30 April 2013

job hunting tips for the thinking impaired

i don't really have any business giving out job hunting advice. i've received such advice from others who generally told me that i made a good impression and thought that my policy of not screaming or stabbing during the interview process was a solid base for looking to improve my station. and that's where i guess i can give advice. there are certain things [like screaming and stabbing] that i know you shouldn't do. but there are apparently certain people who don't know those basics and so for them, i have a little tip to pass on:

if your hear of a position that is vacant because an employee has recently died, wait for the body to be in the ground, or at least cold, before you start angling to get their job.

i would have thought that this was sort of obvious, but this week, a traffic accident robbed my workplace of someone who had been with them for many years. i work for a small company and the bonds between workers- many of whom have been there a long time themselves- are more like those of family. the shock of losing someone- a really smart, positive, charming, effective someone, by the way- hits hard and the shock wave continues to roll. there is a real, inescapable feeling of loss and injustice, a real pain that only time will heal.

so i was more than shocked to hear that multiple people had phoned or emailed about applying for this man's job, starting within a few hours of his passing.

if you are thinking of doing something like this, here is my advice:

don't. you're being a douchebag.

this is not glengarry glen ross and you are not alec baldwin. no one is going to give you an expensive watch and car for being aggressive. the position will need to be filled and the people responsible will get around to it when they're good and ready. until they reach that state, you should consider the fact that forcing your c.v. in front of them will only result in making you look like an opportunistic moron completely lacking in even the most basic people skills, skills that are a prerequisite for most jobs.

seriously, this is probably at least as important as not stabbing people in your interview. 


28 April 2013

making faces :: three springs

this post comes with a bit of a preamble:

it's hardly surprising that i would eventually become fascinated by the sci-art theory of personal colour,
given that it's linked both with aesthetics and with psychology. i'm actually a little surprised that it took me this long, but i have been making up for lost time by reading through a lot of the posts on the fascinating 12 blueprints blog, after having gotten a taste for the subject from reading everyday beauty's adventures in being drapes.

for those not familiar with the concept, i do not claim to be an expert, but it basically stems from theories of how we perceive colours. for someone who has long been schooled in the concepts that there are certain colours that everyone perceives as "strong" or "relaxing" or "energetic", etc., it's a bit of a process of unlearning. or at least, learning that what you might have accepted as gospel before was somewhat limited.

it's certainly been illustrated that people respond to red and blue, for instance, in different ways, but unless you find yourself in a situation where you're completely surrounded by one or the other, that's really just a small piece of the overall equation. because the fact is that we see colours not in isolation, but in the context of other colours. and what we perceive as strong, exciting, calming or depressing has less to do with the individual shades and more to do with the overall palette of colours present.

for individuals, that means that the perception of others is largely based on the way that what we wear [clothing, makeup, accessories, hair] harmonises with the colours that are naturally present in our bodies. that's not to say that we can't push the envelope, but it is worth keeping in mind that the hard-wiring for this thinking runs pretty deep and isn't something that a winning personality can necessarily overcome. these aren't judgments that we're conscious of making, but reactions that our brain makes automatically. they're going to happen no matter what and a lot of those reactions happen because the connection between our visual system and our central nervous system is a lot faster than our conscious brain can process.

the net result of this is that there are absolutely ways in which everyone can present themselves that will positively [or negatively] effect others' reactions to them. while nothing is completely going to overcome behaving like a douche-canoe, it's worth keeping in mind when you have those situations when they opinion of other people becomes important to you. there will be moments.

taken to its theoretical extreme, this would mean that there is a specific, completely personalised palette of colours and textures that each of us should be wearing. but if we want to give ourselves some leeway and not walk around looking like we're wearing a uniform from day to day, it's easier to group people into broader categories. the most popular systems create divisions based on seasons of the year, based on undertones as well as eye colour and [less reliably in this age of chemical processing] hair colour. from there, the seasons are divided into further sub-categories. in a 12-group system, the skin's tolerance for colour is based on three different measures within each of the four seasonal groups- hue [warm vs cool], value [light vs dark] and chroma [saturated vs muted]. a 16-group system uses the same seasonal basis, but then judges tolerance to four variations: a fully saturated [pure] colour, the same colour adding white [tinted], adding grey [toned] and adding black [shaded].

confused yet? i am.

there are professionals who do colour analysis placing a person against a neutral grey background and seeing how the skin reacts to different colours. and yes, there is a reaction. you can check it roughly at home and chances are you've noticed it casually on your own. certain shades will tend to balance your skin tone, eliminate redness, disguise dark circles and brighten the eyes. the group of shades that accomplishes the most good is the palette that suits you best. a trained colour analyst will tell you that there is no guesswork involved. everyone has one palette that works better than all the others.

the bad news is, it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the colours you like. remember, you don't see the rest of the world in the context of your own appearance. unless you walk around holding a mirror in front of you at all times, you are continuously looking out,  so it's pretty easy to get tripped up.   you may have a sense of what colours work for you, but quite often we tend to say things like "i look good in blue". the human eye is capable of perceiving millions of colours. "blue" leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

i'm actually much less convinced i know what shades work on me than i was ten years ago. or twenty years ago. i'm perfectly aware that i have tried certain looks because i liked them when they were in front of me, that turned out to be less than appealing on me. but i do enjoy a good puzzle and, since i haven't been able to find any colour analysts in my immediate area, i thought i would have some fun trying to see if i could find my "proper" palette [which any colour analyst would say was an exercise in futility, since we're anything but objective about our own appearance].

and i'm taking you along with me on my process of elimination journey. over the next little while, i'll be trying out examples of each of the 12-season palettes and seeing what works and what doesn't. i've chosen to work with a 12-season system because it feels more natural to me. that's not to say that other systems are wrong, but when i judge colour, i usually do apply measures of temperature, saturation and depth.

