29 August 2012

making faces :: class is always in fashion with coco

ah, the allure of the chanel woman. it's not merely about beauty- although that always helps- but about the combination of elegance and independence that has become associated with the fashion house's larger-than-life founder. filtered through the marketing hive mind for fall 2012, that equates to a cosmetic collection that is seasonally appropriate without the sultry drama of a lot of autumnal offerings. cool and muted, it might almost seem a little too soft, if it weren't guided by the deft hand of chanel.

the fall collection has been out since roughly january in the united states as far as i can tell. chanel are probably the earliest to market of anyone, which may mean that they capture some early sales, but it also means that by the time the season rolls around, the offering can seem a bit like old news. fortunately in canada, they seem to have some level of respect for the seasons, so we've only started to see autumn 2012 in the last few weeks.

there's a nice sampling of products- a half dozen individual eye shadows plus a new quad, all of which become part of the permanent assortment [a couple of them already were], new lipsticks and glosses in a variety of formulas, some of which will become permanent, a new permanent blush, a limited edition highlighter and, of course, three new [and, i believe permanent] nail polishes. i'd say the colour palette leans a little cool, but mostly it's just very refined and ladylike, very daytime and office appropriate.

the problem for me was figuring out how to stretch my budget to get what i want [which i still didn't, since my counter was sold out of the beautiful "rose initiale" blush] and not end up on the street with a sign.
will be fabulous for food
i opted to start out by trying one of the new single shadows, because the formula on the new shades seems different than the other chanel shades i have. i picked out soft neutral-peach "complice", although i was also tempted by lemon chiffon "eclaire" and blue-grey "furtif". i figured that if it was new, i should try one out rather than going bananas and buying as many as i could fit in my purse. that's really as responsible as i'm capable of being when chanel is involved.

28 August 2012

making faces :: ellis faas' pens are mighty pretty, period.


UPDATED!! 

i'm happy to report that i got a very nice message from ellis faas cosmetics, offering to replace my fallen soldier and- more exciting- indicating that they are working on perfecting their pens and making them better than ever. so with that renewed sense of confidence... i'm ready to explore the world of ellis. 

there's something undeniable sexy about ellis faas distinctive silver pen applicators. they're so ultra-modern looking, so slim and tapered and elegant. despite the fact that they're in a price range that would make even a guerlain connoisseur blush, they just call to you, particularly if you're a beauty "maven" who's seen everything in a tube or pan and longs for something a little different, a reinvention of the colour wheel. 
i'm lucky, in that the spiffy new sephora location in downtown montreal is one of the only ones to actually carry ellis faas products. the collection is available through sephora on line everywhere, but there really is nothing like being able to try out the products in person. but for those of you who can't, i'm here for you. 

the brand was developed by danish model ellis faas and supposedly takes its inspiration from the palette of the human body. either there are some pretty scary bodies in denmark, or that inspiration is interpreted broadly. what i will say is that the colours do have a tendency towards warmer tones. there are a few cool shades [particularly some of the creamy eye shades introduced this past spring, which unfortunately haven't been added to the sephora assortment], they're the exception rather than the rule. 

almost everything is a cream product housed in its own little dispenser pen with a plastic fibre brush applicator. the applicators are small and are better, i find, for applying lip products than eye products; they don't tend to smooth the eye products evenly. they're decent enough for initial application, though. 
because of the price points, the fairly narrow shade range and the quirky applicators, i'd classify this as a cosmetic lovers' brand. it might appeal to someone who likes to buy occasionally, but i think it's aimed chiefly at those who might have become a bit jaded. and, yes, despite the preponderance of  pretty, i do sometimes feel jaded. so i couldn't resist checking out a couple of these products when i found them displayed so nicely. 

ellis' eye and lip colours come in three formulas each. for lips you have glazed [a sheer but pigmented gloss formula], milky [a semi-opaque liquid lipstick] and creamy [opaque near-matte liquid lipstick]. the eye shadows come in milky [semi-sheer], creamy [opaque and satin-matte] and lights [intensely frosted and sparkling]. the products are identified by a letter, indicating what they're for ["e" for eyes, etc.] and a number, the first digit of which indicates the family it belongs to and the final two of which indicate the colour [l101 would be creamy lipstick colour 01, l204 would be milky lipstick 04, etc.]. there are very basic colour descriptions given, but things mostly seem to work through the numbers, another indication that there's something more "professional" about the products. 

for my foray into faas, i chose l202, milky lips in a shade described as "dark blood" and e303, eye light in "bronze". both are on the intense end of the spectrum. none of the eye lights are what i'd call particularly natural, but the lipstick is certainly one of the darkest and most intense they have. 

the commuter's lament

ok, this is probably going to generate some hate mail, but i can almost guarantee that anyone who has ever had to rely on public transit will smile just a little.


so go ahead and judge me.

