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Showing posts from April, 2011

making faces :: product review [guerlain]

i've never been quite sure why, but guerlain was my first experience with a pretige brand. it started years ago when i purchased one of their foundations. it aws a very nice formula and i loved its faint rosy scent, but i found ultimately that even the lightest shade was too dark for my skin. i did fall completely in love with their eye kohl, a powder eye liner that makes a crisp line and stays put, something i find most eye liners can't do. i also became a huge fan of their "mitsouko" perfume [and, more recently "insolence"] and all this before i really started investigating prestige brands.

since i have investigated them, of course, a couple of things have become clear: 1. even by the standards of high-end brands, guerlain is pretty pricey and 2. it's really hard to compete with their quality. in the midst of a pretty strong group of spring collections this year, guerlain's brightly coloured, somewhat surprising collection was my overall favourite…

the case for casting

an acquaintance of mine who likes to think that he knows more than anybody about everything chastised me before the last election when i pressured him to get out and vote by saying that it was "nice" that i still persisted in my naive exhortations to vote, despite the fact that democracy was obviously a "failed system".  at the time, i gritted my teeth and hoped that my friendly cuteness had been enough to encourage him to vote anyway, but the fact is that i've spent the last two and a half years kicking myself for what i should have said, what i've said to others when they've made the same sort of comments.

first of all, let's get the big issue out of the way: is there a federal party that represents the way that you think a nation, a community or a society should be run on a long-term scale? if the answer s yes, i trust you've figured out which party that is and i encourage you to vote for them. you're very lucky.

now, let's deal with …

friday favourites :: 29.04.11

ugh. i almost decided to make this "friday f**kers" and compile a list of things that grind my gears, because it's just been that sort of week. personally, the pretty much constant pain i have in my upper back, neck and shoulders has been acting up, meaning that i'm constantly in a lot of pain. not pleasant to deal with. i've also had some people get under my skin- generally not a comfortable place in which to have people stuck and something i try to avoid. although i was optimistic about my plans for writing when i posted last week, i didn't get nearly as much done as i'd hoped, because, strangely, my muse just deserted me. damn her. so all in all, with some exceptions made for coffee with a great friend, baked goods shared with a loved one and, as always, time spent with cats [plus a couple of cosmetic finds that helped soothe my nerves- watch for more news in subsequent posts], i'm glad to see the derriere of this week. but, of course, there were s…

ahem

just letting you know that, as promised, the second installment of my serial story is now up. the first one remains there [i'll probably have to wipe the slate clean eventually, but for now, i'll just be leaving everything in tact.

you can access the tale by clicking on the "let me tell you a story" link or, if you prefer click here.

feedback is always welcome.

what's all the racket?

a few selections featured recently on my speakers. feel free to share your discoveries, i'm in an exploring mood.

don't forget that next wednesday is the caustic lounge, where you can hear mr. dna and me filling the audience's aural cavities with pure sonic love.

smersh :: armored man dub :: emmanuelle goes to bangkok
life garden :: when the lion licks the sun :: caught between the tapestry of silence and beauty
gary war :: sold out :: horribles parade
land of giants :: cannibal dolls :: cold waves and minimal electronics vol. 1
blessure grave :: open or shut :: judged by twelve, carried by six
novy svet :: roma :: rumorarmonio
sardh :: stuur norm :: stuur
sect :: this is not the end :: great desired utopia

plus, since one cannot live life on random all the time, here are a few albums that have been on my ears lately as well:

la vampires meets zola jesus
luasa raelon :: vampyr- light of the beast
various artists :: in the butcher's backyard [i'm amazed at how innocent this so…

mental health mondays :: crazy love

a lot of what i talk about here has to do with people who have, or suspect that they have some kind of mental disorder. but what do you do if someone you care about has one? or if they show signs of having one? well, there is a lot of information out there on what you can do and the good news is that a lot of what you find is perfectly good advice. it's one of those rare opportunities where you can believe most of what you read. of course, most of what you read will be simple common sense- be patient, be supportive, be approachable. but the fact is, there are a lot of things that you can do, depending on the extent to which you want to implicate yourself in their healing process. today's post is for those of you who want to help, but who aren't sure how to best go about it. these points are by no means an exhaustive list of what you can do, but [i think] they're a good start.


why we fight?