general consensus has been that my skin leans a little cool [pink undertones], but, as a nars associate said to me recently, "you're about as close to completely neutral as it gets". this is part of my conundrum. my complexion is defiantly non-committal. when i wear foundations from mac, which are split into nc [yellow undertone] and nw [pink undertone], nc colours work better, whereas nw shades tend to pull too pink/ orange. in nars foundations, however, the slightly pink-toned "mont blanc" is an excellent match for me.

my hope is that i'll at least provide some interesting palettes for you to look at and that i might [with your help!] be able to narrow down the palettes that are most appropriate for me to wear. keep in mind that i'm a rank amateur and the palette interpretations are my own. i don't claim to be an expert. i don't claim to be accurate. there is a definite subjectivity.

so let's start with the season that's currently upon us: spring.

source

spring is one of the "warm" seasons, distinguished by the presence of yellow in its palette. that's not to say that all yellows belong in the spring palette. they don't. variations of every colour exist in every palette. but all of the colours in a spring palette are touched by yellow tones.

THINK I'M A SPRING? THINK YOU ARE? READ ON...

26 April 2013

friday favourites :: special edition 26.04.13

yeah, i've neglected the favourites for a few weeks. but they're not dead. they're just in hibernation. this
week, however, there's a special reason for me to do favourites.

if you've been following this blog for a while, you might remember that there was something about a movie... a movie that i wrote [still my only script to date] and got a hot wire up the wazoo to actually make with dom as the director and with paul ash and me as the stars [i'd written the male lead role for him anyway and always fancied myself an actress]. and we did it. we made a feature film all on our own, with no support from the government, no support from private interests, no support from... well, screw the negativity:

we had a hell of a lot of support from people who were just interested in participating in a film that was being made from scratch by people who had a lot of interest but no real experience.

if you haven't read my thoughts on this subject, you could check out the blog for the film. or, you could check out my post mortem [and my reflections on writing and film-making] right here.

the short version is that we made a movie that was what we wanted it to be. and no, we weren't able to successfully market it. we weren't able to get interest from distributors or get into any of the film festivals where we applied. so we suck.

but the movie doesn't and just to prove it, we're hosting a gala at the montreal museum of fine arts on june 29th, where we'll be showing the film and letting the public judge for themselves. we think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

if you'd like to come, please feel free to join the event's facebook page.

if you're not able to come, but would like to voice your support for independent film, feel free to share the event.

if you'd like to know a little bit more [no spoilers!!] please feel free to email me at kate[at]fsquaredmedia[dot]net.

bottom line: we still believe in this film. those who don't can go fuck themselves go on with their lives as if we don't exist. but if you're at all curious as to what's possible with affordable technology when you have a group of people who really believe in what they're doing and who are committed to seeing a project through. because when you look at what we were able to accomplish independently, i think you'll find it's pretty remarkable and possibly inspiring.

here's a quick look at the trailer.



think you might like it? think you might be inspired/ impressed? think you could do better and want to make sure?

step right up.

i hope to be able to connect with many of you there!

22 April 2013

mental health mondays :: message from mother earth

consider a waterfront stroll
last month we had earth hour, but this month, earth gets a whole day. that might not seem like much, but it's more than any other planets get. no one takes a moment to celebrate neptune day. or venus day. or alpha centauri day for that matter and that's a star with its own solar system.

and while there are lots of ways in which you can relate earth day to your life, i thought i'd chime in with a message i received from mother earth this morning that's important for your mental health:

please get up and move around a little. take a walk around and appreciate what the world has to offer, even if if just means wandering through your home or office and contemplating the view from each different window. you'll feel happier.

that sounds simple, but there's so much science behind the idea that exercise is a powerful tool against anxiety, depression and even the most serious mental disorders that it falls into the realm of things that should simply be taken for granted [like the reality of man-made climate change -ed.]. if you want science, here's a bunch.
perhaps a hike in the mountains?
the extent to which it benefits an individual can vary, but it seems that virtually anyone with any level of mental disorder can benefit from physical activity. if you're inclined towards team sports and visits to the gym. congratulations, you're probably in better shape than i am. but that might not make the biggest difference in the world. a study of 164 individuals at the university of southampton school of medicine indicated that the greatest benefits came from exercise conducted during leisure time- activities that were perceived as fun and enjoyable. people who got moderate amounts of exercise but stopped short of exhausting themselves were less depressed.

the science on why physical activity ise so particularly effective at improving mood is a little wanting according to some sources and it's unclear whether or not increasing physical activity can play a role in preventing mental disorders, but it's clear that our body's natural processes are designed to equate exercise with positive feelings through the magic of endorphins.

endorphins are like mother nature brand morphine [in fact the name is a portmanteau of endogenous, meaning from within, and morphine]. they are opiods, which means that they are natural pain killers, produced by the pituitary gland. while endorphins themselves can't penetrate the blood-brain barrier [a sort of fortress wall that keeps many things from getting into your brain and wreaking havoc], they do disinhibit dopamine pathways, which is a fancy way of saying that they make it easier for dopamine- the feel good drug your body makes for itself- to flow through the brain and make you feel very, very nice indeed.

maybe a romantic evening amble
this isn't to say that all mental disorders can be cured by a brisk stroll to count the buds on the trees. some people will always require more serious intervention. some people will always require some type of artificial chemical correction in order to regulate the blend of flavours in the stew which is their brain. but research shows that physical activity can benefit people with any level of mental disorder- the list of conditions that show improvement from exercise is kind of remarkable. but it's also reflective of something else that should be common sense: the human body is built for physical activity and reacts badly [by making you more anxious and depressed] when it is prevented from engaging in any.

so on this earth day, mother nature wants you to remember that your body is a pretty remarkably designed machine. everything is connected and everything is meant to work together in a certain way. allow your body to do what it is naturally inclined to do and every part of it will benefit.

