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Showing posts from February, 2013

we have our share of stupid

yes, i like to make fun of the country to the south and their government. i feel entitled. i've had to put up with years of crappy economy because our major trading partner thought it would be a great idea to start some new wars in the middle east. [although as someone who does an increasing amount of shopping on line, i do kind of like the whole collapse of the currency thing took our dollar from around $0.62usd to being on par for the last few years and the foreseeable future.] but despite the comedy gold that is routinely offered by politicians below the 49th parallel, i am occasionally reminded that my view of their shenanigans is afforded by the immense glass house that i inhabit and that i probably shouldn't go pelting rocks in their general direction.

witness the current media uproar over comments by tom flanagan about viewing child pornography.

tom flanagan was a senior advisor to our prime minister for many years. it's important to understand that, because a lot …

the hero dies in the beginning

this was an idea that i had a while back, where i wondered if i could come up with a way to tell a story without going into flashback if i killed off the hero[ine] in the first few pages. the short answer is: no, i can't. the other short answer is: i forgot to really try. but i did write down the first part, my attempt at a sort of noir-ish tone from the perspective of a kid [although with a very adult voice] who think's s/he's stumbled onto a mystery. i found it while on a search of my files and discovered a bit of a mystery myself.

the file is titled "exquisite corpse", which would imply that it was something i intended to write in conjunction with someone else. that's not impossible by any means, seeing as this is an experiment i've tried with different people over the years, but what is mysterious is that none of it seems to have been written by another person. in fact, almost all of it is lifted directly from parts of my life: there was a game of play…

the banality of the responses to seth macfarlane and the 2013 oscars

let's be clear: i love the atlantic. i read it on line regularly, i follow a number of their contributors and editorial staff on twitter because i value their insights. i have it in my list of permanent links on the side of this blog. but, like everyone, they occasionally just get things wrong. like their commentary on seth macfarlane's job hosting the oscars last night, which alternates between backhanded compliments [he wasn't the worst host ever] and outright castigation for racism, sexism and homophobia. every letter in that article seems to lead inexorably from the previous to one conclusion: the staff are too blinded by their political convictions to  see what was actually going on.

here's their summary of the performance:

It shouldn't be hard to come up with a sensible position on this.Everything, including punchlines about the Jews cutting non-Jews out of Hollywood, snickers about women faking the flu to lose weight, and cracks that there's no need to t…

making faces :: not a morning person

apparently, the release of chemicals that help people sleep is delayed in some people, making them go to bed later and stay asleep longer. this happens frequently in teenagers, but as we get older, the process reverses. the chemicals that tell us it's time to sleep get released earlier and cut off earlier, which is what makes people in their seventies go to bed at sundown and get up at three in the morning. but with some of us, that youthful enzyme release schedule just never seems to correct itself and we're left out of synch with the rest of the world, who have matured normally and are comfortable with a routine that sees them tuck into bed at a decent hour and rise with the birds.

what sucks if you're someone like me, whose refusal to reach adulthood apparently operates on a cellular level, is that the world requires you to act like everyone else. unless you're doing shift work, you can expect that you're going to have to get up early in the morning and trundle …

friday favourites 22.02.13

i had a strange moment earlier this week on the bus. that's kind of remarkable in itself, because this week was apparently some sort of experiment at the stm where you got to win a prize if you could guess within fifteen minutes the arrival time of the next bus, you got a prize. mostly likely that prize was that you got to ride the bus to work and have people there wonder what the hell was wrong with you that you couldn't manage to show up less than half an hour late.

but my moment was that i glanced down, since the only muscles on my body i could move on a bus that packed with late commuters were the ones in my eyelids and i saw a young lady reading a book, which is what i normally like to do, when i have enough space to remove one from my messenger bag. but when i looked at the text of her book [don't judge me, i couldn't move], i knew it was familiar. in fact, i quickly realised that she was reading umberto eco's "foucault's pendulum", one of my f…

making faces :: chanel channels canadian spring

sure, spring is about buds on trees and shoots of grass and first flowers, but if you come from canada, a lot of spring is about watching the snow melt and form small lakes on street corners and finding out who in the neighbourhood figured they'd just let the snow take care of that last autumn dog poop. does that sound beautiful to you?

