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friday favourites 01.28.11

here's a little something that i've decided to start in the hopes of bringing some organisation to the lovable chaos that is this blog. i've never tried doing a regular feature before, but i figure an easy place to start is just with a recap of some of the things that i've been appreciating over the last week, or at least things that have captured my interest.

ricky gervais :: depending on what you believe, gervais either thumbed his nose at the entire assembled hollywood elite or pulled off the greatest publicity stunt in the history of entertainment. the man himself has pointed out that he wasn't exactly revealing any great secrets (robert downey jr. has had drug problems? seriously? i never knew.) and anyone who's seen gervais do stand up knows that he has a reputation for offending just about everyone, but the evening was still a welcome respite from a lifetime of awards shows that are to entertainment what ambien is to energy. it obliterated the fact that the awards themselves were utterly predictable. besides, anyone who has harvey weinstein hiring a posse of guys to take him out has to be doing something right.

(the following clip is probably not safe to play in front of your coworkers, your family, or even yourself if you're easily offended. you have been warned.)



new additions ::
sure, everyone thinks i've lost my damn mind, but there are two new furry faces in my life. one of the most fascinating things about having my own little pride of lions about is that my inner anthropologist gets to observe feline society in the making. there is a developing social hierarchy, as well as a nebulous network of allies based on who is getting along with whom. i'm also wondering whether or not i can use them for strength training, lifting each of them to give myself some weight resistance. i figure i can start with the siamese and work my way up to the maine coon. cuddling as exercise.


leigh-ann white
:: aka, my deep tissue massage therapist. i know what you're thinking- massage is a luxury, not really therapy. i'm guessing that if you are thinking that, you've never had back problems. i've had them for many years and no one has ever been able to do anything useful for me until i met leigh-ann. the difference is that, with her, not only do you get a better sort of massage (filled with good hurt), but you also get someone who knows a lot about anatomy, how things get messed up, and how to undo the ravages of time and neglect. of course, at the moment, my back, neck and shoulders probably hurt more than when i first went to see her. the difference is that i don't feel like my breathing is restricted, i don't have numbness and weird tingling in my arms and i can feel things gradually starting to loosen. if you have back problems, get yourself a good massage therapist. if you live in montreal, get leigh-ann!

fluevogs ::
ok, i always love fluevogs, but this week is special because the first set of designs for 2011 were unleashed upon the public. and sure, i probably have enough shoes to last three lifetimes, but can i help it if he just keeps coming out with such awesome designs? best of all, this is one of those times where one has the choice of what's new and what's affordable, because a lot of outgoing models and colours are on sale. i already have a list of springtime choices picked out and it makes for very good motivation to get myself back in the workforce, pronto.

the rebellion against post-literacy ::
this isn't something new, but since i started following GRAMMARHULK on twitter, i have at least some hope that there are people out there who are trying to resuscitate the english language from the near-death state in which the last years have left it. yes, you can still send text message asking if your friend has arrived at the restaurant before you with whole words, not with : u r in restaurant? (come to think of it, that reads like it might be kind of disgusting.) current opinion holds that, with computers to check our spelling and online resources to provide synonyms, antonyms and translations, the need for individuals to be literate is passe. i hold with the always-wonderful "the oatmeal" that people who use words without knowing what they mean, or who can't spell simple words just look dumb.

so what's making you happy this week? or, if you've had a rough one, what would improve the things that are vexing you? personally, i'm waiting for blogger (hello? hello google overlords?) to come up with an iphone app that will allow me to use this space from wherever my adventures take me. then you'd never shut me up!

what i'll be watching this week :: egypt. sure, we all thought that the first revolution and coup of the internet age was going to happen in iran. remember, we all changed our twitter avatars green for a week or so? you don't remember? well it doesn't matter, because now the first revolution and coup of the internet age is absolutely, positively, without any possibility of doubt (ahem) going to happen in egypt. it's the same sort of story, but the work of internet interlopers wikileaks and the cloud of mystery that still surrounds mubarak's rise to power and the assassination of his predecessor anwar sadat make for a potentially explosive variant.

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mental health mondays :: the war at home

what's worse than being sent off to war when you're barely old enough to order a drink in a bar? making it home only to get poisoned by the government that sent you there. 
although it's certainly not a secret, i don't find that the opiate/ opioid crisis happening in america gets nearly the attention it deserves. at least, what attention it gets just seems to repeat "thousands of people are dying, it's terrible", without ever explaining how things got to the state they are now. there's mention of heroin becoming cheaper, of shameful over-prescriptions and dumping of pills in poorly regulated states/ counties, etc. but too much of the media coverage seems content to say that there's a problem and leave it at that.

one of the things that might be hindering debate is that a very big problem likely has a lot of different causes, which means that it's important to break it down into smaller problems to deal with it. and one of those problems conne…

jihadvertising?

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.

digging for [audio] treasure

my computer tells me that i need to cut down the amount of music stored on my overstuffed hard drive. my ears tell me that that would deprive me of some wonderful listening experiences. 
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with the dawn of the internet, and various types of music sharing, i found myself able to discover bands that i'd heard about, but never managed to track down, from the days of underground cassette culture. and, to my surprise and elation, many of them do very much live up to what i'd imagined from reading descriptions of them in catalo…