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friday favourites 11.03.11

wow. i almost forgot that today was friday... i realised part way through and so, yes, i'm a little late posting my friday favourites but hey, better late than never, right?

overall, this week was a marked improvement on last for me. although i'm still trying to figure out my mysterious allergy to food, i've overall been in a better mind frame this week than last. today, of course, was the mild, runny topping on the dessert of the week, because it was beautiful outside. it felt nice to enjoy fresh air for a change.

of course, the last twenty-four hours have given a lot of people a lot of things that are pretty damn horrible and my heart goes out to them. so one of the things that i have to feel good about is that i live in relative security.

and on that slightly sombre note, here are some of the things that helped me to think that i'm a pretty lucky lady:

firefox live :: i wasn't sure what my browser was talking about when it asked me to look at "firefox live". isn't an internet browser always live? but this is something completely different. instead, this is a joint project between mozilla and the knoxville zoo to raise awareness about the creatures that give the browser its name. it's made of adorable and stuffed with squee and it's exactly the kind of thing you need to remind you that the world is full of fascinating, lovable things.


patton oswalt :: i have dom to thank for introducing me to this gentlemen. i find that the world of stand-up comedy suffers for want of the next hicks, carlin or pryor and while patton oswalt may not quite have their stature yet, he's probably the closest i've heard to the greats in many years. one of the interesting things to me personally is that he is so obviously a product of the same 80s and 90s alternative culture as i am. even with comedians i really love, i'm unused to a sense of conjunction that i feel with oswalt. he's a cultural geek, into movies and comic books, his taste in music is delightfully offbeat- it's the voice of a time that, while important in shaping the world we're in today, often gets drowned out by the generations both before and after it. and if that's a little to heady for you, the guy is just funny as hell. check out one of his many live videos, or, for the capsule version, follow him on twitter.

loud ladies :: it's funny that latter-day power electronics is so dominated by men because to me, despite the natural association of anger and force with men, the music's (and it is music) orientation toward raw, wild emotion would seem more akin to the blind fury of a medea or the bacchae than in any male archetypes. this week, i've found my ear turning to a couple of ladies who are seemingly hell-bent on proving my point: sewer goddess and pharmakon. rough, intense stuff.

u235 :: one of the fun things about hopping through the internet like tigger through the hundred acre wood is that you occasionally stumble upon things whose existence you never expected. i know virtually nothing about this french artist except that his images send a little electric thrill through my thorax.

and speaking of art, check out some images of my friend chantal cote's eerily bleached dolly art, currently on display and available for purchase at cagibi. her vernissage this past week was a great excuse to get out of the house and enjoy one of montreal's infamous march snowstorms...

chantal cote
chantal cote
chantal cote

the art of illamasqua :: dubbed "makeup for your alter ego", british-based illamasqua prods at the imaginative heart of what drives most people to start anointing their faces with paint to begin with. check out the surreal, acid-burned imagery for their new collection called "toxic nature" to see some of the characters they've created. i'll even forgive them the photoshop disaster-worthy models, since the whole idea of these images is that they're supposed to look mutated. in the past, they've also done collections based on the imagery of sirens, dystopias and 1920s berlin. the approach reminds me of urban decay back when they started and their "does pink make you puke?" launch campaign, embracing the dark side of contemporary life (too bad it didn't last). 
of course, the downside of loving these guys is that they have no distribution in canada. even sephora, who carry some products in the u.s., doesn't stock them in or ship them to canada. the only buying option currently available north of the 49th parallel is to buy direct from their web site, which means facing the unbridled horror of british retail prices. oh well. a girl and her alter ego can dream.

so that's my list of small pleasures for this week. feel free to share yours, whatever they may be.

this coming week will be a little busier for me (in a good way) and hopefully will mark a point where i'm able to figure all these bizarre dietary issues out. i'm running out of food groups to eliminate.

i'm anticipating that it's going to be one of those weeks where people like me who want to follow world news are going to have a bit of a touch go. i don't begrudge the people of japan any of the assistance that they will be getting, nor do i consider it a bad idea for people to witness what a powerful earthquake can do to even the most prepared country in the world. heck, i hope it proves to be an opportunity to spread a greater understanding of geology. my problem with these sorts of stories is that the media is so desperate for death and destruction, for scenes of pain and hand-wringing, that they just tune out the rest of their jobs. the government in yemen is still on the verge of toppling and libya is, for all intents and purposes, degenerating into a state of civil war. these are things to which attention should be paid, especially as the consequences are potentially far greater in both the short and long term. it is by know means unknown for unscrupulous dictators to take advantage of a moment of public distraction to take extreme measures to consolidate power. japan needs our help, not our prying eyes. i'll be on the hunt for what else is going on.

fans of this site might remember that i'm also posting a filming diary about conversion, to entertain the curious masses while we get the lats few details of our movie sorted out. you can continue to read the diary installments here, but you can also read the cautionary tale of dom's first feature film (it'll be a sought-after "lost gem" in the future) and the nasty things that can befall a young filmmaker who's unfortunate enough to have written a good script that generates interest.

thanks again to everyone who's stopped by to visit- your support and feedback is always much appreciated! twice this week, we surpassed our previous one-day high for total visits. hurrah! to that end, a couple of quick notes:

as you may have noticed, i've started a feature called "mental health mondays". this week, we'll be talking mania, but if there are any issues you'd like me to cover in future installments, please let me know.

there's been a great response to my "making faces" series, which is a lot of fun for me to write. so far, i've been working with myself as my canvas because dom and the cats don't seem inclined to let me use them, but if you're in montreal and would like to model for upcoming articles, please let me know.

feedback can be left in the comments section, or my contacting me directly at
(that's also the address for any general inquiries, including anything you'd like reviewed on the site, such as music, beauty products, fluevog shoes... hell, i'll review medication if i'm reasonably certain it won't cause me to mutate in ways i won't like.)

and of course, here's this week's cat:

king arthur, monarch of our little world

thanks for reading!


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

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…


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. 
halifax, nova scotia was not the easiest place to find out about music with limited appeal. it was a very music-centred city, to be sure, but, being smaller, things like noise, industrial, and experimental music struggled to gain a foothold, even as the alternative rock scene exploded in the early nineties. i was lucky enough to have some friends who were happy to share music that they loved, but i knew that there were lots of things that i was missing out on.

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…