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Showing posts from November, 2013

things to do when you're more or less stuck at home which are also better than trying to brave crowds at black friday sales

watching the news, dom and i were shocked to here a newscaster utter the words "black friday isn't over!" mostly, we were shocked because this was last night, also known as thursday, so it seemed sort of strange that friday not being over would be newsworthy. i mean, not to get all technical and stuff, but it could be pointed out that friday hadn't even started. but maybe that's one of those differences that gets confused because of the measuring systems. does friday start at the same time in metric?

personally, i celebrated the arrival of the most dreaded shopping day in the entire universe by having a nap and spending the rest of the night suffering from insomnia. during that time, i managed to think of lots of things that i could do that would be more enjoyable than sliding into my fat pants and making my way to a big box retailer. [if i'd kept up my list of things that i'd prefer to do, "time" would have been on the list as well.]

1. open a …

making faces :: making the best [faces] of a bad situation

as i mentioned in an earlier post, a medical procedure has had me somewhat restricted lately and while
i'm improving, i'm far from back to my usual self. several days at home have been restful, but they've also resulted in a sort of cabin fever that has been frustrating to say the least.

although i've mostly been laying around home slightly fuzzy on painkillers and wearing dom's shirts with leggings, i've taken the few opportunities i've had to go outside in order to play around with different looks. this isn't because i feel i need to- no one is going to judge me for a face that's au naturel- but because it helps give me something to kill some extra time.

so here are a couple of faces that boredom created:

#1 :: kate the hat

i have a real fondness for hats and i'm glad to see that more and more stores are carrying them in a wider variety. they can be tricky when you're going somewhere like work, since hat-head is a real scourge, but they a…

formal complaints

as you may have heard, the band arcade fire has ruffled a few feathers- or a few t-shirts and jeans, at least- by asking fans to turn up to their shows in "formal attire". their description of formal attire is fairly broad; it was defined in the band's own tweets as "suit, dress or fancy something". they've even invited people to appear in full costume if that's their thing. sharp criticism on social media was immediate and profuse and while the band's leader said that he wasn't sorry for making people dress up, their twitter account later did clarify that while they had said it was mandatory, it wasn't "super mandatory". so you might not want to drop your hard-earned cash on that ball gown after all.

i'll say from the outset that i'm not a fan of arcade fire. i've always referred to them as godspeed you! black emperor for dummies, meaning a group that has taken the indie/ arty roots of an underground phenomena, boiled …

making faces :: fall in action, part 2

after sharing a number of looks with neutral eyes and vampy lips, i did promise that i was going to try to post something a little more in line with the colours of fall foliage and the rich autumnal tones that seem more warm and inviting.

i touched on these before when i featured

eyes inspired by autumn foliage
favourite fall blushes
warm and spicy reds and plums for the season

the relative darkness when i get up in the mornings and complete darkness when i get home at night makes it difficult for me to snap quick pictures of any look, which is why there haven't been as many of them lately. this week, however, i had to take time off to get minor surgery and yesterday i felt like i needed something to lift my spirits a bit, so i tried dressing up my face a little. [just because it's minor surgery doesn't mean it can't cause some major pain and inconvenience.] i had a little bit of an allergic reaction to a serum i tried [because my day was going so well otherwise], which y…

making faces :: game changers

i'm not sure when i became skeptical, but i will say that i have never once believed the claims of any beauty product. that's not an exaggeration. for years, my selection of products was determined by two things: 
do i like this colour? does this smell nice?
that was really it. i did fundamentally understand that more expensive stuff generally had higher quality ingredients, because that was something that i could see reflected in other ways: food works like that. clothing works like that [up to a certain point]. so as my budget increased, i would try out more expensive things to see if they were worth investment and i'd be pleasantly surprised when they turned out to produce good results. 
part of my credulity came because i knew about the facts of skin and aging. there are some things that are effective, but the main thing you have to accept is that the changes you can expect are not going to be massive. [and actually, you can make a far greater difference through chang…

the style fyle

it's funny that despite my love of all things sartorial, i don't talk about clothing that much on this blog. i talk freely about makeup, which i love as well and the fact is that i more frequently get comments [occasionally compliments] about what i wear on my body than what i wear on my face. more often than not, people describe what i wear as "distinctive", which i take to mean that they find it interesting, but also a little bit further out than they would feel comfortable venturing. i'm ok with that. i actually feel awkward dressed in most everyday clothing unless i do something to "energize" it.

i have been sharing little snippets of outfits on my instagram account and i thought i'd post some here, to let you get to know me from the neck down. here's a little primer...

