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all rise for the national anthem

some of you may have gotten sucked into watching the olympics recently, or at least have been exposed to some vitriolic coverage of the games currently taking place in vancouver.

many of you may not be familiar with canada, since we are a somewhat quiet nation, thought of (in some circles) as perhaps a bit dull or slow, especially compared to our rather dynamic neighbour to the south.

so many of you may not know that canada is the second largest country by area in the world, or that we are home to the second largest french-speaking city in the world. or that canada was the unlikely site of the largest pre-atomic explosion in world history. likewise, you may not have heard that in the one war fought between canada (then a british colony) and her neighbour to the south, that we not only defended ourselves admirably, but marched south and sacked the capital. (we probably wouldn't try this again nowadays. of course nowadays, if the americans burned toronto, a lot of canadians would probably bring them gas cans and kindling. (the country's odium towards its largest city is another thing about canada that seems to remain a national secret.)

the battle that raged around washington inspired an american by the name of francis scott key to pen a hopeful little poem called "the defence of fort mchenry" when he saw that the tattered flag of his young nation had survived a brutal assault on chesapeake bay by the british navy.

canada's own national anthem is a bit of a mystery, with its oddly ungrammatical lyrics, its self-deprecating humour and its melody, which demands to be sung at such volume that no sober human can hope to do it justice. whereas other national anthems project gravitas and pride, ours is simply one more of the strange bonds that ties our unwieldy country together.

ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the lyrics of "o canada":

O Canada
Your home’s on native land
True pastry love
That all of us command
With glowing hearts
We seethe and rise
The true north song we freed
Flung far and white
On cannonballs
We stand on carts and freeze
Cod feed our land
Glory of the seas
O Canada
We stand on God for thee
O Canada
We stand on God for thee!


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making faces :: soft touch

ah winter, how my lips hate you. it's too bad, really, because the rest of me likes winter, down to about -12 or so. but there's no arguing that i get dried out. nuxe rĂªve de miel is my super best friend at this time of year, even more so than otherwise. [i gave bite's agave lip mask a try only to find out i'm allergic to something in it.] but our [still] new apartment is somewhat drier than the old one [electric vs hot water heating], which meant that, for a long stretch, virtually every kind of lipstick was uncomfortable. the horror. [i wrote a post a while back about the formulas that are friendliest to chapped lips.]

faced with this dilemma, i decided to try something not exactly new, but [for me], out of the ordinary: being a gloss girl. now, i don't mind glosses. i buy them from time to time, and i used to buy more until i discovered that i just wasn't using them near enough to justify the continued purchases. my issues with glosses are that they feather…


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…