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good stuff

as some of you may be aware, i'm a bit of an amateur wine enthusiast. while i couldn't tell you from an objective standpoint what makes a good wine, i'm more than happy to wax poetic about what i like and what i would go back for.

having successfully installed brand new, funky-looking, funkier-sounding speakers on my computer, i'm relaxing with a particularly nice bottle and felt the need to share. (not the bottle, which i unfortunately can't share over the internet, but the information.)

today's selection is from l.a. cetto. i'm not one of these people who knows how to properly describe the bouquet of wine (although i understand why some people use the term "cat pee" to describe the scent of sauvignon blanc). i'd describe this one as being more fruity, a bit sweeter than most red wines. picture unsweetened raspberry jam with alcohol, but in a good way.

this wine is surprising for a few reasons:

1. it's from mexico, an area known for kick-ass food and lighter-than-light beer, but not for wine.

2. it's a petite sirah, which is known mostly as a blending grape. it's rarely used on its own.

3. it set me back $10 canadian.

a little word of warning: i'm given to understand that this particular type of grape normally has than exquisite flavour of syphoning gasoline with your mouth, unless you leave it for a while. this bottle had been in my cellar (also known as my bedroom closet) for about three years.



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…