it's always been my understanding that when you believe in something, in some way, that belief is supposed to make you feel good. maybe it's because you feel the promise of a world where your most dearly held beliefs were put into practice, which would likely be a pretty cool world for you. or maybe, and i suspect this is a large part of it, it's because believing in some ideal, whatever it is, lets you momentarily wallow in the concept that you are a good, noble person with a strong set of beliefs. we all like to think that about ourselves from time to time. however, i will say that there is one of my most deeply held beliefs that, over time, is tending to make me miserable and depressed the more i see it thrust into the public eye.

for as long as i can remember, i have always been deeply committed to the idea that people should be allowed to express themselves freely and to be able to communicate their beliefs and ideas, whether those ideas are contentious or offensive to…

friday favourites 22.04.11

it's friday again? yes it is and what's more, it's supposed to be a good friday, from what i'm told. of course, considering there was hail in montreal two days this week, you could be forgiven for any skepticism about how good things are. i always try to hold out and insist that i'm just getting impatient for spring, but this year, i have to admit, it's damn chilly for the midpoint of spring. all the more reason, i suppose, to appreciate the lovely weather we're enjoying today. i'm just as glad that my migraine resolved itself into nothing but a dull pressure behind my [still securely attached] right eye, so that i could actually look at the sun without screaming in pain. [although doing so probably would have allowed me to head straight to the front of the line at the grocery store.]

"kjjjjjjjjjgvc", says hecubus, which means "get on with it" in cat. and so i will get on with it, right away. here are some things that made me smile t…

what dreams may come...

this one is really to good not to share:

we've all had dreams where we felt sick because in reality we were sick and we've all had the stupid dreams about our teeth. i think this was sort of a combination of both.

i dreamt last night that it was just before christmas and my right eye somehow popped out. only i couldn't go right to the doctor, because dom and i were expected first by my mother's family [which was inexplicably huge] and then by his family for holiday dinner. other than dom, who seemed concerned that i get help, everyone was annoyed that i kept bringing up the fact that i was carrying my eye around in a baggy, because it was sort of a drag on the festivities. they kept reassuring me that doctors would be able to pop it back in no problem, or they'd stick a piece of glass in there, good as new, or i'd just be able to freak people out with a weird hollow socket for the rest of my life. and no one other than dom seemed to realise why these options wer…

making faces :: in living colour

makeup didn't start off by being about, well, makeup. it started off being about literal masks, masks that were used in the theatres of ancient greece to portray specific characters or character types. often, the same actor would assume multiple roles and having different masks available made it easy to distinguish one character from another. those masks were also easily recognised by the audience for what they represented- grotesquely exaggerated, they embodied the essential elements of characters who would have been familiar to audiences at the time through myths and fables.

japanese kabuki and beijing opera would later use makeup to create those masks, exaggerating natural features and expressions with brilliant, contrasting colours. while the extreme traditions of theatrical makeup don't often find their way into mainstream culture, brilliant, intense colours, creating a completely unnatural appearance, have always been used as an informal kind of mask, an identification …

something's afoot!

i'll bet you're thinking this post is going to be about shoes aren't you?

never judge a blog post by it's title! this post is to call your attention to the fact that i've started to add not-so-secret pages to the blog, which will be dedicated to specific things. the first one i've established "let me tell you a story" will feature a serialised story- a new installment every week (something i tried before, but it sort of came off the rails). you can follow along with the adventures of heroine adela and give me feedback. i'll be keeping the excerpts fairly short, so that they're easier to read on screen.

i plan to have more of these pages up and running shortly and they will all appear in the same place- on the upper right hand part of the home page, just under the "about me" section.

hope you enjoy the first serial installment and, hey, if you come up with any suggestions for a title, please pass them on. this story has lived a long …

now read this!

issue 11 of paraphilia magazine is out, with its customary pastiche of art, interviews and literature from the new frontiers. always a dense, challenging and rewarding read, this installment also includes "hollow earth" a short story from yours truly. this is not one that has seen the light of day before, although it has been kicking around my hard drive for a while. on a personal level, i find it probably the most depressing thing i've ever written [although there are some pretty strong contenders]. it's also possible that that's just my subjective thoughts as well.

here's a little excerpt ::

There’s a look of anxiety that runs behind his eyes when he talks about waking up, suddenly lucid and alone in the middle of the night. The power had been knocked out by a storm and his heat was off. He could see clouds above him when he exhaled and then, as the congestion in his chest became worse, he watched the clouds grow wispy and insubstantial, becoming thinner no …

mental health mondays :: test time!

hm. i saw that i hadn't posted on the blog in three days and that made me stressed. you think that's a sign of some kind of obsessive-compulsive behaviour? well, it's not a particularly harmful sort of behaviour, at least.

since last week's post was fairly heavy and fairly long, i decided to go a bit easy this week and just link some interesting online tests i've found. have a crack at them and enjoy!

so you think you know about crazy?

a few tests designed to see how much you know about the many levels of nut-dom.

