Thursday, October 27, 2005

Haute women hawk their airs

The well known women and their scents of summer:

This month I was privvy to try 4 new scents. They differed as much in layers and impressions much like the women endorsing them.

It was truly 4 distinctly different scents in relatively reasonably rates. Cacharel: Promeese, Versace: Crystal Noir, Jennifer Lopez: Live, and finally Kimora Lee Simmons: Baby Phat Goddess.

Now being somewhat wary and definately spoiled on fragrance I tried to be as objective as possible.

The first parfum was Promeese. This pink potion began with notes of lily, tuberose, and freesia. Somehow mixed into a second wave of sparkling champagne, and watery greens to smoothly finish the scent. Light, fresh and yet sweet enough for a romantic weekend or simply a hard day at work when you need a reminder of the carefree times of spring. One whiff and you will be sitting on your front porch in the gentle breeze reading coffee with your lover. For 48.50 it is a good all around scent and a bargain to boot.

Moving on and up to more exspensive parfum. I was exspecting to be blown away by Versace: Noir. True to its image it was unlike any other scent I had smelled this season. There was an unusual medley of pepper, amber, hints of smokey musk and earthy suede. It reminded me of a tall dark woman in thigh high boots and a sweater mini, sitting in a cigar lounge with a glass of merlot and goth lined doe eyes.

This is a deeply complex and sensual musk. However with a price tag of 70-95 dollars I think my old favorite drugstore brand "Dark Vanilla" will have to do the trick. That said if you want a scent for dark and mysterious, a scent that leaves men saying "what WAS she wearing?" this very well be your bag baby.

Jennifer Lopez first foray into the perfumery biz was her debut scent Glo by J. Lo. Since then she appears to have taken back some of her "latina" placing her glam-diva hip hop model on the back burner. Mrs. Jenny from the block hit the scent scene recently with Jennifer Lopez: Live.

Not to be confused with J.Lo this scent is meant to intice the senses to a tropical oasis. It is meant to leave you feeling as if you have just spent a sultry summer night in a latin club dancing with a hunk of a man. This is the scent of papaya fed from drop dead georgous fingers.

Or its MEANT to bring those feelings.

Instead I found Live to be overbearing, Candy coted, confection perfect perhaps for 17-20 year olds but nothing spectacuar. I would reccomend for the price to try "Sweet Temptation" by Victoria Secret instead of dropping 40-50 dollars of this. This scent is a flash in the pan and I predict it will sell to fans ans perhaps the young, but those of us with a more decerning palatte will find this scent sickly sweet and syrupy in its fruit notes.

The final perfume on my list was Kimora Lee Simmons: Baby Phat Goddess. For 48 dollars you can score a christmas collection of lotion, wash and parfum. Now, why would I start with that information? Because one smell of this perfume and I believe it is my favorite to debut out of the four. For me it runs neck and neck with Sarah Jessica Parker: Beautiful.

It is a layered scent of pink pepper fading to a powder/cotton flower scent then finally a smooth finish with water lilies,gardenia and I beelieve a bit of peony.

This is a classic timeless scent that is strong without being overwhelming. It is noticable but in a pleasant wafting soft of way. It blends, it is versatile and it changes with your body.
I liken this scent to the pink Lucky you, by Lucky brand jeans and Burburry weekend, Classic, simple, yet layered and sweet.

This is my pick of the crew.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Everybody burns...

Today I met two young kids who have serious medical issues.
Everyday for them is another struggle. A struggle to eat, a struggle to function, to keep emotions in check, to control tempers, and take care of pain.

They also have the burden of watching as their parents try to treat them as any other child.

But these kids KNOW they are not just any other child.

Other children are not allergic to so many foods.

Other children don't have to have special bikes.

Other children don't need body armour, special helmets or shoes.

Other children can't understand having something hurt so much it brings tears to the eye, on a daily basis.

They are not like other kids.

They see specialists, they get poked, and swallow pills, and get daily,monthly,yearly tests.

