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a happy new year ramble

i just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone once again for stopping by this space during the last twelve months. it's been a real journey. last year at this time, we were in the final days of the first big contest of "the republicans" the iowa caucus. now i'm realising that i totally forgot to ask santa to bring me one of those santorum sweater-vests. woe is me.

last year, at this time, i'd already started doing reviews of the state of things in the past year, which means that 2013 isn't even twenty-four hours old and i'm already behind schedule. luckily for me, you guys are real sweet about not minding that i'm lax at just about everything when it comes to this blog.

i'm thrilled that 2012 was our busiest ever here, with december being the busiest individual month we've ever seen. i hope to earn your return visits... if you're a regular, you will have realised that this isn't a "normal" blog, in that it's never been linked to a particular theme- it was always just a space for me to articulate ideas about different things that i like at any given time and the content still reflects that. cats and cosmetics, politics and music play lists, plus a lot of random glances inside my head that no one should have to go through.

this is the part where you're welcome to make any suggestions, by the way.

of course, because nothing in this life is predictable, not even having a once-monthly event going for almost two years, it turns out that le cagibi is actually closed for a few days over the holidays, so the caustic lounge, which was scheduled for tomorrow night, will not be happening. sorry about that.

you mean i bought a new hat for nothing???
we should have news shortly about whether we'll be rescheduling or if we'll miss january entirely.

for some reason, this does not seem like the most auspicious start to a year ever.

but don't worry, we will be together again, possibly in electric dreams, but more than likely in le cagibi. until then, i wish that your year starts great and keeps on going from there. we here at more like space will be here to bring you more of the same and more of the different in 2013. [and when i say "we", i'm not talking about the voices in my head, although they certainly have a say, since my brain functions as a kind of participatory democracy at the best of times. what i mean is that, while i might do all the writing here, i rely constantly on those close to me to keep me supplied with fresh ideas through stimulating conversations, or simply sending me links that only i could be interested in. dom frequently serves as a sounding board for ideas and occasionally as a graphic artist for this blog, so he's really a collaborator on the end result to a greater extent than you might realise. and of course, my wonderful fur-babies are a continuously bringing me joy, but also inspiring me with their relentless curiosity. you could learn a lot from your cats.]

now i'm just going on for no reason.

we've made it around the sun again and a new year is under way [unless you're in china, in which case you have to wait a few weeks, although really, you get two new year's celebrations, which is pretty awesome- way to go national planners with that one!]. i look forward to moving around in astro-circles with you again over the next twelve months.

[the image, of course, comes from the official grumpy cat homepage, where you can find many wonderful photos of tardar sauce and her brother pokey. truly one of the great things of 2012.]

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

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i don't even know what to say about the weather. the end of september saw temperatures at a scalding 36c/ 97f outside. this is especially annoying because we've had a moderate summer. most days it rained a little in the morning, the temperatures didn't creep into the 30s too often and there wasn't the normal stretch of a few weeks when it felt like we were living on the sun. now, we've receded into more normal fall weather, although it's still on the warm side for mid-october. that climate change thing is a bitch.

trying to think of something positive in the situation, it does put me in a perfect frame of mind to write about urban decay's naked heat palette. it's the latest in what appears to be an endless series of warm neutral and red eyeshadow palettes that have followed in the footsteps of anastasia's modern renaissance. [which i ultimately decided i didn't need after doing a thorough search of my considerable stash.] i do think that it'…

the portuguese referendum

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but there could have been.

back in the fifteenth century, spain was... nonexistent. the iberian peninsula was divided into several states, each of which considered themselves independent of all the others. you had portugal on the atlantic side. in the centre was the kingdom of castile [which had previously been castile and léon]. in the northeast you had the basque kingdom of navarre [home to one of the many branches of my family tree]. in the south-southwest, you had the muslim caliphate that had once held sway over much of the modern-day spanish territory, but…