[each of the pictures used here is taken from my pinterest board "geography", where you can find links to the originals if available. top to bottom, the locations are the basque territory in northern spain, the wulingyuan scenic area in hunan, china and a park in bucharest, romania.]

21 April 2013

making faces :: some springtime bunnies...

i like to think we've turned a meteorological corner. although i have to admit that there were little white pellets swirling around my head when i went to the grocery store yesterday, this week looks like it's going to be the first one where we have double-digit temperatures every day. they aren't tremendously high temperatures, but they are ten degrees or above, so it counts. it's the 21st of april and i think it's just possible that we are edging into spring. welcome to montreal, folks.

so in honour of that momentous event, because there's nothing more spring-appropriate than bunnies [except possibly chicks, like the ones you're counting before they've hatched, weather-wise -ed.], i have a few rouge bunny rouge goodies to share with you. in fact, i have a lot of bunny goodness to share with you, so i'll have to split it between posts. bunnies are like that, especially in the spring... their numbers suddenly increase when you're not looking.

my most recent acquisition was actually a great stroke of luck [must have been wearing my virtual rabbit's foot!], in that i was one of the winners of a contest rouge bunny rouge ran on their facebook page to win one of their "gleaming temptations" glosses in the shade "uncaged tigress". this was one that i'd had my eye on forever, but hadn't gotten around to ordering. unfortunately, the shade is being discontinued, along with a number of other gleaming temptations glosses, but you can still grab it [at a discount!] from the rouge bunny rouge web site.

rouge bunny rouge are known for their hyper-accurate colour descriptions, so i'll cede to them:

"creamy, semi-sheer cardinal red glistening with silver, violet and gold pearls"

uncaged tigress
yup. that's exactly what it is. well, if i'm being picky, i'd say the base shade was more of a strawberry red, since it's softer and pinker than what i'd call a true "cardinal" red. but the pearls are indeed silver, gold and violet and are strewn throughout. they're a very fine shimmer, so the effect is more to add depth to the colour, rather than any obvious sparkle.

20 April 2013

making faces :: the right light

i've been promising this review for a while, so i figured i should just get it out there, rather than worrying about the fact that i've misplaced by battery charger for my camera, so i don't have quite the collection of shots that i'd want. it's high time that we have a little talk about hourglass' new ambient lighting powders.

these little boxes of magic seem to have divided much of the "makeup community", because they really are the sort of thing that defies easy description. unless you're used to working in the photography/ film industry. then they're a snap to explain. i mentioned them to dom, for instance, and he was fascinated. because he was able to relate them to something that he knew well: different sorts of lighting you use to get specific effects. it's just that most of us don't think of makeup doing that.

in makeup, we're used to powders that highlight the high points of the face, or that contour to add definition or that offer a sunkissed effect, as if we've developed a lovely tan. alternately, we're used to finishing powders, which set the colours we wear and give a final polish to a look. but the hourglass ambient lighting powders don't really do either of those things, although they kind of do both. and the extent to which they do one or the other differs slightly from one shade to another.

there are six colours that were introduced with the launch this spring, each of them designed to mimic the effect of a specific sort of light- moonlight, early morning sun, soft lighting, candlelight, etc. they have varying degrees of shimmer, although as a rule, the lightest shades have the least shimmer and the darker the shade, the more shimmery it gets.

the powders can be used in specific areas of the face to bring a light/ shadow effect, or all over as a finishing touch to makeup.

the first shade that i tried out was "mood light", described as a lavender-pink that mimicked the effects of soft, or low lighting. i didn't really get lavender from the colour at all, as on me, it reads as a warm pink with a distinctly amber undertone. it has a lot of pigment, which makes it more appropriate as a blush on me, no matter how lightly i apply it. used as a finishing powder, i find that it makes me look as if i've been running or outside doing a lot of exercise- a little flushed and excited. some people might like that look, but i found it a bit much on me.

mood light
i do find that this makes a very interesting cheek colour on me. because it blends out to a very soft shade, it's not a very obvious blusher, but it does offer a very soft colour and smoothes the look of lines and pores. i find that this effect is the more noticeable part of "mood light", because the colour tends to be less visible after a few hours, while the "soft light" effect last considerably longer. it warms my complexion up without making it look overly bronzed.

in terms of colour, it reminded me a bit of chanel's "rose ecrin" blush, which is actually paler. you can see how densely packed with pigment the hourglass powder is when you see them together.

l to r :: mood light, chanel rose ecrin
used as a bit of a contour, it does actually give that "just emerging from the shadows" effect, your face as seen in a summer twilight, on a quiet terrace, sipping a cool drink.

second, i picked up "diffused light", which is compared to a ray of morning sun. that's about dead on. i couldn't come up with a better description, no matter how hard i tried. it's a very pale yellow, almost white but, if you look at it next to a true cool white highlighter like bobbi brown's "porcelain pearl", you can see the difference. [hourglass also have their own white highlighter, "ethereal light", the palest of the ambient powders.] what shocked me was how much of a difference that little touch of yellow made. rather than having a cool, moonlit glow, my face really did look like it was touched by early morning sun. "diffused light" immediately gives a very noticeable brightening effect, but it's much softer than a white highlighter.

diffused light
l to r :: diffused light, bobbi brown porcelain pearl [l.e.]
the first day i wore this, i got compliments on how i looked. or, more to the point, people wondered why i suddenly looked so happy and radiant. i'm not making that up. the brightening effect was enough that it made me look happier. that takes some doing.

the shade has a real impact and it requires relatively little product to do so. swatched, it looks very thick, but it blends out easily and never looks powdery. it's got a little shimmer to it, but it's not very noticeable. in fact, it's mostly matte looking. [this is the second-lightest colour in the line-up. only "ethereal light" is more matte.]

this is probably my favourite of the ambient lighting powders i've tried, just because i do find that it mimics that sunlit glow perfectly without falling into the "bronzing" category. it's nice to have something that gives this sort of effect that pale girls can wear.