They have "routine" surgery sometimes over 25 times in the first few years of their life.

Most of all these kids literally BURN.

In their fingers, their toes, their anger, their frustration, their hope.

In their hearts, their tears..

They are tiny heroes. They make us stare but feel grateful. Even if we have our problems, if they can fight, so can we.

Everybody burns from something, but they feel it much more than we.

Next time you feel that familiar pain of "life isn't fair" think of how these children burn. Then put the fire out in your mind and be grateful for everything you can do.

We don't have to wait until something is gone to appreciate it. Don't get scorched by your own blinders.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Grounds eye view

I always thought the best way to get a good view was to climb to the top of something.

And though I still agree in person it is a breathtaking perspective, I've had to learn new perspective now that I am "grounded".

Its odd. The thought of disability turning into ability was such a stupid idea to me. I thought that there was no stopping someone who had the will and determination to do something.

Now I am not sure, but I think maybe "disability" is more of a means of sorting people out, not holding them back.

In my new grounds eyes perspective I find I am slower to walk away from things. I have to be. Rushing means stress, stress means tension, tension means pain. Pain is a constant in a life with Syringomyelia and 3D (Degenerative disc disease). Yet there are ways of lessening it. The idea of a slow and purposfully driven act was a foreign concept. Now it feels predetermined, at one point even I have to stop to smell the roses.

I find now that I see things than I had not before. I have found that giving things up is easier, and passing things by is simpler. I have found that I can be happy simply having known and lost. I am taking my passions and cycling them into who I am to be.

It feels to me pain has sharpened my focus and made me very thankful to have the life I have. I could and have looked at my disability as a setback, stumbling block and burden. Much as a woman would look at her period, menopause, old age.

The world is full of all types of people and they all have different things that drive them and hold them back. But it is those whom embrace themselves for exactly who they are who become memorable.

I want to look in the mirror and see me staring back at me. Perhaps it will always be with a cane in my hand, there might be more wrinkles or a wheelchair. It will be what I do and who I am that will be remembered. When people think back on President Rosevelt they think of his disability as an afterthought. They do not automatically think "wheelchair" I think that with all that a disability can take away, perspective may be the biggest gift recieved.

The choice on where to go from here can't be made by anyone else, I won't find the answers in a book or bottom of a tea cup. The only conjuring of use to me will be that of my own.

I choose to take my camera take a picture,write a story of the people. This may be the only thing that I will do well, but now that everything has fallen into view I'll know to do it.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Porecelien and bronze God/desses

Bronze and Porcelein God/desses

Jeci and I are family. It started out as college friends drawn together by a force that has a million names. Whatever or whoever this force is in connects us by an invisible thread. The eternal dance of two entities: fire and air, earth and water. We feed and grown off each other.

Recently we were seperated by miles of ocean, her in Germany and I in the United States. The wonderful thing was, we had grown to be better friends, worldy partners, somehow closer from our distance.

I find the most amusement in our physical selves. Jeci is the earth mother. The all giving all loving tomboy, lover of red hair, men in skirts, and indigenous music. She is the one in moderation, the think before you leap, the surveyer of every option before taking the one with the best view, over the best deal.

I am the firestarter rebel-rouser, the girly girl who likes getting into bar fights, the painter of nails, and groomer of brows.

Jeci was the line holding me back as I charged into an altrication.

Funny to see how we have changed.

We both had painful physical and emotional times while apart and it seems by complete grace that we not only overcame the pain but came out better, albeit different people.

Jeci became a mother. A damn good one, but not without a little hit or miss. Recently she’d gone to Thailand to refresh her spirit, visit her father and just be Jeci instead of mommy.

I went to Minnesota to go through therapy for syringomyelia, to visit my Nana and remember who I had been.

For both of us it turned out to be skin-deep changes that quickly rolled up into a life overhaul. Funny how she and I always seem to do things in pairs.

For Jeci she learned who she was again, and who she wanted to be. She told me that she met women there who paid for creams to lighten their skin to make it more white. She asked me if I would send her bronzer to show them how Americans love tan skin. I told her to buy her own makeup. She took it to the extreme that only Jeci can.

