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it's the most wonderful time of the year...

i love telling people that when i was a child, i used to play in the graveyard behind our house. i occasionally gathered up bouquets of flowers (including those plastic ones that people leave when they can't visit very often) from the graves and bring them home to my mother. i love telling this story because it's so apt that people don't believe that it's true. (it's much more effective when my mother is around to add a chorus of "no, really, she did".) it's as if an author with a great sense of foresight and irony was actually writing my life for me. (although, if that were the case, i'd like to have a few words with him about some of the plotting.)

when i was a kid, i also loved halloween. it was a big deal for me, deciding what to dress up as. i never found it frightening, although the attendant magic of the season did tend to give me little chills. my grandmother was always surprised that i would get more excited about halloween than i did about christmas. but that was what i enjoyed and there was no convincing me that there was any holiday more enjoyable than all hallows.

this preference, established early, is one that has stayed with me well beyond the years when i foraged door to door in search of sugar. it helps that the holiday happens in the autumn, which is already my favourite time of the year. but more importantly, the whole concept for the holiday seems based on mystery and hedonism, things that are normally bleached from the surface of everyday life, meaning that it's the one period where the weird rule the world. even the varnish of pop culture camp that has been layered over the holiday for the last thirty years doesn't detract from its appeal. (in fact, a little camp only seems to add to the experience.)

so if, like me, you're one of those people who tends to feel more than a little alienated from "the normals", kick back, drink some of the punch with the eyeballs in it, tell ghost stories by flashlight and rejoice. in a short time, the orgy of mass consumerism known as the holiday season starts, and we will be inundated by sentiments more sickening than anything you ever collected going door to door on halloween. but no matter how hard they try to make everyone think that christmas is an enjoyable experience, we know what the cool holiday is.


DJ Tobias said…
The "orgy of mass consumerism" has already started... they were putting up displays of paper and ornaments at the grocery store on Sunday. Ugh.

as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…