stated, I am told I'm being judgmental. I truly do not see it that way. Oh, I do apologize when that is what is perceived, but how can I be judgmental for something the author themselves has already stated?

We, as human beings, are emotional creatures. None of us likes to have a fear that we've already said we have, commented on. When that happens, we get defensive, and lash out at the person who dared to type those words, even though it pertains to the current post. When this happens, we are looking in a mirror, seeing ourselves, and do not like what we see. Instead of acknowledging this, and accepting that we had originally put it into the atmosphere, we lash out to an innocent bystander, trying desperately to hurt them as we have hurt ourselves. It generally doesn't hurt the bystander. It only feeds the fear the author has. It's like that fear is ruling them, and until that author can deal with that fear, and do whatever he or she needs to do to win over it, they will continue to lash out, alienating a lot of readers along the way.

My advice, about blogging, has always been the same, and it's advice that I have started to take: If you don't want negative comments, unwanted advice, or differing opininions in your comments section, then don't enable your comments. Or, moderate them, so that you can weed out those comments that differ from your thinking. However, if you don't want to do these things, then accept those differing opinions and those observations you feel are off base. Don't attack the commenting author. You've put those words in your post, not the reader. Every now and then, a reader will make an observation that we ourselves hadn't thought of. When that happens, it is wonderful!

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.
- Mother Teresa-
Edit: With as upset as some of these blog authors get, when ever they get one or two negative comments on their posts, it makes me wonder how they are going to deal with the negative reviews their book(s) will receive? After all, not everyone is going to like their book, and give them the adoration they are now getting from their "loyal" readers. It concerns me what will happen to these authors, that are pinning so many hopes and dreams on these book deals, when they aren't as successful as they are dreaming they will be. I wonder if these publishing company's are giving any councel to them? I wonder if there is anyone in the authors corner, keeping them grounded, their heads out of the clouds, and helping them see the reality of their situation? It's such a slippery slope, having something depend on the fickle buying public.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Just a song before I go....

In life, we have to take the good with the bad. Though at times, it may seem that there is more bad than good, we cannot adopt the attitude of "poor me", or, "life sucks". In that mind-set, nothing will ever seem better.

Next time something bad happens, try to think to yourself: Ok, this is bad, but I am strong, and can overcome anything. This incident will pass, and will fade into a memory that I can learn from. I'll get all the negative thoughts and emotions out now, and will not surpress any of it. I will deal with this in a healthy manner, so that it gets out of my system, out of every pore in my body. Then tomorrow, I will wake up with a smile, thank TPTB for letting me make it through the night, and start anew in the morning. But for tonight, I will list five things in my life, that are good. That make me happy. That make me smile. That I cherish. And I will go to sleep thinking of these good things, and sleep better than I did last night.

For some, this could be rather difficult, especially for those suffering from serious mental disorders. But, who's to know that it couldn't help, just a little? This by no means is meant as the solution. It's something that works, at times, for me, a die-hard clinically depressed insomniac. But, what have you got to lose if you try?

It is the passion that is in a kiss that gives to it its sweetness;
it is the affection in a kiss that sanctifies it.
- Christian Nestell Bovee -

Empress has arrived

Welcome, kind denizens of the internet, to the pages of God Empress Of Cool.

What does that entail? Whatever Empress desires. And Empress has many varied desires. At the moment, she desires sleep, so she shall say A Biento.