25 August 2012

forget-me-not

there are times when you should probably wake up
as some of you may have noticed, i have a fascination for dreams. sometimes, i record my dreams here, other times, i just record them and keep them for myself, because i know that explaining them directly would kind of ruin them. a lot of the time, i forget to write them down because i'm sure they'll stick with me, even though i know that my memory isn't as good as i believe it is. further complicating things is that i take certain medication that actually makes it much more difficult for me to remember my dreams, which is a serious bummer, because i like to take inspiration from my dreams for what i write. cut me off from that and i'm really not that creative at all.

but last night really takes the cake. i was having a dream that featured a lot of characters from "dexter". that's not in the least surprising, because dom and i have been watching previous seasons before we dive into the newly-released season 6. it's actually surprising that i haven't had more dexter-dreams lately. the thing is, this one wasn't particularly dark or violent, but more of a mystery that i was able to crack and damn, it felt really cool when i was able to put all the pieces together.

it felt cool enough that a part of my uber-brain stepped in and spoke to my frolicking mid-brain.

uber-brain :: uh, i know you're having fun and all, but this is kind of an interesting mystery and the solution you just came up with was very clever so, you know, you might want to take some notes.

mid-brain :: totally! this would make an awesome story! don't worry! i remember everything. hang on, i'm just going to dream it again so that i'm sure i have it.

uber-brain :: uh, yeah, it's sort of interesting that you can tivo the dreams, but seriously, i think that we should wake the body up and make her physically write some of this stuff down, because, no offence, you get distracted when the rest of the dream happens.

mid-brain :: sometimes, sure- although, i must say that's kinda cold- but if we wake her up, she's going to be all confused and write things down wrong. you remember the last time we did that? she wrote down the words "asteroid molestation" and we're all still trying to figure out that shit. just leave it to me. i know this is interesting and i'll remember it. i'm totally focused dude, you have no worries.

uber-brain :: ok, i get that, and yes, the "asteroid molestation" incident was sort of a disaster, but if we can get her awake enough to write phrases, she can be pretty good. and this is some detailed business to remember...

mid-brain :: dude, you need to chill out... relax... you're supposed to be asleep, ok? i have this one, i will make sure she knows so that she can write it down and put in in one of her stupid blog posts, or write it on a tissue by accident or whatever. but seriously, if you thought that was great, you should see the sequel?

uber-brain :: i'm kind of disturbed at the idea that we're actually dreaming in sequels.

mid-brain :: you will be totally convinced when you see this. it's got anderson cooper playing a rookie police officer.

uber-brain :: ok, anderson is good.

mid-brain :: check this out...

of course, my mid-brain turned out to be every bit as scattered as my uber-brain feared and now, while i have some of the details of my dream-mystery, they're really not that helpful, because i'm missing all the bits that made it so taut and tense in my dream. i can, however, remember the bit where we accidentally opened a box infested with a lot of black squirrels. that's the sort of thing that stays with you.

so what i've determined, after careful reflection is that the people who live in my head are kind of assholes who expect me to do all that heavy lifting. also, if you are in any way inclined to take writing inspiration from your dreams, train yourself to wake up at crucial points and write stuff down. even if all you end up with is the rather disturbing term "asteroid molestation", it's better than forgetting something that seemed really epic.

24 August 2012

friday favourites 24.08.12

image of the week
i woke up with a cough this morning. this isn't a completely unheard of thing, since i have a mild form of asthma, but this one sounded worse than usual. i woke dom up with my horrific noises, which i don't feel bad about since he couldn't sleep last night and woke me up watching some sort of kung fu zombie cannibal thing, because that's his way of dealing with insomnia. [i draw cartoons.]

he made the appropriate sort of sympathetic sounds, although i can't really say they took the form of words, so he might have been telling me to get bent for all i know. in fact, the very first thing i'm absolutely certain he said was "you know there's a whooping cough epidemic in quebec right now?"

well no, sunshine, i didn't know that, but thanks for sharing that tidbit that is now going to ruin the day of everyone i know, because every time anyone asks me if i have a cold or allergies, i'm going to respond by telling them that there's a whooping cough epidemic, since that's all i'll be capable of thinking about.

so right now in the montreal area, there are women who are probably refusing to kiss their children goodnight because they think some broad at the office hacked her whooping cough all over them. in no way is any of this my fault, you understand.

i'm sincerely hoping that i don't get sick over the weekend, because i have stuff i have to get done and if i'm sick, it's going to make that stuff really unpleasant.

before i got the whooping cough [you did not get the whooping cough! -ed.], the week was actually... kinda busy. i feel like i didn't have a lot of time for "me" stuff, which has perhaps left me a little edgy and a little bit more prone to thinking that i have some horrible contagious disease. but here are a few things that made it better...

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

there is a national hobo convention. now i know what i'm doing on vacation next summer. [irony points: i saw this article the day after watching the episode of "storage wars" that talks about tramp art.]

you mean you've never gotten caught half-naked in a lab drunk and liberating monkeys?

apparently giving up cannibalism carries a danger of massive weight gain.

anatomically correct macaron innards. because someone associated with this blog has a birthday coming up in about a month...

goings on :: things you can [and should] participate in

if you're in montreal... it's the mini maker faire! what can i say? lots of terribly, nerdily cool stuff under one roof. unfortunately, the roof is that of the olympic stadium, so it might collapse, but someone will probably manage to figure out how to rebuild it with napkins and sporks or something. twelves bones gets you admission saturday and sunday. children under 10 are free. [meaning they get in free, not that they're being given away... although it's possible.]