well, the fact is that the endless palette of neutrals- when it doesn't involve urban sludge and poop- can be a bit stultifying, but it does also have a kind of muted beauty to it, when seen under the right circumstances. those circumstances might include admiring a painting by one of the group of seven.



or they might include gazing at the spring palette of chanel, which does call to mind the rich, earthy tones of spring thaw rather than the usual palette of impressionist greens, blues, lilacs and corals.

chanel's spring collection- "les precieux de chanel"- has a lot of warmer, more neutral shades that might be taken for "bo…

i love muff

sort of condensed/ edited conversation between dom and recently, watching television in bed really late one night.

me :: it's kind of nice that the public station in vermont plays these classical music videos late at night.

dom :: you realise this is the only time we ever watch vermont public television?

me :: at least it's not the bosnian scream-singing.

dom :: is this song called "i love muff"???

me :: what? no! it's a traditional scottish song.

dom :: yes, so?

me :: it's called "loch lomond"

dom :: then why does it say "i love muff"?

me :: where in the name of god do you see that?

dom :: on the video! "i love muff"!!

me :: will you stop shouting that? it's bad enough i wake the neighbours up screaming nonsense, now they're going to hear you yelling about how you love muff in the middle of the night.

dom :: that's not what it says!

me :: i know!!! that's what i'm saying!

dom :: i did not say "i love mu…

family day favourites 17.02.13

let's face it: we all need a vacation in february, some random day that pats us on the back and says "congratulations, you survived january, the worst is over". [unless you're me, in which case you need a day off to steel yourself for march, which is always the worst.] no one actually takes a day off on valentine's day, but the u.s. does have "president's day", which is something to do with history, but really the only time it seems to be used is when people need a new name for the sales they're running, or in the "i love lisa" episode of "the simpsons", where ralph plays george washington.

so a few years ago, the government of ontario invented "family day", which was really just their way of saying "we gave you an extra statutory holiday, so shut up about your taxes". or something like that. it's since been adopted by several other canadian provinces, although not the one where i live, but in an effo…

making faces :: guerlain loves lilacs and lavender

i'm going to be especially honest with you: this is most likely not the only guerlain spring 2013 collection you'll be seeing from me. i'm still trying to find the socks that guerlain blew off with their holiday collection, but what they've done for spring... the magical makeup gnomes have been very busy indeed in the house that jacques built.

one of the things that i love about this collection, aside from the fact that i'm starting to sound irritatingly repetitive as i gush over successive guerlain launches, is how they seem to have come up with a group of products that comes dangerously close to being "typical", but still has plenty of variety and gives you the little extra that a prestige brand should. what i especially love is how they've combined a couple of different sides to spring in one collection: you have greens and corals on the one hand, while on the other, you have the delicate lavender, lilac and pink shades, which is the part that we&…

mental health mondays :: let's talk about bell's #letstalk

although i'm no longer doing regular mental health mondays posts, i did think that it was worth mentioning that tomorrow, bell canada will be increasing their donations to mental health initiatives across canada through their "let's talk" program. if you're a bell customer, you can ramp up the donations simply by sending a text message or making a long distance phone call. if you're not a bell/ aliant customer, you can join the cause by sending tweets with #bellletstalk on february 12th or by sharing the bell let's talk logo on facebook.

it is somewhat ironic for me that a corporation that once drove me into fits of near-psychotic rage is championing the cause for mental health, but i salute them for their efforts. aside from whatever they're donating, they've mounted a pretty visible advertising campaign to call attention to the event and to the silent scourge of mental disorders in general. and supporting mental health is not like supporting chi…

making faces :: inspired by "summer citrus"

occasionally, it starts to feel like i've lost my colour mojo. i want to try something different, but somehow everything sort of comes out in the same kind of patterns. part of that is because i am often in a hurry and going into an office, where strange colour combinations would stand out and i don't really have time to waste on experimentation. but on the weekends, i like to try things that are a little more off the beaten path. because there is absolutely no excuse for me to repeat a look ever. i have enough makeup that the possible combinations exceed infinity [in fact, just trying to figure out the number of possible combinations would probably take you a year, assuming you didn't have your computer do all the work], but sometimes i just fall back on things that i'm used to, because it's easy to do and involves some favourite products. 
sometimes, of course, i deliberately challenge myself to do things that don't seem like "me". but sometimes, i…