CHECK OUT THE TESTS AND MY RESULTS!

making faces :: product review [armani, chanel, estee lauder, nars]

oh yes, everyone is coming out with new things these days. so here's a great, big omnibus review of a bunch of things i've accumulated over the last little while. some are here for a limited time, some will be around for the long haul, so pace yourselves accordingly.

armani "eyes to kill" eye shadow :: it's not often that i find something in the cosmetic world that makes me think "wow, that is really different", but these shimmery shadows are one of them. they come in pots, like cream shadows. they apply super-smoothly wet or dry, like cream shadows, but they aren't messy or prone to smudging. really, they're powders with multiple colours in one.

the colours are all quite breathtaking and, when applied, while they smooth into a single, nuanced shade, you can see elements of all the different colour "components" inside. who doesn't want an excuse to have people look at their eyes? the fact that they are quite shimmery makes them qui…

friday favourites 15.04.11

we're at the midpoint of april already? the year is almost on one third completed and i still have to remember not to write 2010 when copying down the date... how did that happen? time does, i suppose, fly, when you're having fun. and despite the fact that i'm still on the hunt for work and we're still trying to get conversion completed, 2011 has had a lot of fun in it.

and obviously, each week's friday favourites are part of that fun. since i'm a pessimistic person by nature, it helps me to take a few minutes every week and think about the good things, the things that brought a smile to my face, no matter how incidental they might seem. in fact, sometimes it's the most incidental things that are the most important, that one lovely thing that catches your eye when you're about to jump in front of the metro train, or that one perfect song that soothes your nerves and stops you from going for your concealed weapon during rush hour when the metro slams to …

ça vaut pas cher la livre

for the first time in many canadian elections, i did not watch the english language debate last night. a conversion-related duty kept me out of the house. from what i understand, i didn't miss much. despite the tepid reviews, i did decide to tune into this evening's french language debate. if nothing else, it gives me a certain perverse sense of pride knowing that people who are seeking to lead a country more than one quarter francophone speak worse french than i do. besides, there is usually at least one moment of unintentional hilarity as someone realises that they have no idea how to express what they're going to say.

my reaction overall? kind of a mixed bag. at one point fairly early on, it looked like gilles duceppe had harper on the ropes, almost causing that quaalude-like veil of enforced calm to slip. seriously, stephen, everyone knows you have a bad temper and are not patient with people who disagree with you. how much is it going to hurt if you just really let yo…

making faces :: choose your lips

i think we've established that i'm a lipstick hound. it's not bragging, it's kind of like standing up and admitting i'm an addict. sure, at one point, i was solely interested in dark colours and ones that looked plain weird (i still am), but then my tastes expanded. once that happened... ooh baby...

there are no colours that i automatically write off [although browns are generally very difficult for me], which means that i end up with a lot of colours in every range. i will say that one of my natural "advantages" (if you consider being able to spend money on lipsticks an advantage) is that my complexion runs a bit cool, but is pretty close to completely neutral. so there aren't a lot of colours that look "wrong" with my skin tone. one of the results of this is that i've been able to spend quality time figuring out who does what best. so here's a post with my opinions on where you can turn for whatever colour wants you have. and, of c…

mental health mondays :: as nature intended

it's really, really easy to hate drug companies. they kill hundreds of thousands of lab animals, use the poor as guinea pigs for their concoctions, occasionally fake studies or slant information in order to make their products appear better, they bribe doctors to recommend their product rather than the competition's and they occasionally release poisons that harm or kill innocent people. not warm and cuddly stuff, that.

as a reaction to the harshness of medications and the questionable ethics of pharmaceutical providers, the last few decades has seen the rise of alternative medicine. their credo is simple: nature provides many nutrients that can ease the pain of a wide variety of diseases without incurring the problems of harmful side effects, addiction or difficult withdrawal, or the risks of long-term use of medications.

the downside, which most reasonable naturopaths will admit, is that they are less effective on the whole than pharmaceuticals and they often take a lot long…

dj kali & mr. dna @ kill me now 09.04.11

it was very nice to see so many friends out last night to tap their toes and shake their booties to the grooves. overall, the crowd who came [other than the ones we already knew] had tastes that ran decidedly on the safe side, so i think that we [especially me] were a little more guarded in our choices than usual. i'd also like to thank all those who were so friendly with me, since i was in an edgy, cranky mood and was pretty easy to set off. dom's set was pure gold, in my opinion, which is tricky when you draw the bullet and have to go first.