although i haven't had the opportunity to photograph it yet, i've also picked up "dim light", a very light peachy shade with a little more shimmer to it than the palest powders. it's said to be a balance of warm and cool tones to give a healthy glow. that's fairly accurate and it's worth mentioning that while it gives a little warmth to my complexion, there's enough pink in the peach tone that it doesn't look like a bronzer shade. it does give that lit-from-within radiance we all treasure, the kind of thing that lighting crews work for hours to get just so in advertising.

this one is also a bit too deep to work as an all-over powder on me, but i love it on my cheeks, where it works a kind of magic. more on this when i have a chance to photograph it.

so, are these little wonders worth it? a lot of people who know cosmetics have been left cold. they just don't see the effect. i can, particularly with "diffused light" and i get why these can be difficult to understand. i personally don't see them as a great solution for someone looking for a finishing powder, because there's too much variation in pigment and shimmer from one shade to another. but i do think that if you're interested in playing around with the effects of different light, that these are remarkable. you can certainly combine them to get different looks, something i love to do. i often used "diffused light" almost in a straight line down the centre of my face and "mood light" around the outer contours, just to emphasise that "leaning into the light" effect.

i've also been having fun applying these with different brushes to see how that effects the overall look.

these may not be everyone's cup of tea, just because they're not something we're used to working into a regular makeup routine, but i do love what i've experienced of them so far; they powders are finely milled for extra softness, plenty pigmented but easy to blend and they live up to the claims they make.

you can see a look with me wearing "mood light" here.

you can see a look with me wearing "diffused light" here.

hourglass ambient lighting powders are available at sephora and directly through the hourglass web site.

17 April 2013

now with more disturbingness

so consensus is that this cough i have sounds awful and that it sounds like something considerably worse than what would generally be called a cold. it sounds bronchial. so on top of taking medicine to rid me of bronchii-related illness, i've had to return to my old friend the symbicort inhaler. it does a bang-up job of dealing with the bronchitis in the short term, because it's a type of steroid that forces those little airways open whether they want to or not. and the only side effect is that i feel like i swallowed a bag of cheap speed for several hours afterward.

so i'm no longer coughing very much, but i'm all like

HEY LET'S GO TO VEGAS AND PLAY CRAPS BECAUSE I FEEL LUCKY, EVEN THOUGH I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CRAPS AND WHEN YOU KEEP SAYING CRAPS IT SOUNDS PRETTY AWFUL LIKE SOMETHING YOU'D DO ON A BET, WHICH IS FUNNY, SINCE YOU DO BET ON IT AND THERE'S DICE INVOLVED AND I REALLY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING MORE THAN THAT, SO I'D BE ALL "WOOHOO GO DICE!" AND I'D THROW THEM AND THEN I'D HAVE TO ASK THE DICE GUY WHO'S CALLED A CROUPIER, WHICH IS IRONIC SINCE IT SOUNDS LIKE SOMEONE WHO DEALS WITH THE CROUP AND I HAD THE CROUP WHEN I WAS LITTLE AND ANYWAY I'D HAVE TO ASK HIM IF THAT WAS A GOOD ROLL OR NOT BECAUSE I'D HAVE NO IDEA AND HE'D BE ALL LIKE "YEAH, YOU WON" AND I'D BE LIKE "AWESOME! LET'S GO GET HOOKERS AND BLOW AND LET'S RENT A FERRARI AND SEE HOW FAST WE CAN DRIVE IT BEFORE THE COPS COME AND THEN WE'D HAVE TO TAKE OFF FOR MEXICO BECAUSE THE COPS WOULD COME AND WE HAVE A RENTED FERRARI FULL OF HOOKERS AND BLOW EVEN THOUGH THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH RENTING A FERRARI AND HOOKERS ARE LEGAL IN LAS VEGAS AND THEY LEAVE THESE CALLING CARDS THAT LOOK LIKE BASEBALL CARDS EVERYWHERE AND YOU CAN PLAY THE LAS VEGAS GAME WHERE YOU JUST GO GATHERING ALL THE CARDS WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND SEE WHO GETS THE BEST ONES BUT HAVING BLOW IS STILL ILLEGAL SO WE NEED TO GET TO THE BORDER, BUT WE HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO GET TO THE BORDER, SO WE JUST END UP IN THE DESERT SOMEWHERE PASSED OUT AND GETTING A SUNBURN AND THEN WE'D HAVE TO COME BACK BECAUSE THE HOOKERS WOULD BE ALL LIKE "WHY DID YOU EVEN HIRE US?" AND WE'D BE ALL "THIS IS BAT COUNTRY! WE HAVE TO GET BACK TO LAS VEGAS!" AND WE'D HAVE TO DROP THE CAR OFF IN SECRET BECAUSE IT WAS REPORTED STOLEN WHEN WE DIDN'T RETURN IT ON TIME AND THEN WE'D GO BACK TO THE HOTEL AND ORDER A THOUSAND DOLLAR BOTTLE OF SCOTCH FROM ROOM SERVICE BECAUSE WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT A THOUSAND DOLLAR BOTTLE OF SCOTCH TASTES LIKE AND THEN WE'D GO "HEY, WHERE IS ALL THE MONEY WE WON? OH MY GOD! WE FORGOT TO COLLECT THE MONEY! WHERE IS THE TICKET? WE CAN'T FIND THE TICKET! DID THE HOOKERS TAKE THE TICKET? WE HAVE TO FIND THE HOOKERS AND GET THEM TO GIVE US THE TICKET!" AND WE WON'T KNOW HOW TO FIND THE HOOKERS, BECAUSE WE CAN'T REMEMBER THEIR NAMES AND THEN WE'LL REALISE THAT WE LEFT THE ROOM WITHOUT CANCELLING THE THOUSAND DOLLAR BOTTLE OF SCOTCH AND THEN WE'LL KNOW THAT WE CAN'T GO BACK THERE, SO WE'LL JUST KEEP GRABBING EVERY BLONDE GIRL WE SEE AND DEMANDING IF SHE HAS OUR TICKET EVEN THOUGH WE CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER IF EITHER OF THE HOOKERS WAS BLONDE AND WEREN'T THEY WEARING TOTAL HOOKERWIGS ANYWAY AND..."

which makes my boss look at me quizzically and say "i just asked how the advertising copy was coming. do you need help?"

and i say "uh, yeah. i'm working on it. but this is funnier than anything i'm going to write, even though it might have been written by an eight year old."



that's the state of my health right now. you're probably happier than usual that you don't have to be around me.