friday favourites 08.02.13

it's not often canadians get to look at winter in other places and think "man, that sucks". but this is one of those days. damn, hang tight, boston, we feel sorry for you and wish you the best. of course, there's always the chance that the power gets knocked out, in which case those in the path of the storm would only being seeing this much later... welcome back! you made it!
this week has not been one to write home about [although it was stressful enough that i called my mum just to hear a friendly voice]. there are times when your stress level gets high enough that you can't concentrate on anything other than your own stress, including getting through the mountain of things you have to do, which is the main reason you're feeling stressed to begin with. it's nice that our brains are biologically programmed to shut down like that. sort of makes you wonder how me managed to evolve this far. 
it's certainly one of those weeks when i needed...
good news :: …

dj kali and mr. dna @ the caustic lounge 06.07.12

if you've ever had the experience of being bumped up to business class on a flight, you know that the prospect of flying "regular" never looks the same again. so i have to say that last night might have been a bit of a mixed blessing. yes, we got to set up in the back room, owing to some wiring issues and an accident with a soldering iron in the front. that put us a little more out of the line of sight but it also meant that we were playing through the BIG sound system, with the full sound board. normally, that's only accessible to bands, who are often playing on caustic lounge nights. and it was glorious. 
so glorious, in fact, that we ended up going right on until someone thought to point out to me that the employees had actually closed the front, locked the doors and were just patiently waiting for the people in the back to wind things down so that they could go home. 
i really want to fly first class again soon. 
here's the lowdown on the mayhem...
mr. dna
pink fl…

how the stm added insult to injury [literally]

edit :: i can't believe i forgot to mention this earlier, but yesterday on the bus ride to work the same bus driver who yelled at me for having the audacity to run in the direction of his bus made a wrong turn and completely departed his appointed route. he stopped the bus and apologised, but it still took between five and ten minutes for him to go around the block and get us back on course. no one yelled at him for screwing up and making us all late.

let me help you feel better about your morning. did you get yelled at for getting injured today? chances are you didn't unless you are 1.a child, in which case you really shouldn't be reading this blog; or 2. me.

this morning, there was a slow down on the metro line. it's never fun when this happens during rush hour, but it does happen and i'd resigned myself to the fact that i was going to miss my bus connection and be late for work. of course, when i got to the station where i make my transfer, there was the bus, ru…

making faces :: meanwhile, back in the enchanted garden

those who think of winter as a season of crystalline snow reflecting moonlight and shadow tree branches glittering softly with armfuls of flakes against a background of sweet-smelling pine, fir and spruce have never spent winter in  a city. for those of us who are urban-dwellers, winter is a season of salt stains and snowbanks encrusted with black shit serving as an uncomfortable reminder of what our lungs probably look like. sure, everything looks pretty when you get that first light powdering and there are lights and white-and-gold garlands everywhere in honour of yule, but that lasts for like ten minutes.

this is truly the time of year when i long to escape to some fantasy world without the filth and frostbite that threatens to engulf me. i need the enchanted garden of rouge bunny rouge.

take me away!

ok, i can't actually visit the enchanted garden because i don't know the magic phrase that will transport me there. but i can order goodies from the garden to have, hold and …

friday favourites 02.02.13

hola readers! i'm a day late on the friday favourites owing to the fact that i dedicated yesterday's post to the amazing story of elton, the adorable pit bull who was adopted by a cousin in the family i'm marrying. happy to say that there is more happy elton-related news kicking off this week's favourites :

hear the story as told by elton's adoptive mom from their local news.

read what his previous owners have to say for themselves. spoiler alert: their actual answer makes them sound dumber than getting upset that the dog was gay. hey darius, here's a word of advice- the reason that breeds like the pit bull have a bad reputation is because of douche-nozzle owners like you, who want to train them to be aggressive guard dogs and who get upset when they don't fight. go back to worshipping michael vick and stay away from animals until you're ready to learn a little about them. [fyi, douche-nozzle, i won't be a complete bitch and actually link your face…