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Showing posts from February, 2012

making faces :: armani's lost world

with the exception of a few cult items here and there, i normally find that high-end brands are pretty good about giving their fans a shot at grabbing items from seasonal or special collections before they're whisked away into the netherworld of discontinued cosmetic goodies. however, i have to say that of late, armani are proving uniquely frustrating in this respect, throwing out items for short periods of time [the only counter in montreal sometimes has stock for less than a week], or making it unclear to all whether certain products are permanent. it's frustrating, especially since, in the last year, i've really gotten to love armani, particularly their lip products and their incredible eyes to kill shadows. what's worse is that i find that armani's permanent collection is actually smallish compared to their pretige cosmetics rivals and so it's all the more annoying when beautiful things appear and disappear in short order.

one of the most egregious example…

for art's sake :: nuit blanche in mtl [part 2]

here's a few more photos from my adventures in art on saturday night. i could seriously do this several times a year.

first of all, no one told me about the whole "roast your own wiener as art" part of the festivities. actually, the way i've put that does make it sound like some rather extreme performance art, but really, it's just that there were roasting stations [fires in bins] at several points in the outdoor portion of the event.


being the second largest french-speaking metropolis in the world does invite comparisons [usually not the most favourable] with paris. in this case, i believe that the message is "eat it, eurotrash, we are the city of way more light than you"


i was seriously concerned that when i looked at this picture, the unicorn i'd seen on the wall wouldn't actually be there.


you know what's really not artistic? putting a gigantic light-up ice slide in the middle of your arts festival. you know who really doesn't car…

for art's sake :: nuit blanche in mtl [part 1]

as i mentioned on friday, this weekend was nuit blanche in montreal, something i look forward to with a sort of whimsical spirit usually reserved for small children at christmas. there's just something about the idea of spending a night interacting with art, often in surprising and unexpected ways and places that stirs my imagination.

i hooked up with my good friend kathleen and we set out on our artistic quest.

while i feel that i did see a lot this year, i found the voyage a little bit frustrating. because the temperature plummeted on saturday night and the wind picked up, i decided to focus on the downtown/ place des arts section of the festivities. although the city offers shuttles and regular transit between sites, it's still necessary to run from one place to another in the plateau/ mile end area. so your options are finding one venue where you want to spend a lot of time, or spending a good chunk of your evening making sure you can still move your fingers.

unsurprisingl…

silence is golden [movie review :: the artist]

if you're new to this blog, or new to knowing me, let me make something clear: i am a huge silent film fan. i don't mean that i like silent films as a sort of curiosity, i mean that if i were to list my top ten films of all time, there would be several silent films on that list alongside their talking cousins. associating all silent film with the hysterical melodramas produced by hollywood is the equivalent of judging all modern film-making by the works of michael bey. great silent film-making is an art unto itself, very different from "talking pictures" and when it is done well, it approaches the sublime.

in that, my opinions align with those of the hero of "the actor" michel valentin [the adorable and dashing jean dujardin], an icon of the silent film, whose celebrity lifestyle is both metaphorically and, for the purposes of the film, literally, wordless. on the screen, dujardin clearly channels the rakish charisma of douglas fairbanks sr. and the screen…

friday favourites 24.02.12

i would like to start off this post by saying that, contrary to what the bible might say, the wages of sin is exercise. when you've spent a lifetime on those small, seemingly meaningless sins that really shouldn't be sins at all, there nonetheless comes a time when you're forced to think about taking care of yourself. yes, that might mean minding what you eat, but really, it means that you have to take care of strengthening the various parts of your body that are prone to falling apart.

with that in mind, i set myself to work this week on an exercise regimen and as much as i know that this will benefit me in the long run, in the short run my days are full of pain and cramps and a sort of stiffness that makes me look like my grandmother did after her arthritis started to get really bad. even now, as i try to lift my hands enough to type, my shoulders are complaining. it's not a pretty sight.

that's my week, in a nutshell. there's other stuff that's happened…

making faces :: nars spring 2012- the eyes have it

i've been trying to be more responsible about my cosmetics purchases lately. and by "more responsible", i mean that i've been buying less and making sad eyes and dom in the hopes that he'll be impressed with my new found restraint and buy me presents. so far, this plan hasn't yielded a lot of results, but the cats have promised to help me with the sad eyes training.

all this to say that, if i'd had my druthers [i'm assuming that druthers is an archaic word for lots of money], i would have bought every single thing in the nars spring collection. well, every single thing but one, but still. it's that good. now, the great thing about nars is that the huge majority of their seasonal releases become permanent and even the ones that don't tend to live a long life on the company web site. i have to say that while that may mean that i buy things more slowly than i do with other companies whose limited releases are often limited to the day they're…

the passion of santo

welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the right-off, the conservative battle of the new millennium, the epic war for the souls of the everyman. [everywoman is not in high demand, since we all know that her vote really shouldn't be worth more than half a male vote and she'll probably be too busy admiring her nails and her new lemony-scented oven cleaner to remember to vote anyway.] these are the days when the challenge is set and the red state warriors must stake their claim for the loyalty of little people like you and me.