if you're in quebec... advance polls for the provincial election are this weekend. you can find out where to vote by visiting the mon vote web site. you should also take a moment to check out their harrowing, david fincher-esque ad campaign. vote or kevin spacey will deliver your head in a box to your loved ones.

musical notes

this is becoming impressively frequent, but here's another video that dom did to accompany a piece by navicon torture technologies. i hate to pick favourites, but if i did, this might be it...



follow-up and shameless self-promotion

this might actually qualify as self-demotion, but i just wanted to let you know that the caustic lounge this month will actually not be happening until later in september. we're switching nights in september with the multi-talented dj tyg, and it's all my fault. a business trip will actually be taking me out of the country for the first week in september, so i'll not be anywhere near montreal. but we still have this week to spend together...

i did get my paws on the freshly released "under pressure" single from subliminal, which features a short poem by yours truly as the back cover artwork and a track inspired by it ["divisor"]. distributors are selling their copies now, but find it quickly, as it's strictly limited to 500 copies. enjoy!

apparently, you all find my neighbours' garbage just as interesting as i do, since the most-viewed post of the week was my little photo collection of stuff i found in the basement.

for those of you who are a little more inclined towards the cosmetical, i should have reviews of a few items from the guerlain and chanel fall collections this week.

kitteh of the week

being a parent, whether your babies are fleshy or furry, means noticing little things that make your heart flutter when you look at your kids. for instance, i've always thought it was completely adorable that not only does julia have a distinctive grey spot on her chin, but that even the skin underneath it, right up to and including her lip, is grey. observe:



thank you for reading!

22 August 2012

unentitled [poem]


this one was written around the same time as the previously posted "fountain of you", which i mention because despite the content being fairly different, i find that there's a similarity of cadence between the two. i also think that both gain something from being spoken, although if you're reading this from a mobile device in public, changes are the only thing you'll gain from speaking them out loud is weird stares. but you're welcome to try. i'd consider it an honour. and no, it's not supposed to be called "untitled". sometimes, you just need to make up a word.

Unentitled
Written in skin
Story of what
Of what happened
What didn’t happen here?
The outline of a body
Of work
A story that exists in the frame
Choked into asphalt
Unspoken of in these ears
Ever. More.
Time becomes
Becomes us all
We become weak
In its grip
Become lost under our own bodies
Become thick with history
Our old friends polished up new again
Those stale old chestnuts
Coughed up like hairballs
As if digesting them would make them
More. Palatable.
These two are dried to dust
Too familiar devils tickling at our necks.
You did not say what I’d thought
You said only
And I’d thought there was a whisper
I felt there was another act
But those performances are made the same
Am I the only one that wonders
Why the costumes are so ill-fitting?
Or why the dialogue repeats at odd
Unmusical intervals?
The finery collapses, reeking of sweat
And mould
Of bodies put to use
And lost to ashy history.
And we all say goodnight in a cloud
Hands over our faces
It gets inside us anyway 
And it should make us choke.

fun with filters

i have determined that the greatest achievement of technology is the photo app. i have a bunch and am always interested in more, because they can become addictive.

i already like taking photos and this just adds that much more fun. strangely, i haven't yet succumbed to instagram, but here are a few examples of how i've amused myself [mostly on the bus and metro] thus far.

 

20 August 2012

who throws stuff like this out?

normally, the process of taking down the garbage is only exciting in a bad way. like the time that a bag of cat litter had a leak so there was a trail of pee-soaked sand leading from the garage to our door and i had to sweep basically the entire building because i couldn't exactly claim that someone else had planted a stream of dirty cat litter to frame me. that is really as exciting as garbage day gets in this house.

except today.

because today i took down the garbage and was confronted with something so strange and glorious that i bounded back up four flights of stairs to grab my phone so that it could be committed to the ages. honestly, my first instinct was to grab it and take it back upstairs with me, but since i growl at dom every time he brings a new blu-ray into our overstuffed home, i felt like i might have a hard time justifying the necessity of a bristol board school project about a non-existent religion based on lemons and chuck norris. although really, now that i type that out, it should justify itself.

and it's not like it was even in the real trash, it was just propped up waiting for me to find it.

behold ::











go ahead, click on the pictures. make them big so that you can read every part of this.

i also hope you'll be able to read the "teacher's comments" below ::


that's right, the only bad thing about this is the fact that it's graded by a teacher who apparently believes that content is roughly equivalent to bristol board in the grand scheme of things [something to keep in mind for a future doctoral dissertation] and who likewise can't spell "appealing".

so feel free to worship the lemon in your own way. or worship something else. worship something you find in your own trash.

19 August 2012

making faces :: a soft, smoky aura with guerlain

you'd be mad not to
it occurred to me this week, as i was attaching my sticky little paws to a couple of items from guerlain's newly launched fall collection that i hadn't ever taken the time to review any of the guerlain eye shadow quads in my possession. bad blogger! bad!

because when guerlain launched their new permanent collection of four-colour palettes last fall, the world got just that little bit prettier on average. sure, there are still horrible things going on. but if you're an aesthete like me, sometimes it helps to just close your eyes and imagine the sumptuous, buttery shades of one of these magnificent little boxes. it's not going to solve the world's problems, but focusing on the pretty might help things seem a little better in the short term.

i was lucky enough to be able to pick up the "les fumes" palette from a makeup fan who had accidentally ended up with two. this is an example of a situation where fate just forces something on you because it's meant to be, even though you might otherwise be inclined to ignore it. it's like a host insisting that you eat the cheesecake, even though you're already full from dinner. sometimes you just have to accept that the host is right and that you're going to miss out if you don't eat the damn cheesecake. [unless you're lactose intolerant, in which case you should probably stick to your guns.]

cheesecake may be an appropriate metaphor, because all four of the included shades are incredibly rich, smooth and velvety. but you shouldn't eat them. you can, however, enjoy them greatly by applying them to your eyelids.