mr. dna

skinny puppy :: love
sisters of mercy :: colours
the cure :: the funeral party
pj harvey :: my beautiful leah
siouxsie & the banshees :: carousel
bauhaus :: stigmata martyr
killing joke :: night time
joy division :: disorder
the damned :: twisted nerve
disappointed a few people :: dead in love
hilt :: stoneman
neon judgement :: miss brown
front 242 :: circling overland
cabaret voltaire :: yashar
anne clark :: sleeper in metrop…

diagnosostication

i'm one of those people who generally has to be dragged to a doctor under heavy sedation. it's not that i'm afraid, it's just that every time i go, i either leave with drugs or shrugs- they can medicate me, or it's just something i have to live with. i think what i'm really looking for is a system whereby they hook me up to some futuristic machine, twist a few knobs and presto, my problem is solved.

however, i have to say that i'm tempted to go see a doctor for the latest bit of bodily strangeness i've encountered, just so i can watch their face turn from smug professionalism to looking around to see if there are hidden cameras recording a joke. i've been vaguely aware of this for a while, but last night was the first time that i really paid attention to what was happening.

on the upper left hand side of my chest, north of b00btown, just south of clavicle ridge, there is a slightly soft spot. maybe that's normal. it kind of feels like i have an …

friday favourites 08.04.11

it's friday, friday getting down on... guess what i got stuck in my head? seriously, that song is like herpes- it spreads like fire in the dry season and nothing seems to get rid of it once it's installed. but who cares? it's friday, the weather here finally looks beautiful (we're cracking double digits!) and it's a great time to pause and remember what made filled the week with awesome.


a trailer to call our own :: the short teaser for conversion has been floating around since we were in the midst of filming and it does look pretty cool, offering a glimpse of the visual capabilities of our magical little camera. however, this week, we finally unveiled a real, proper trailer for conversion. finally, you can see a little bit of the characters in the film and hear what they have to say for themselves. it also gives an idea of what the film is really about. yeah, we're excited and yeah, we're proud. the film is actually remarkably close to being final and there…

making faces :: product review [mac "quite cute" collection]

welcome to the cult of cute. actually, more like the cult of kawaii, really, that particularly japanese-inspired version of cute that's like cute on a lot of meth and steroids. this is cute's cousin who's hot in that way that all completely insane chicks are. it's really a perfect idea for a spring collection that's both girly and freaky and it's particularly perfect for mac, who are a company in a very feminine industry that always keeps a bit of bite.

mac's collections almost always have interesting imagery associated with them, although it's sometimes a little difficult to make the connection between the inspiration and the end products. (one of the worst examples of this was 2010's "fabulous felines", which did not have colours that i associate with any of my cats, but which was phenomenal nonetheless.) in this case, the links are pretty strong, since the imagery is seriously cutesy, laced with bright pinks, pastel purples, hint of lig…

dj kali & mr. dna @ the caustic lounge 06.04.11

thanks to all last night's denizens of the caustic lounge. a great and hazy time was had by all, especially your dj hosts. for my part, i have to say that i'm loving the freedom to play almost anything and to indulge my taste for quirky, forgotten gems. we'll be back with more happy pop muzik™on may 4th!

mr. dna's awesome "shoegaze lives" set ::


the stone roses :: i wanna be adored
numbers :: mind hole
stereolab :: i'm going out of my way
lush :: deluxe
black tambourine :: for ex-lovers only
weekend :: coma summer
my bloody valentine :: feed me with your kiss
les thugs :: i love you so
dinosaur jr :: show me the way
dirty on purpose :: send me an angel
spacemen 3 :: o.d. catastrophe
ride :: dreams burn down
pale saints :: time thief
mock :: skyrider
sebadoh :: p.moon
jesus and mary chain :: just like honey (peel sessions)
the ecstasy of saint theresa :: ice cream star
a place to bury strangers :: begin
bailter space :: be on time
chapterhouse :: pearl
girl…

making faces :: product review [yves st. laurent]

this isn't so much a haul as a few products i've accumulated over the last little while from ysl. for some reason, this is a brand i'm more or less discovering, not because i didn't know they existed, but because they were never one of the brands i felt i absolutely had to try. it seems like other brands always have some new or sought-after thing that distracts my attention. ysl's offering just didn't seem as special as others.