well, not like me. and, if you're reading this blog, probably not like you either, because, like me, you're likely to be the sort of snide liberal shit who sits back and watches the republican nomination campaign unfold with a micro-brewery beer and the sense of superiority that rick santorum rightly accuses us of having. that's right people. we're the elite snobs. and, as it turns out, elite snobs are every bit as susceptible to the charms of re…

making faces :: i'm a proud exhibitionist

after my initial hourglass experience, it was pretty much a given that i'd be going back to sample more of their wares. while their product line is lean- rouge bunny rouge and le metier de beaute, two brands i see as occupying a similar "face space" are considerably larger- the quality makes it worth grabbing pretty much anything that catches your fancy. and i must say that i like the fact that they've so far focused on adding to their core offering, rather than teasing the public with things that are available only fleetingly and snatched up by mean folks who live closer to a counter than i do.

one beauty that i always knew i was going to pick up was the "exhibition" eye shadow duo. after all, i loved the rich, smoky tones of "prism" and i am bananas for purple, so it is actually a statistical impossibility that this wouldn't find a happy home with me. and although i held off for a while, thinking that i already had many, many purples, i eve…

friday favourites 17.02.12

where the heck did this week even go? i've been feeling kind of severely demotivated this week- not down, just demotivated [LAZY, you mean LAZY -ed.]. as a result, i haven't really accomplished much and suddenly *boom* it's friday again. despite the fact that i feel i sort of floated through the last week, i have to admit that there were so many things that made me laugh or at least smile that by monday afternoon, i had to start keeping a list. that has to be a good sign.

so without further ado [about nothing], here's a look at the highlights and "highlights" of the week:

good news :: stuff i can't make up from around the internet


the people are revolting! we've heard much about popular uprisings in much of the middle east, but easily missed was the fact that the tiny maldives- made up of a group of islands in the indian ocean- ousted their president, apparently at gunpoint. only in this case, there's an important difference: this president was th…

the foxconn con

if you're an apple products user, you were probably as disappointed as i was to hear the horror stories about conditions in their chinese factories run by foxconn. tales of work days lasting twelve hours or more, exposure to poisonous chemicals and shockingly high suicide rates among employees [including, most recently a large group who threatened to commit suicide en masse if working conditions were not improved].

i'm somewhat mollified to hear that apple, a company known for its high standards, has initiated a review by the fair labour association and that, going forward, it will make its reports public. as a longtime customer, i'm disappointed that it took a public embarrassment to set this chain of events in motion. as a human being, i'm uncomfortable because i know that i've [unwittingly] enabled this sort of travesty as a consumer. as a person who has worked on many occasions with suppliers from china, i'm cynical, because i know that all the public refo…

"micro" mental health mondays

it really does seem that things are conspiring to give me stuff to talk about on mondays with regards to mental health.

in this case, it's the follow-up on the death of whitney houston and the rumours about what might have caused it. first off, kudos to the l.a. coroner's office for basically telling the media to cool their jets, because the death is going to be investigated when and how the coroner deems fit. blood toxicology takes weeks to complete and no amount of media pressure for information is going to speed that process up.

it has been reported that houston had prescription medications in her room, although medical professionals have told reporters that that's hardly cause for alarm. most people have a few prescriptions in their house and take them along when they travel. that gets no argument from me, however i was sort of curious at the specific medications that were listed: lorazepam, valium and xanax.

what jumped out at me there was that those are all benzodiaz…

making faces :: gentleman's choice

ah yes, we are fast approaching that day when we we're supposed to feel an almost unbearable pressure to come up with the perfect couple night- a romantic pastiche of candlelight and flowers and rich chocolates fed to each other between sips of champagne through the heady steam of a hot tub, the promise of passion lingering in the air like an exotic incense.

yeah, right.

most people i know are just getting over the psychological trauma caused by having to act out the perfect family christmas. surely we deserve more than a few weeks' respite before we have another holiday that makes us feel we have something to live up to? it's not like other holidays carry these sort of expectations. we have ten whole months when the calendar isn't making us feel inadequate.

besides, most couples i know have been together long enough that they're able to enjoy a casual sense of romance together pretty much throughout the year, without feeling the need to prove it.

alternately, havi…

rough ride [movie review :: drive]

when i first saw the trailer for "drive" and heard that the man at its helm, dane nicholas winding refn, had been honoured at cannes with both a standing ovation and an award for best director, my first thought was "really?" because to me, the trailer looked like it could have been made for any slick action-noir, something made to draw in the slightly edgier summer blockbuster audience, but hardly the sort of thing that would wow critics. according to dom, however, who's much more plugged in to the goings-on of the film industry, the word was that "drive" was really something special, something potentially revolutionary that would mark cinema for years to come. i have to admit that, although i usually take what he says very seriously, i was still kind of skeptical. i finally convinced myself that it must simply have been the victim of a highly unimaginative trailer and that i was getting the wrong message.

as soon as the film starts, it's difficul…