MORE PICTURES [OF EYE SHADOW, NOT CHEESECAKE] AFTER THE BREAK...

definable moment in time [a fiction serial]

continuing story continues...

"A collection of trinkets has been laid near the entrance of the café where Albert Salmon worked and today, a group of his friends gathered there to commemorate the short life of a young man filled with a passion to make the world a better place"

18 August 2012

fountain of you


There is no ‘I’ in your world
Star centre of the universe
Holding others in orbit around you
Transfixed and inclined towards your glow.

Rogue comet, me.
Ashy piece of space shrapnel
On my own course
And unable to resist your lure,
Bright sky angel

Crooked monkey men crouch down
Paint a simian mask
On your brilliant image
Adore you and worship you
As a god
A father
A familiar
Wishing themselves in you
Not I.
I spin through and out
Momentary celestial distraction
You do not see,
Rock-dead inside out
I could never impose my image
On your countenance
But would draw you slowly
Into me
Fill myself with your fire
Take everything from you
That is you
Snuff you out
Incinerate myself
And disperse that starry magic
A little for everyone who can see
Who can raise their ugly hulks
And grasp at it.

17 August 2012

friday favourites 17.08.12

image of the week
i'm retroactively declaring this week to be national irony week. i've spent much of the week feeling like i've been run over by a truck- or wishing that i would be- because despite being so exhausted that i think i've lost about 60% of my cerebral function, i've been unable to sleep. monday got things kicked off with a patented "kate migraine" that involved waking up too wobbly to move for the most part and mostly blind in one eye. that more or less set the tone for the week, which was kind of off-balance. i'm hoping that corrects itself in the week[s] to come.

there were, however, a few things that made it worth getting out of bed this week and here they are...

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

not content with losing luggage, united airlines has upped the ante by misplacing an entire child.

things that my cat arthur has in common with president lyndon johnson: 1. both large guys. 2. peeing on things they're not supposed to.

what's more gauche than hiring a white hearse? dying while delivering the guest of honour to his appointment.

baby's big book of death.

some airlines have added a fuel tax surcharge to deal with the rising price of gas. others prefer something a little more immediate.

goings on :: things you can [and should] participate in

if you're in montreal... the monthly post-punk night at the casa del popolo will be taking place tomorrow [saturday] night. mr. dna and i were guests last month, but this month we'll just be observers. jovially drunken observers...

and for you fashion-minded ladies, kollontai clothing is having their end-of-summer sale this weekend. it's a great opportunity to find deals from this local designer at phenomenal prices. there are nibblies, drinks and comfy man-chairs on premises. what more could you ask?

guess it's kind of a local type thing this week...

musical notes

it's a double shot this week! first up, another short film by my better half, dominic f. marceau, with music by theologian, called "zero"



second, it's something brand new from devo, who have thrown their support behind the "dogs against romney" campaign. the song is kind of interesting, in that it reminds me of some of the really early, quirky devo recordings and the commentary on the situation by devo founder gerald v. casale [see below] is brilliant.



Regarding Obama supposedly eating dog meat as a child: Look up "equivocation" people! Why engage in apples and oranges arguments? Even if Obama ate some dog, he didn't abuse and kill it for goddsakes! It was already dead! And, as far as Romney's claim that Seamus like being roof-racked, when is the last tim
e your dog showed joy by convulsing and shitting mounds of diarrhea down your car windows from that fun trip on the roof in the hot summer sun? Give me a (you know what) break! This not about Democrats vs Republicans or Red vs Blue and all the rest of that trumped up pseudo WWF smack down crap the media hypnotizes you with. This is just about a man with a very questionable soul. Even though our political candidate choices are about as deep as the difference between Pepsi and Coke these days, and knowing that the president is just a figurehead bought and paid for by the Plutocracy that is America in Century 21, character still matters. A president should take the same oath as doctors i.e. "Do No Harm". We make pets dependent on us. We created all the dog breeds. We are thus responsible as stewards over all species. Case closed.

- Gerald V. Casale.
follow-up and shameless self-promotion

well what do you know? my vagina is big on the internet!

ok, so it turns out there's absolutely no politically correct way to say that, but this week, it seems that many people were interested in "things i won't be doing to my vagina". of course, i also lost a bunch of followers on twitter this week, so it's possible that people are interested in and put off by my vagina in equal numbers.

dominic couldn't resist sending my this article from the guardian, which should prove unequivocally that there is absolutely nothing wrong with our vaginas. in fact, they are models of perfection.

and since we're talking about vaginas, how would you feel about taking a ride in one? that's not a euphemism. behold the vagina taxi:

find the clitoris and ride for free

courtesy of finnish artist mimosa pale.

kitteh of the week

today is apparently "black cat appreciation day", which is an awesome day to have. although i no longer have the black cat saturation in my home that i once had, we do still bow to arthur the king in this house and we salute his dark glory.

hail to the king, baby

that's all for this friday and thanks very much for reading!!! fyi, this week's "image of the week" comes from a series of incredible anatomical food structures by artist dimirtri tsykalov.