in a way, it's strange that i haven't paid more attention to ysl, because yves saint laurent the man is a character who fascinates me. promoted to the position of head designer at dior at age 21, succeeding the man himself (who had hand-picked him before his own untimely death), he saved the company from bankruptcy with his 1958 spring collection. by fall of that same year, he was old news and in 1960, the house of dior colluded with the french government to see him conscripted to the army so that they could replace him. (he lat…

mental health mondays :: big black nemesis... iatrogenesis

so you've gone to your doctor, you've seen a psychiatrist, you've received a diagnosis and you're attempting to find the best way to deal with it. chances are, if you've gone that far in the pursuit of answers about your condition, you've at least identified some problem you have in processing the events of daily life.

having a professional apply a label to what you've been feeling brings with it a certain sort of relief. after all, if it's a known disorder, it means that it's not your fault or your weakness. it's a real problem once it has official sanction. in fact, studies estimate that a full 46% of americans experience some type of mental disorder at some time in their lives, so it appears that abnormal is the new norm.

what no one likes to talk about is that doctors can get it wrong, just like the rest of the world. in fact, there's a long history of illnesses that were basically invented by doctors, but which came to achieve a certain…

CONVERSION :: OFFICIAL TRAILER

you've all seen the first teaser, but now, finally, we have an official trailer for conversion. enjoy this little taste and, yes, there is more to come in the not-too-distant future...

...off and running?

i messed up my neck today through a vigourous afternoon of sitting in an office chair (i'm not joking) and had to take a wee time out upon returning home to stay flat on my back and hope that the discomfort passed once i had laid supine upon the magical tempur-like material of my living room sofa. unable to hold a book at that angle, i opted to turn on the television to the first all-news channel i could find, only to be assaulted by an image of michael ignatieff bouncing up and down, announcing his platform and waving his version of the little red book.

as sad as it looks to see the liberal leader going back to the sort of blandishments that got his party elected in 1993 and that continued to work until they were crow-barred from office in 2006 by stephen harper's conservatives, i at least had some glimmer of hope that, finally, someone was going to start talking about issues. as far as i can tell, ignatieff's red book is a pastiche of educational funding, support for sen…

steve bickley, we hardly new ye

i got a letter yesterday that shocked me, not because of the content, but because of the person who sent it.

i've come to recognise the rounded variety on century gothic that bell canada uses in their love letters to me and, since i hadn't blogged about them  in a while, i was greatly looking forward to another "please come back" missive from my mysterious suitor, mr. steve bickley. so imagine my surprise when the letter turned out to be from a woman by the name of heather tulk, who seems to have taken over mr. bickley's position as senior vice president of residential services.

i've no idea what's become of steve. did my consistent rejections, on the basis that bell had treated my like an inmate in their telecommunications prison, who tried to bill me for months of service when they forgot to disconnect my toronto line and accused me of lying when i insisted that i had ordered a disconnection (and even claimed that i should pay if they had been at fault,…

it all comes down to this

26 may 2012. are you ready? we aren't (yet).

friday favourites 01.04.11

are you feeling ready for the weekend? has this week treated you well? has it been a great ride, or have you been struggling to see the spring flowers among the weeds? well, it's been a tumultuous and unbelievable week for me and while i think that the next few weeks are going to be pretty topsy-turvy, i'm happy to be able to share a bit of news that really made my week this week in friday favourites!

conversion 2- after hours :: ok, keep in mind that this is very preliminary, because we're still finalising everything for the first film, but we have a canadian partner who has expressed an interest in producing a sequel to conversion. (if you don't know what conversion is, go look at the blog!) needless to say, they would also be picking up the original conversion as well.

i'm only starting to work on some notes for the script, but dom and i have had some discussions with our distribution partner to get some broad details dealt with. basically, the story will follow s…

making faces :: spring lips for vampy ladies

every year it happens. you've had months to indulge your love of deep, dark, come-hither lips and then
suddenly, the mercury starts to rise. sure, you can still get away with those vampy looks at night- that's always when they're most appropriate- but during the gradually extending daylight hours, those blood red or eggplant purple lips look less elegant and more emo kid. all around you, people are doffing heavy coats and black leggings in favour of featherweight fabrics and pastels. but if pink and peach make you shrink and screech, what are you supposed to do?



well, i've long since made my peace with the girlie spectrum of tones, but i still feel more like me wearing a colour that's quirkier. luckily, the world of cosmetics is no longer trying to force us into a single spring mold. there are lots of colours available that are perfectly appropriate for a balmy spring day without making you feel like you sold you dark, misunderstood soul.

in choosing a few recomme…