[thanks to dom for letting me know about the video above. and for putting up with me.]

16 April 2013

there's a vague chance that i might be a zombie

so i did return, finally, from my trip out west. this was actually the first time that i'd been to vancouver since 1986, which basically means that the only things that were there the last time i was were the mountains and the ocean. i'm glad that i at least had one day there when i felt a little better [basically the day after i got there, when the cold from hell went into remission as it prepared for days of making me really miserable], where i walked around gathering some information from work but also allowing myself [literally at some points] to stop and smell the flowers.

here is my trip, in a nutshell.



i drew this on the plane on the way to vancouver, as i sat in my chair, sick and starving but not willing to fork over money [or credit card, since the airline doesn't accept cash anymore to "make things easier", because reducing the methods by which you can pay for something somehow makes them easier to do, but i digress]. i think the exceedingly chipper stewardess saw me. i don't care. it wasn't her fault, but her airline refused to let me rebook my flight to a later date and insisted that i haul my ailing carcass to get on the next available flight or they would void my ticket altogether. west jet = worst jet.

the first day i was there, as i mentioned, was the best. i was on my own to do some reconnaissance and make some observations and i walked around the whole day, happily doing my work, although i did make a couple of pit stops. like here:



and here:



i got to see a little vancouver culture.






and i made a friend in my travels.




when i woke up the next morning, i felt like this.



and the next few days are kind of a snot-smeared blur of coughing spasms, mouth-breathing and feeling sorry for myself.

none of this helped me look any better.



even though i brought in reinforcements.




i forgot to bring my eye primer, which made a bad situation worse, because it basically ensured that by the time i made it to the lobby in the morning, i already looked like i'd been mauled by a st. bernard with a particularly acute drooling problem.

i stuck to the hotel for breakfasts, where the menu offered something called a "mount royal bagel".



i have no idea what a "mount royal bagel" is. i know what a montreal bagel is, because i get them all the time. surely the hotel wouldn't try to sneak a mass-produced bagel they took from the back of a freezer as a special treat by giving it a name similar to something that's internationally famous, would they?



yes, of course they would.

i tried to make a change to my flight to come back a day early. i was told that i could change from a flight sunday afternoon to a flight saturday night at eleven. i would have a stopover somewhere unspecified and i would get into montreal at about 8:15 the next morning. and the change would cost me $482. i tried to point out that this wasn't changing the ticket, but buying an entirely new ticket, which i didn't need their help to do. the agent didn't seem to appreciate my sense of humour.

eventually, i made it home [at about one in the morning on sunday/ monday]. i called in sick to work, which i think was expected. today i went back for a few hours, but i feel like someone has filled me with lead. i don't mean i feel like i've been shot, i mean i feel like i've been filled with lead ball bearings, because every part of me is extremely heavy. my hands are heavy as i type. my feet are heavy when i try to walk. my head is heavy, which makes it difficult to look awake. my kneecaps are heavy.

it's possible that my cold has morphed into something else. it's also possible that i actually died and am just having trouble adjusting to the kinetics of being a zombie. i mean, once you're dead, your body is bound to feel a little different, right?

that's my theory.

i don't think i'll be traveling again for a while.


thanks for continuing to drop by this place and read the old crap i posted. from now on, only the new crap. which is kind of the same, except that you haven't read it before, exactly.

14 April 2013

more like space greatest hits :: making faces :: a spring fling recap

i think that the only good part about being in a different city while dying of a monster cold is that i got to miss a major snowstorm. happy spring everyone in montreal, rest assured that god hates you.

spring is eventually coming, because if it didn't, it would mean that the earth had stopped spinning which would be bad for all of us. although it would at least distract me from my cold. so on that note, here's a post i did last year about some spring makeup favorites.

*


well now that i've prosthelytized to all of you about favourites for the spring season, i thought it was only fair to show you that i do put my proverbial money where my mouth is- and where the rest of my face is as well. after all, the photos i've shown might have clearly illustrated that i was wearing the shades i recommended on my nails, but i thought that it would be nice to share a couple of other looks in the spirit of the new season.

of course, no one's saying that you have to spend the next three months wearing neutral pink lips, shell-toned cheeks and green eye shadow, in fact, it would probably be boring if you did. [even my friend kathleen, who is a green freak in every sense of the word, except the one that would mean she were an actual green monster, which she isn't, doesn't wear green all the time.] but i do find that these are a nice option for the time of year and still give a certain level of variety.

this first one was obviously done a while back, because you can see i still had my black hair. i like the fact that it's a cooler-toned green look, which is a little less common. i like combining "periwinkle cardinal" with the bluish-silver shade from hourglass "prism", because of the chilly "foggy" effect it gives. since both shades are quite shimmery, a little goes a long way to create a day or night kind of look.

face ::
marcelle new age foundation "ivory"
smashbox high definition liquid concealer "fair/ light"

eyes ::
rouge bunny rouge e/s "perwinkle cardinal" [shimmery cool green with silver]
hourglass e/s "prism" [frosty slate blue- silver]
mac e/s "vex" [greenish ivory with pink sheen]
mac shadestick "cakeshop"* [light frosty green-pewter]
mac e/s "stovepipe black"* [gunmetal grey with sheen]
guerlain eye kohl "black"
chanel inimitable intense mascara

cheeks ::
edward bess quad royale "south of france" [mauve-sand]
mac blush "amazon princess"* [deep rose]

lips ::
mac l/s "viva glam v" [light pink with gold pearl]

*suggested alternates :: cakeshop = nars dogon [light side, not as bright or frosty]; stovepipe black = nars eurydice [grey side]; amazon princess = mac love thing + dollymix

SEE LOOK #2 AFTER THE BREAK...