15 August 2012

three for three [movie review :: 3 by bobcat goldthwait]

if i were a better blogger, i'd probably review these individually and give each the attention it deserves, but i'm an impatient person and kind of a lazy blogger and i really want to get these done before i put it off any longer.

i'd actually intended to post a review of "world's greatest dad" months ago, but other things kept distracting me [damned things]. now that i've seen all three of bobcat's recent films,i figured that i'd better get around to writing a review before it leaves my mind forever. which things are more and more wont to do.

first, a word about the auteur, bobcat goldthwait. if you've heard of him at all, it's probably because of his wacky 80s-comedy antics, particularly in the "police academy" movies, in which case, you might be pretty surprised to find out that he's actually an incredibly smart, articulate, politically astute stand-up comedian, writer and director in real life. you could be forgiven for that, because most of what he does is so independent that it flies below the radar. his films probably wouldn't receive any attention, or even any distribution, if he weren't connected with a number of more connected hollywood types who recognise the originality and smarts of his work. [to get a peek at his mindset, i do recommend checking out the csi episode in which he guest starred, more or less as himself.]

"sleeping dogs lie" :: apparently this was made for a real shoestring budget, by a crew recruited largely from craigslist [including a 21 year old cinematographer who fibbed about his age in order to seem more experienced], shooting without permits and occasionally without permission from the owners of the premises, with a cast of complete unknowns. this is definitely a project after my own heart.

within the first two minutes of the film, we find out that the heroine- smart, beautiful, funny amy- had a fleeting youthful experience with bestiality. we even sort of get to see the incident, although it's really more a matter of clever editing and extremely dry, direct narration. with goldthwait's movies, you learn very quickly to brace yourself from the get-go, because he usually likes to hit the audience with the most shocking part of the film with as little build-up as possible. a crash helmet is advisable for more sensitive viewers.

amy's flat, factual description of what happened is almost clinical. yes, she did something shocking and unacceptable. she makes no excuses, although she clearly knows what she did was very wrong. by presenting it this way, though, it drives home the real point: the film isn't about what happened, but about how to deal with it in a world that equates personal intimacy with total honesty. after that initial bomb, there is no attempt to shock, offend or sicken. it's a very human, personal story about the dangers and consequences of honesty.

it's a clever script, a lot more clever than the words "film about bestiality" would lead you to believe. what's the most remarkable though, are the performances. it's a tricky story that has no villain. none of the characters are bad people, they're just hamstrung by their various internal conflicts. that is most true of melinda page hamilton who makes amy almost unbelievably loveable, despite her youthful, erm, dalliance. even at points where the script lags a little, her undeniable charm keeps you interested because, despite everything, you want her to do well.

you probably won't believe me when i say that this would make an incredible date movie. but you should.

"world's greatest dad" :: quite possibly the antidote to every ham-handed family movie you've ever had forced down your dysfunctionally raised gullet. robin williams plays the titular father, a frustrated writer working as a high school teacher, trying to pursue his lost dream and a relationship with a vacillating fellow teacher while raising the child from hell. damian has nothing on this kid, because this kid is a contemporary american teenager, one who apparently spawned from the dna of the antichrist [the wife and mother is never mentioned, although clearly she had the sense to get the hell out of dodge].

williams is an inspired casting choice [he and goldthwait are good friends], all repressed anger and energy and blighted hopes. his characteristic lunacy is muzzled so tightly it even seems to affect his posture- a dam buckling little by little.

the child from hell dies in an unsavoury accident, which williams frames to look like a suicide, complete with a highly uncharacteristic suicide note that is leaked to classmates, the community and the country. the letter- read only in heavily pretentious excerpts- becomes a phenomenon, inadvertently gaining williams' writing widespread attention and bringing him fame as the grieving father of the note's supposed author.

in the absence of the monstrous child, it becomes obvious that almost everyone in the father's world is pretty contemptible, which is why it's hard to dislike him, even when he's betraying their trust. indeed, the question hovers until the last possible second as to what path the writer [of the film] is going to take forward.

"god bless america" :: just your average terminally ill middle aged man meets precocious teen and they go on a shooting rampage movie?

bobcat has never made a secret of his political leanings, but neither has be made them into a film before, but this, more than his previous films, seems to come very close to him addressing the audience directly. his voice is filtered through frank [joel murray], a hapless everyman gradually having the last few shreds of his life set on fire and thrown in his face.

assaulted on all sides by a culture that values stupidity and vulgarity and that elevates the stupidest and crassest to the level of demigods, our hero decides to spend his last days making the earth better by removing a few of these celebrities from it. he is accompanied by roxy [tara lynn barr], a high school outcast who connects with his fury, despite the differences in their age. although she clearly has some talent, it's the introduction of her character that the film becomes problematic for me.