She went from “If I brush my hair and have time to shower, good enough!” to 18 minutes in the morning until mommy gets her face on.

The irony is that as Jeci was blossoming into a painted pony, I was embracing minimalism.

I remember sitting under exam room lights being poked and prodded, and brought in and out of consciencnous. Slowly loosing my physical stregnth and memory. In Minnesota I realized that who I’d been didn’t metter anymore. Even if I had felt that I needed to put makeup up, it took up precious time that I could spend reading, or talking to my partner, or just thinking with my cats.

I became the “brush and go”

Jeci recently came to visit me and bestow Thailand elephant art and funky t-shirts upon me. She thoroughly spoils me the way only a soulsister can: Thouroghly without hesitation.

I told her about the story I wanted to write about us. How she wore lipgloss now. How I didn’t. How these small changes seemed to be bigger than they seemed.

She got this smug sneer to her face and got up. When she returned she had what appeared to be a small tackle box.

“Lip gloss?” she said. “I am too organized now for one lipgloss” she proceeded to show me 2 lipsticks, 4 glosses. Next pocket: 3 powders, and one liquid blusher. Next pocket: Sunless tanner, and powder bronzer. Final pocket: plastic gloves, eyeliner, and mascara. She also pulled out about 15 items that could be used as blush, lip and eye colors, and more “fun” items.

I sat shocked. Then slowly, silently, began to laugh. She turned to me shaking with the same silent laughter.

Later we surveyed my bathroom. Lip Balm, face wash, toothpaste, toothbrush, and deoderant.

In the shower there was shampoo+conditioner, a bar of soap and a loofah.

Everywhere else held boxes of medications, bandaids, and plastic gloves.

It hit me. Our priorities were changing, but Jeci had kids, makeup applied like artwork, a husband, and school. She had a home to make; she had started using what she’d learned to build upon what she’d been given. Pain had made her a different person.

I had medication, a partner, cats, and a volunteer job. But what had I done to build on what I had been given? The excuses to not kill my body with labor and barfights. The reasons NOT to have children, and a handicap parking pass.

What did I get? What was I supposed to do now?

I had been given time. Yet I hadn’t used it to build anything.

I still had my sister, but who did she have in me?

So I waited. Then by accident I read an article by a friend in the local paper. Another person was bashing him for having an educated opinion. My friend was very upset and didn’t know what to say. “How can I defend myself? I don’t have the words!” he’d said.

I was furious. Here was a good man, a rare man, being publically humiliated for having an opinion. A well documented and evidence supported opinion! I couldn’t well go beat the man up. So I fumed.

I sat down in front of my computer and wrote a rebuttal. I had no other mission than to give this guy a piece of my mind.

I sent the letter after my friend edited it for me and promptly forgot about it.

Weeks later he came running into my office. “Its in the paper! Your letter! They loved it and published it!” He showed me the paper. There was my story, in print, and being read by hundreds of people.

Weeks later proved that they liked it. I recieved e-mails, my boss read it at a staff meeting and people clapped. A local animal shelter asked me to write something for them. My friend offered to be my editor. People began to ask me “What are you going to write about next?”

It felt right. It felt like a logical question, what was I going to write about next?

I am a firm believer that everyone has a task. A task to complete for the greatest good. A task to maintain balance in life as we know it. Everything happens for a reason. No event is happenstance and we all have parts that we will play. Sometimes it takes some time before we get on the stage. But take heart! There are lines to learn, people to dress, and makeup to be done.

So maybe my sister is the one with the tacklebox to pretty the players, and the massage skills to help them relax. Further maybe, just maybe, I can be a writer for this play called life.

God/dess knows that this porcelien doll and her bronze sister have plenty of things to write about.

It takes all kinds of things to bring us from who we were to who we are, and furhter who we will become. Find your place, make your peace, and join the pageant. There is much to see and lots to do and there will always be a place for you.