12 April 2013

more like space greatest hits :: fearful spammetry

please just let me whine at you a little; oh god i am so sick!!!! why am i even here? not just on this business trip, i mean on this planet. i can't even remember the last time a cold got me this bad. this is a phlegm-festival straight from satan's nostrils. also i coughed up blood earlier. not because there's anything terribly wrong, it's just that i've coughed so much that bits are starting to come loose. i'm supposed to go to a client dinner tonight, which i predict will result in us losing several accounts and a couple of lawsuits.

here's a poem i wrote from bits of email spam.

*


spam mail is useless you say? NOT SO! for instance, it can be used to create new and interesting things, such as this little poem i threw together entirely from the bung in my spam filter...

If you have any difficulty seeing the contents of this email, please click
What stops loving
It’s about you or no?
Your loads of pleasure
Accumulator of your desire
Become virile like a rabbit
Make her your rod’s slave
You’ll surprise her with your hulk
Blow her with your hormones
Become a perpetuum mobile of love
This is, indeed, to ride like an angel in the whirlwind and direct the storm:
like an angel whose mercy is equal to his power.

If you have any difficulty seeing the contents of this email, please click
Hey, why do you not write?
Please answer me
It’s about you or no?
What stops loving
Stop night fails!
Nothing heals better
Set your wife on fire
Uplong our dignity
Please read
I am very unhappy without you

If you have any difficulty seeing the contents of this email, please click
Why do you cost me?
Economy in crisis and you
We care about your body
Natural to his age, nay his fortune and his blood, on the altar of our liberty.
STOP your pain NOW
Buy cheap Vicodin (hydrocodone)
Be active and want more girls
Get maximum form love
It’s about you or no?
I keep coming upon such thoughtful gifts which you sent to us
Your private video here

If you have any difficulty seeing the contents of this email, please click

more like space greatest hits :: this is my insomnia

i actually don't have insomnia right now. if anything, i believe that for the first time in my life, i am getting the exact right amount of sleep. the secret seems to be being sick enough that i don't have boundless energy, but not so sick as to think that i should rest and take care of myself. also, having the proper amount of alcohol st the right intervals is important.

here is another post that was published earlier, but which i'm resurrecting in order to give you something to look at while i'm away.

i guarantee you, it's more fun than listening to me whine about the fact that i feel like refried ass, which is something i just made up, but which sounds pretty awful and like something you wouldn't
want to feel like.

*


this is my insomnia. his name is neville. i used to think it was tom or bernard, but since we've become closer, he's confided in me. we've been spending a lot of time together lately.



he is big and sort of formless and he is purple, purple like the purplest prose, full of hyperbole and histrionics and extravagance. he has fire on his insides, which makes him very emotional. it also means that whenever he's around, everything seems too bright and too hot. it's not his fault.

neville has spindly arms with finely manicured little claws. he likes to scratch and tickle when he visits.



neville's feet are like solid little hooves. they are made of lead, so that they make loud thumping, clomping sounds when he walks. they make him quite heavy, so there are many bumps and thuds when he's walking around.



despite his heavy feet, neville can be quite nimble. he can actually sneak around on his spindly arms and sneak up when i'm least expecting him.



sometimes, when he creeps up on me, it can be quite scary, because i'm not really sure what's going on.



but other times, when i'm feeling very isolated, he seems more like a friend, encouraging me to use our time together to do things i wouldn't normally make time for. or just to think about things that i enjoy. although he can look big and scary, he's actually quite shy, which is why i'm the only person who ever sees him.



he's been around long enough that i know he comes and goes pretty much as he pleases. but even when we're not hanging out, i have a feeling he's never far from me.



in fact, i think that he'll always be a part of my life.



11 April 2013

more like space greatest hits :: making faces :: the little red book roundup

so here's another post from the archive, another example if me recycling because time is sort of at a premium right now.

a word about vancouverites: you guys are way too friendly and it's freaking me out a little. you just smile at people. like you don't hate the world and everything in it. it's a little disconcerting. also, i have not heard a car horn since i've been here. you cannot be a real city if people don't get psycho in. traffic. it's like the law or something. shape up.

here's something about red lipstick, because red inflames the passions and gets all those killer instincts working.

*


here's a quick look at all the holiday-friendly reds included in my own "little red book". as i mentioned, there are lots of suggestions of great red lips available [check out my list of "beauty-filled people" on the right]. in particular, pink sith has been doing her own series on red lips [and has many. many red lip entries on her blog] and red lips, black hair is dedicated to exactly what you might think from the title. [she also has a preference for matte shades, so if you found my selections too glossy, she might have reds more to your liking.]

i've tried to include as much information as i can on the individual shades, but if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. and of course, if you've any favourite reds you'd like to recommend, i'm all ears. and lips.

SEE OUR ALL-STARS AFTER THE BREAK!


09 April 2013

more like space greatest hits :: dead

I am on the road, which means that I'm not really at liberty to write a lot of new blogs. But since I believe in recycling and because I still want your attention, I figured that I might as well make use of some of the posts that are already here.

For instance, this is a shirt story that will probably ruin your day. You're welcome.

*


i have not done this before but...

look at the image i've chosen to start off this post. does it make you feel squeamish? then chances are the rest of this short story will too. please conduct yourself accordingly.