possibly, it's the fact that she is so uncannily similar to the character played by ellen page in "super" [released the year before, although i've no idea which was filmed first] and that barr's speech and mannerisms are themselves patterned so closely on page that you wondered if the part hadn't been offered to her first. barr is good, but the likeness is pronounced enough to become distracting, particularly when the script has her decrying the work of diablo cody for the way the "juno" scribe portrays young women.

murray, on the other hand, is phenomenal. you feel his weariness and hopelessness with every breath and, yes, for anyone who's ever cringed when they've heard those around them discussing "american idol" or "jersey shore" or any of the horrors perpetrated on popular culture, it's hard not to sympathise with the urge to pick up a gun and start taking out the trash.

this is undoubtedly goldthwait's weightiest film and probably his least successful, although saying that, i'm reminded of a line i once used about how some artists' albums of outtakes are better than the careers of a lot of others. any director should be happy to have a low point of this caliber.

i do hope that more people see these films, but i stop short of wishing that goldthwait becomes very commercially successful with them. because the strength of his work is clearly grounded in the fact that he's been able to make whatever movies he wants, exactly how he wants. directors under the thumb of a major studio [with major expectations in line with their major investments] are far more restricted, because what they produce needs to be palatable to enough people to bring a healthy financial return. with story lines about bestiality, teen suicide and blowing away celebutards, i don't see that happening.

long may he prosper in the darkly humourous corners he's staked out.

13 August 2012

things i won't be doing to my vagina

i was originally going to title this post "stop the madness", but that is such a ridiculously non-specific phrase in our times that i felt the need to explain a little more exactly what madness needed to be stopped.

obviously, since i write a lot about cosmetics and skin care and have comments about aesthetics in general a fair amount, i care about appearances. i don't consider that an especially vain thing, either, because i happen to think that taking pride in your appearance and appreciating things you find beautiful are underrated. there's a whole argument to be made that they're devalued precisely because they are perceived as feminine, but i'm not really in a position to make that philosophical argument, mostly because the position that i'm in is curled up against a wall growling and hissing at anything that i think might be coming close to my lady bits.

why, you might ask? because people are encouraging me to do weird shit to my vagina.

i was kind of shocked when i found out that there was a trend towards "vaginal rejuvenation surgery", which combines the dual horrors of "vaginoplasty" [tightening of the vagina] and "labiaplasty" [reduction and beautification of the labia]. i guess i shouldn't be. women have been conditioned to feel shame about every single part of their body, but since time immemorial, men have really borne the burden of genital shaming. it was really only a matter of time.

decades ago, discussions on the imperfections of a woman's labia wouldn't have happened because for the most part, we had stuff known as pubic hair. now, of course, women are shamed into shaving or waxing away everything so that they look perfectly prepubescent and presentable for a perspective partner. i imagine that once my generation has died out, it'll only be a short time until scientist uncover a stash of 80s t & a films on betamax and assume that the women in them represent some sort of missing link between modern man and the neanderthals.

once that bridge had been crossed, everything was sort of laid out there like a deli counter offering, allowing us all to wonder whether our cunt-tours were taut enough to tempt. i'll admit, it's not something i ever really thought about. i had one ex who once commented to me offhandedly on the size of his ex's labia and i figured that he was observant and weird. never in my life did it occur to me that i should be concerned that they were the wrong shape, or that they were oversized, or that they needed to work out a little more.


i'm sure there are women who need this sort of surgery. if my labia were constantly bunching up when i put on my tights or causing a tripping hazard or getting slammed in car doors, i'd probably consider it. but in the absence of any of those conditions, i'm not letting anyone with a scalpel anywhere near my labia unless they promise they can make them look like batwings or those paper snowflakes you used to make in elementary school. even then, i'd want to know that the doctor had been able to make some pretty kick-ass snowflakes in his day.

vaginoplasty, of course, is linked to the fear that somehow our vaginas are not going to be snug enough to pleasure our male partners, particularly if we've had children. the idea is apparently to get you back to how you felt the very first time you had sex. because don't all of us think of the very first time as the apex of our sexual experience?

it seems that now, certain companies are offering a more simple alternative to expensive surgery with a topical gel called "18 again". behold their indian marketing campaign:



am i the only one who foresees this stuff getting applied too thickly and resulting in a lot of emergency ward visits for the pornographic equivalent of a chinese finger trap?

ladies, if you're ever with anyone who even hints that you might want to look into one of these options, i would suggest one of the following responses:

1. yeah, i was thinking that i can't really feel anything when you're in there, so if you can't get any bigger, i might as well get smaller. i'll look into it.

2. sorry, my ex was huge and he kind of stretched me out. i'm sure it'll tighten up to your size in a little bit.