I'M GETTING CHANGED, I'LL MEET YOU AFTER THE BREAK...

the bowels of st. mary's

i had an appointment at st. mary's hospital recently, which involved having to descend into a floor below the basement and make my way through a maze that looked like something out of lars von trier's "the kingdom". i really couldn't resist the urge to snap and filter a few images from my underground adventure. they do capture the atmosphere of the place remarkably well, i think. i only wish i'd thought to grab an audio recording of the strange sounds that echoed through the labyrinth...




it's always fascinating what lurks beneath, no?

the dream of walking

well i did say that i was going to try to get some writing done this week and i have, although not much.
i should have a little more time available to me in the not-too-distant november future. i did write this little fragment, which, while it reads like a recollection of a dream, is actually a recollection of something that really happened, or at least an apocryphal recollection of something that i used to do fairly regularly.

with all of the news about toronto mayor rob ford, his tribulations and his unwavering fans dubbed "ford nation", i was reminded of my experiences in the neighbourhood of etobicoke. it's considered his home base, but it's also an area where i used to work. much of etobicoke is quite well-to-do, but the area where i worked was a little strange. it had once been a suburb sitting on the city's western shoulder and it still bears those hallmarks: streets of postwar bungalows adjacent low-lying industrial properties, once state of the art, but…

making faces :: fall in action

since i've already posted about many of my favourite fall products, i thought i might show you what they look like in use.




for those of you who might be stumbling across this post unawares, here's a look at

eye shades that mimic the colourful foliage of the season
eye shades that make a perfect neutral foil for darker lips

blushes that give a wind-kissed flush in keeping with the season
lip colours that reflect the richness of the seasonal palette
lip colours that speak to our inner bad girl

and with those out of the way like so many fallen leaves, here's a look at how some of those products can be combined...


mental health mondays :: social disease

i can well remember the first time i heard about social anxiety disorder [aka social phobia]. my mother was commenting on a story she'd heard on the news about the condition. when she repeated the words "social anxiety disorder" she gave a derisive kind of snort and added "you mean shy. now being shy is a psychological condition." and therein lies the problem of social anxiety disorder: how do you differentiate between stigmatizing people who are just naturally more reticent in front of others and helping people whose reticence prevents them from living a "normal", fulfilling life?


most mental health web sites will tell you that social anxiety is "more than just shyness", but that doesn't really help a whole lot. how do you identify when your shyness has become problematic? scarier still, how do you identify it in a child? i add that second part, although i'm normally nervous writing about childhood mental disorders, because there …

"friday" favourites 09.11.13

i was planning on doing this last night [and last week], but i've found myself increasingly exhausted at the end of the week as time has crept on and the stupid time change means that it gets dark at around lunch time. yes, it means that i'm no longer fumbling around trying to apply mascara in the pitch black, or raising the ire of dom and my fur babies by turning on the overhead light and ruining everything in the world for all of them, but it's undeniably depressing. and when i feel depressed i get listless. and when i get listless, i write less. which sucks, because it is, of course, NANOWRIMO, which is not in fact an arm of the military industrial complex, but national novel writing month. and by national, they mean international.

i've been meaning to participate in this every year for ages, but i've never remembered. in fact, i only remembered on the 5th this year, which would have cut my chances short when you look at exactly how many hours it would take to …

city howl

i've been meaning to write this post for days, but the rob ford train wreck wouldn't slow down long
enough for me to get the words out. in fact, i'm still not certain i can type this without missing a few updates, but it's basically all i've been able to talk about for the last week, so it kinda seems like i should be posting. after all, this is the repository for all the junk that's built up in my brain. [in case you thought there was some larger point to this, no there isn't. i just wanted a place to rant on the internet.]

so let's review:

six months ago, two journalists from the toronto star and one from gawker.com said that they were approached about buying a video of toronto mayor rob ford smoking crack. stills from said video were made public and the journalists sounded pretty convinced that they were dealing with a legitimate thing- legitimate enough that gawker went to press with the rumour of the video's existence.

gawker actually raised t…

mental health mondays :: check up from the neck up!

it's been a while since i posted a quiz to find your crazy here, so i figured that this was as good a time as any to call your attention to the "check up from the neck up", created by the mood disorders association of ontario. it's similar to many on line quizzes, however i do like the fact that it goes into a bit more detail than the basic ones in an attempt to unpack how crazy you are at this very moment versus how crazy you might have been in your youth. from my results, it seems fairly reliable, although, as always, an online quiz does not a diagnosis make.

bonus feature :: it has instructions on how to delete results permanently from your browser, in case you're using a computer where you might not feel comfortable with that information lying around in the cache.