I think Martin’s dead. He was grey when I left this morning. I didn’t want to touch him because, if he is dead, I don’t want to know. I don’t want to be bound to anyone dead. Hits too close to home. If someone dies in the same room as you, it brings that angel just a little too close. I’d rather have it be a question mark in my mind. I’d rather not know the right answer. Not that I think I’d mind death. Being dead would either be fine or it would be nothing, which is nothing to be afraid of. What I would mind is the dying part, where you feel yourself shutting down, feel everything that is your insignificant life rushing out of you. I hope I go quickly when I go.



I didn’t really know Martin, but I can’t stop thinking about him now. I’d like to stay the hell away from that place for a few nights, even if it is convenient to sleep there. A few days in this heat should be enough to do it. Then someone, some poor bastard who’s been unfortunate to land the job of keeping an eye on some rich bastard’s empty building, will figure out that he’s in there. He’ll be able to smell it and he’ll call the police to come and fish out the remains. If people didn’t have an aversion to corpses, the police would never know that someone like Martin had died. Who’d go through the hassle of calling them? But no one wants to be the unlucky fucker who gets to take the four-day old corpse from the condemned building. It’s not just me that has a dead body problem.



In order to get my mind back on my regular routine, I went to get cigarettes after I left the place this morning. I puked on the clerk. It’s not something I feel good about and it was my own damn fault. I’d given some guy a blowjob in some bushes for twenty bucks, because it’s a hell of a lot faster than asking people for change. I haven’t kept anything down in about six days, because if it stays there, I’ll chase it out with vodka, and even back when I was healthy, I hated the taste of cum in my mouth. It was so hot and the tastes were all mixed, this guy’s cum, the couple of gulps of vodka I had left over from what Martin and I got last night, vomit from yesterday… everything stays when you don’t brush your teeth. This is what people used to taste all the time. I got to the store and I just wanted cigarettes, but I could feel everything churning, these vile tastes coagulating in my mouth and I needed to get that out of my body as fast as possible. I felt it coming too late.



This poor clerk was probably only a couple of years older than me. She probably has a normal life and a plan, or at least a vision of her future and up until a few hours ago, it did not include getting hit with vomit by some homeless teen trying to buy smokes. She wanted me out of the store so bad she gave me the cigarettes for free, just told me to take them and get the fuck out of her sight. Under the circumstances, this was probably the nicest reaction I could have expected.



I walked about eight blocks away, in case she called the cops, and then I took a long drink from the beer I’d stolen from her. Thinking about this poor blonde girl’s face as she registered that I had just thrown up on her, I feel badly for stealing the beer, especially since she gave me the cigarettes I had anticipated paying for. At that point, the beer was already tucked away in my pocket, so I couldn’t just give her the money for it without her knowing that I had been going to steal it.



A little of the puke got in my hair. I can still see it there in a crusty lump. I wonder if anyone who knew me a few years ago would recognize me now. I was that little rich bitch you probably hated. My parents had a second car that was basically mine. I’d drive to school. I’d drive my friends around. I dated football players. I wore make-up and had a lot of clothes. I don’t know exactly what I planned to do, but I know it involved going to college, to university, having a home, having friends, having a boyfriend and eventually a husband. That was what happened when you got out of high school.



None of the thoughts I had were of any consequence, up until about three months before I graduated. I can’t even remember them now, so unimportant they were. What I’m thinking about now isn’t of any importance either, but before, I wasn’t aware of it. Back then, I thought that the world would end if I didn’t get a date with the guy I wanted, or if I didn’t improve my chemistry marks, or if I got a scratch on my parents’ car. Blissful ignorance, I think they call it.


08 April 2013

there's a saint for that

gonorrhea in the highest!
anyone who thinks that christianity, at least the catholic variety, is monotheist has not done much research. i
think i can see why it was relatively easy for deeply catholic nations to convince people to adopt their faith, because after starting with the bombshell "there's only one god", they quickly followed up with "but there are lots of saints, people who are deemed to be holy but aren't gods and who have powers over a particular area or group of things or people. and there are hundreds of them, individual ones for everything you can think of and when new things come along, we just assign them to a saint who doesn't have much to do, or we make a new saint and they take over."

"oh and when you join us, you get to choose your own personal saint, who takes care of you."

i don't know how much personalised service you really get, particularly if you choose one of the really popular saints like andrew or mary. with the number of people queued up to be in their group, i have to think that they have some teachers pets who get extra attention. things would probably go easier if you chose, say, st. vitalis, the patron saint of venereal disease. although you're forever going to have to explain how you came to choose him as your patron.

it's truly amazing how many things have their own special saints. there's a saint for gardens, which isn't that surprising, but apparently a different saint for gardeners. one hopes they get along.

there's a saint for the mentally ill. a saint for the internet [because you might as well pray that your download is successful]. a saint for restaurant workers [sort of a celestial union rep], a saint for disappointing children and a separate one for juvenile delinquents. every disease has a patron saint, including the strangely named st. polycarp [there's a town by that name just outside montreal that i thought was made up, but it turns out he really did exist], who is the patron saint of dysentery. i am never stopping in st. polycarp [polycrap?] for any reason.

then there are those who are patrons of a number of things...

saint nicholas [santa claus!] works the off-season as the patron saint of pawnbrokers.

saint john of rila is the patron saint of bulgaria, but also of pies and pie-makers. bulgaria should really use that in their tourism ads.

st. hubertus covers hunters, mathematicians, opticians and metalworkers. someone was totally late getting in the patronage line and got the leftovers.

st. benedict, likewise, has a really weird portfolio that covers schoolchildren, italian architects and nettle rash among others.

but no one beats st. genenius, patron saint of plumbers, actors, circus clowns and torture victims. i'm trying to think up a life story that could account for all of those.

then there are the really ironic saints, like the guy who was falsely accused of getting a woman pregnant and then became the patron saint of pregnant women [like they couldn't have given that to a chick?] or saint appollonia, who had her teeth pulled out with tongs and is now the patron saint of dentists. or saint anthony of padua, the patron saint of lost objects, who seems always to be painted holding a small child. "did somebody drop this??? hello????"

and of course, st. brigid is the patron saint of brides, but also the patron saint of children born out of wedlock [bastards!]. i'm guessing a gathering of her followers is the world's most awkward swap meet.


so whatever you're hoping for right now, consider catholicism as an option to help you get there. because no matter how weird your goals and desires, some demigod by another name is in charge of helping you get it.