3. uh-huh. i sort of figured that most of your previous sexual partners had been pretty inexperienced.

but the cavalcade of horrors doesn't even stop there. because apparently now, a woman is supposed to worry about whether or not her privates are too dark. too dark? what the hell colour are they supposed to be? are they supposed to glow under black light?

once again, this seems to be directed largely at women of colour, sort of like whitening creams for the complexion are marketed almost exclusively in asia. to be honest, i like the idea of having a lightening cream for my face, because i find that a summer tan makes me look dirty rather than healthy and because i'd like to be able to wear the same shade of foundation throughout the year. i am not, however, interested in a product that lightens my labia, because it's not a place where i'm likely to get sunburnt.

i suppose that because i'm caucasian, the logic is that i shouldn't be worried about whether my vagina is too dark, but whether or not my skin has that fresh, youthful pink glow. and, of course, i'm talking here about the skin on my labia. since benefit's multi-purpose "posie tint" isn't approved for labial use, i'm lucky that there is a product available to give that romantic flush to my clam sandwich, just to heighten the mood that little bit. no word on whether it's kiss-proof.

one of the reasons that it doesn't occur to me to worry about any of this stuff is because the heterosexual men i know are so thrilled if they even get to see labia that they're not that particular about the details. they are labia and they are good.

furthermore, unless you've given birth to twins within the hour, the muscles in your vagina are probably more than satisfactory for the average man. and there is no reason they shouldn't be.

so please, stop the madness. in fact, stop all the sorts of madness you can find, because there are so many things in the world that need to be fixed. your vagina isn't one of them.

12 August 2012

a definable moment in time [a fiction serial] part 114

Alone afloat her giant, tufted bed, Adela lights herself a cigarette and wonders about that and about the woman who’d answered the phone in his hotel room. Had he been playing around the whole time? Had there always been some unbearably sexy thing with a taunting, weary voice hovering on the side?

more like space: a definable moment in time [a fiction serial] cont...:

11 August 2012

making faces :: inspired by david lynch

i remember the first time i saw "blue velvet". it was one of those experiences that stays with you, particularly in my case since it was an introduction to the world of david lynch. i was left altered, like i'd passed through an invisible barrier and couldn't go back and ever since, i've been fascinated with the world of films that simply bear the term "lynchian", now a catch-all for pictures that use the eerie, the unexpected, the bizarre and the disturbing. i got obsessed with "twin peaks", rushed to the theatre to see "wild at heart" [despite the fact that i have never liked either nicholas cage or laura dern] and have even put myself through some of his directorial low points, because, even when he's off, there's usually something, a picture, an image, a look he gets from one of his actors, that will inspire me.

when i originally saw "mulholland drive", i was at a point where i'd grown a little disenchanted. like a lot of people, i'd been infuriated by what happened in the second season of "twin peaks" and just how awful it got. [in retrospect, probably not his fault, but the result of a lot of network types interfering.] unlike a lot of people, i really hadn't enjoyed "lost highway", which was phenomenally tense and creepy for the first half and then played like a bad mtv sequence for the last half. but when "mulholland drive" came out, i knew it was still david lynch and i knew i wanted to see it.

friday favourites 10.08.12

image of the week
i got a different sort of assignment today at work, to go and be a photographer at an event for which we were a sponsor. it was a charity bike ride for cancer research, it's something that the company apparently does every year. it wasn't a challenging assignment. i just had to go there and take pictures of what was going on as the cyclists arrived and the organisers gave speeches and presented a big cheque. the most challenging aspect of the whole event was actually that it was outside and they were forecasting rain for the day.

since i knew i didn't want to be wrangling both a camera and an umbrella, i had the clever idea to don a jaunty cap to keep water off my head and out of my eyes. like so:

mon joli chapeau

i knew it wouldn't help in the event of a downpour, but it would certainly offer some protection against intermittent showers.

and when i got there, i noticed that several people seemed to have had the same idea. i mean, what further proof is needed that it was a good idea than its general acceptance by unrelated strangers, right? except it wasn't right, because what occurred to me after a few minutes was that the people there who were wearing hats were not doing so to keep the rain off their head, but because they were cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who had lost their hair.

so instead of looking like a clever photographer, i looked like some douchebag with a camera who was making fun of cancer patients. way to go.

also, when i texted dom to tell him about this, my autotext kept trying to turn the word "hats" into "hate", which should tell you something about the kind of things i usually text and what a sympathetic individual i am when i'm not inadvertently mocking cancer patients.

that's why i think it's really much better if i interact with people through the veil of the internet. because knowing me in real life can be really, painfully awkward.

so, when i wasn't offending people and embarrassing my employers, here are a few of the things i was enjoying in the last week...

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

if your religious leader insists that you live in an 8-storey underground "ant hill" and never go outside, maybe you should look into some other spiritual options.

there are so many fascinating and terrible science fiction and fantasy movies that get released. you should see the list of ones that don't...

if you're going to sell contraband, try to remain inconspicuous. for instance, don't sell pot from your unicycle in the centre of town.

you know gun violence is getting bad when even the serial killers feel compelled to speak out.

goings on :: stuff you can [and should] participate in

if you're in the northern hemisphere... look up, look waaaaaayyy up and enjoy the perseid meteor shower, playing morning shows from now until august 13th. here's a convenient guide to getting the most out of nature's display.

if you're in toronto... what could be more fun than watching people play "street fighter" in real life? complete with flamethrowers. it goes down tomorrow night at the very southern tip of bathurst street. information available here. you'll also be able to see them at burning man [appropriately enough] in the near future.

if you're in canada... and close to a holt renfrew location, they're having their annual "beauty blowout" weekend [my name, not theirs], which is when almost all of the beauty counters introduce their fall collections, offer makeovers, give you gifts with purchase and other crazy stuff. it's a beauty lover's paradise, as long as you don't mind occasionally elbowing a few uptight suburban housewives out of the way. i don't.

musical notes

in light of the fact that we landed a flying saucer on mars, i thought something appropriately space-like was in order. here's a little something from bad sector, a band who always make me think of the vastness of the universe. someone made this video set to time lapse footage of earth taken from the international space station.



follow-up and shameless self-promotion

just as a follow-up to my note above on the holt renfrew beauty event, you can find information about various fall collections in this post. and you can read my review of the excellent nars fall collection here.

for those of you who might have noticed that there hasn't been a more like space radio show posted in a while, fear not, there is a new one in the works, i just figured i'd get it together on my own time. stayed tuned.

this week's image of the week is, of course, from nasa's flickr stream and is a shot of the earth taken from the surface of mars. part of me knows that the money that went into this could be put to really good use on our planet, but most of me gets drawn in by the fact that running an exploratory robot over the surface of another planet is just so damn cool...

kitteh of the week

the first night we had simon, dom observed breathlessly "he looks like a god". and while that may be augmented when he stands above you, it's pretty true. i can definitely see people worshiping him. other than us, i mean.


that's all for this week. thanks for reading!

09 August 2012

making faces :: le metier de beaute's precious jade

i have a love-hate relationship with courier companies. i love how they can sometimes bend time and get things to the opposite side of the globe for me so that they arrive a couple of hours before they were sent. i love how you fill out a form and then you can watch your package move around the world through their web tracking service. i especially love fed ex, because their air shipment reports are real time. so when i sign for a package and the driver logs the signature, i usually have an email telling me that my package was delivered by the time i get back to my desk. i'm aware of how nerdy it is to get a kick out of that and i'm ok with it.

but i hate courier companies when something goes wrong. because when something goes wrong, you realise that courier companies are like autistic patients with a very specific set of skills. they can do their work with a skill and efficiency few could muster, but put one bump in the road [possibly literally] and it's like you threw them in the middle of the australian desert and told them they had ten minutes to find the beach. all of a sudden nothing works at all and all they can do is tell you how it's supposed to be working. thinking through a problem to find a solution is just not going to happen, because that's not part of the process.

jade- natural light
i'm not going to get into the details of the issues i had getting my last zuneta package delivered from dhl, because the fact is that i've had the same issues with ups [frequently] and fed ex [very occasionally] and the only thing that made this worse was that the customer service was exceptionally poor and rude. i tried complaining, but to no avail. and when my package was finally delivered, the lovely le metier de beaute eye shadow in "jade" that i'd ordered was smashed. personally, i think they did it on purpose to get back at me for trying to make them think too hard. but it's just a theory.

zuneta, of course, are awesome and offered to ship me a new shadow right away. unfortunately, "jade" had gone out of stock in the meantime, but they sent me a new colour of my choosing ["fire lily" in case you're interested.]

THERE IS A HAPPY ENDING...

ask a coffee expert

people often ask me "how much coffee is too much?" sometimes, i growl and punch them, because i clearly haven't had enough coffee. when i have had enough coffee, i tell them that the answer is complicated, because how much coffee is enough varies greatly from person to person. the best way to determine whether or not you have had too much coffee or just enough is to ask yourself a few key questions:

1. have you had coffee today?
yes. proceed to question #2
no. have coffee.

2. a. does your head hurt?
yes. proceed to question 2b.
no. proceed to question 3.

2.b.possible reasons for headache
- caffeine deprived. have coffee.
- hungover. have coffee. if badly hungover, add plenty of milk. try not to wallow in regret and shame all day.
- lack of sleep. have coffee. you'll need it to get through your day.
- unknown. you might think better if you poured yourself a nice cup of coffee.

3.a. are you drinking coffee right now?
yes. proceed to question 3b.
no. proceed to question 3c.

3.b. how do you feel?
- upbeat and awake. you're doing it right! you're also probably irritating people. hold steady until your energy starts to ebb. then drink more coffee.
- cynical and embittered. continuing to drink coffee is probably the best look for you. also try taking up smoking and affecting a parisian accent.
- shaky and sick to your stomach. you probably need to eat something. enjoy a muffin or other tasty baked good with your coffee.
- irritated that the people in your head will not speak clearly and keep ringing their bells close to your eardrums. it's possible your needs have progressed beyond coffee. consider going to an emergency ward. have a coffee in the waiting room.

3.c. why not?
- already had coffee today. look, are you going to take this seriously or not? lightweight.
- no coffee available. switch locations immediately. move to another city if necessary.
- feel shaky and sick to your stomach. see 3b above.
- getting irritated that the people in your head will not speak clearly and keep ringing their bells close to your eardrums. see 3b above.

4. if you feel a dampness on your chest or shoulder
- your travel mug is leaking. you're wasting coffee! replace mug and get more coffee right away. sue manufacturer.
- you are crying. caffeine is a stimulant and will help overcome feelings of depression. have a cup of coffee, you poor thing.
- you are asleep and drooling on yourself. you need coffee!

5. have you consumed a lethal dose of caffeine for your body weight today?
yes. maybe you don't need to have coffee right now. if you can control the shaking, consider calling 911.
no.  it's a great day to be you! have coffee!

celebration time!
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