07 April 2013

making faces :: prepare to get flashed by armani


i first heard that giorgio armani was releasing a new gloss formula called "flash lacquer" a little while back on best things in beauty. i have to admit, i was a little hesitant, because, having initially snubbed the gloss d'armani formula launched in 2011 because i found it too sheer, i've since fallen bum over noggin in love with it because, despite the sheerness, it's the easiest to use and longest-wearing gloss i've found. so knowing that there was a competing gloss creeping onto the scene made me wonder if there was really room for the ones i'd decided were my favourites. 

but last week, my armani counter decided to go rogue and put out several shades of the new formula for sale, although technically, they weren't supposed to do so until a little later. i tried out a few of them and i do have to admit that i probably, if pressed, think that the colour selection in the flash lacquers is more comprehensive than in the original gloss d'armani line-up, because there are differing levels of pigmentation. those differences are accounted for by the fact that there are three different "families" of shades within the flash lacquer range: more intense, creamy shades dubbed "pure attitude", pearly shades called "pearly japanese enamels" and a more glittery group known as the "sparkling midnight shimmers". the first group pack a lot more pigment than any of the other armani glosses i've seen, but the other two groups seem roughly similar. 

when choosing a colour, my eye was, of course, drawn to the grey-violet "black pearl", part of the "sparkling midnight shimmers" group. [is it just me, or does that sound like a really cheesy roller derby team?] 

armani black pearl
it's a relatively sheer colour, but it definitely veils the lips in a cool lavender-grey colour with a lot of sparkle. it's a very refined kind of sparkle, though, not like glitter glosses of old, but more like a very sophisticated, modern take on a goth lip. it's also surprisingly wearable, which i'll get to later. 


the first thing it reminded me of was, of course, givenchy's gelee interdit in "celestial black". it has more colour to it and the shimmer is more dense. the shimmer in "black pearl" is also cooler in tone, which means that the shade on the lips looks very icy. 

l to r :: black pearl, givenchy celestial black
i'm not certain this would work on ladies [or gentlemen] who have a very warm or olive undertone to their skin, but i really like the contrast against my complexion. 

as for the formula, it certainly passes the "non-sticky" test. [i tested this out with a couple of shades by giving dom a kiss at the counter. fyi, it is not transfer resistant.] it's a luxuriously smooth, very hydrating gloss that makes my lips look a bit smoother and fuller by playing with the way that they reflect light. it does not have the fascinating "gelling" effect that the original gloss d'armanis have. those set on the lips to a more gel-like consistency, which makes them the longest-wearing glosses i own. [note :: i have not tried the ysl glossy stains, which i see as something different than a regular gloss anyway.]

06 April 2013

the power of tard


the internet's sourest puss turned one this week and she's not really interested in what you think about it.

i've posted pictures of grumpy cat(tm) before and alluded to my fascination with her, but let's be clear: i adore tardar sauce. there is just something about that indignant little face that warms my heart. any time that i'm feeling run down, any time i'm having a rough day, dom knows that he can just shoot me a pic of her with some appropriately grumpy caption and i'll be cheerier. [and yes, i know that she's been over-exploited, but since i'm also prone to grumpy, highly antisocial sentiments, there are a disproportionately high number of grumpy cat memes that i find funny.]

of course, the rumour is that she's not actually that grumpy and, in fact, that she's amenable to being picked up and coddled, but if that is the case, she's got an amazing poker face.

this IS my happy face
but the little lady isn't just an internet meme. she's a media personality whose starring in her own commercials. she kept long lines of patient fans waiting for the chance to see her in the fur at sxsw. she's made appearances at local arizona charities and fundraising events. and on top of that, she's kind of an awesome fluke of nature.

there aren't many things that distract me from a photo of anderson, but this is one
her mum is a particularly beautiful calico named callie who was rescued near death and pregnant. her mother managed to recover and deliver a litter that did contain one rather oddly proportioned kitten, tard's rather gormless-looking but equally loveable big brother pokey, who her rescuers/ owners believed to be the result of callie's near-death experience. but when callie got frisky again and ended up delivering a second litter of kittens [fathered by a neighbourhood tough who does occasionally stop by to see his famous daughter, apparently], out popped tardar sauce, looking oddly like a purebred cat reflected in a circus funhouse mirror.

grumpy pokey
veterinarians have guessed that callie carries some genetic predisposition to dwarfism, hidden within her own glamourpuss good looks, which has resulted in kittens from two separate litters [with two separate fathers] who exhibit the same rounded back, slightly clumsy gait, tiny nose and pronounced underbite. if they were human, tard and pokey would be perceived as disabled. instead, people love them because of their difference.

or because they do things like this
personally, i'm kind of grateful to tard for reminding me of the power of "no". because sometimes, you can't and shouldn't sugarcoat things. most of us have to go through life projecting a kind of painfully false diplomacy, worried about offending people who hold some kind of power over us, but there are times when you just have to look someone in the eye with a world-weary expression and say "no". or this:


sometimes, you just have to embrace your inner grump for all to see.

so although she might be indifferent to my admiration, i'd like to take this moment to wish the little girl the happiest birthday she can muster and many more like it.


all photos are taken [without asking, but with utmost respect] from the official grumpy cat web site. except the one of her with anderson, which is taken from his instagram feed. 
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