Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2013

mental health mondays :: enough to drive you crazy

just because i have no patience for shows like "american idol", "the voice" or anything involving the karsahians doesn't mean that i'm entirely immune to the meretricious charms of reality television. i try to take a moment every day to hate myself for finding "duck dynasty" amusing, despite my fundamental disagreements with the robertson family on just about everything and my awareness of the artifice of the show itself. but one reality show that feels less guilty and more pleasure is "canada's worst driver", a distinctly canadian take on a show that's appeared in different national versions for over a decade, starting [as many reality shows do] in great britain.

the canadian version has actually had a longer run than any of the other "worst driver" series not because our drivers are that bad, but because the focus of the show is not an anti-celebration of the bad drivers, but on educating them on how to become good […

canada post's monkey business

i've written recently about my own tribulations with canada post, but i've effectively avoided discussing the new "five point plan" that was unveiled by the corporation earlier this month, their strategy for maintaining profits in an era when less and less mail is being sent. this strategy has nothing to do with my recent tribulations, because canada post hasn't even started to implement it yet, but i will say that the same organizational "intelligence" that has caused the issues that i've written about is pervasive in the five point plan. which is a very long way of saying that this plan looks like it was put together by a gang of paste-eaters taking a break from shoving bottle rockets up their noses.

now, not all of the plan is bad. an infinite number of monkeys might be able to write all the great books given enough time and slightly further down the evolutionary scale, canada post managers have been able to come up with two points [well, one and…

making faces :: we all need something to warm us up in winter

it's officially winter. it's not just that it's christmas, or that it's -25 celsius here in montreal. it's that we've
passed the astrological dividing line and now the days are getting longer. of course, the coldest days are still ahead, since temperature extremes are always reached the month after a solstice, which is why it's nice to think warm thoughts and drape yourself in warm things.

for me, warm things include warm colours and luckily for me, i recently had an order from beauty habit arrive with just what the season ordered to heat things up as far as my face is concerned. only one of these is a new item, but both suit my style perfectly at this point in time. in fact, i think that both items i'm reviewing will be things that i can turn to throughout the year, which makes them all the more valuable.

up first, let's look at the new: chantecaille hydra chic lipstick in "persimmon". this was released as part of their fall collection. …

it's that time again...

that time when i swallow my seasonal humbug and say that i do sincerely wish all of you who have stopped by to read this blog a very happy holiday season.

if you're trying to find something to pass the time while waiting for the food and present action, might i suggest doing a last minute check of whether you're on santa's nice or naughty list? if you're already sure where you fall, you can also check for friends and acquaintances, which is what i did:

no, i didn't rig it. that's seriously what happened when i typed that name and hit "submit.

oh saint nicholas, there's so much more to you than we thought...

canada post is guaranteed to drive you a little crazy

i want to make this clear, right off the top: no one envies postal employees at this time of year. it's harsh work tramping through snow and sleet and driving in dangerous conditions or even just standing at a counter with a line up of people who are all convinced that it's your fault that they waited too long in order to mail your holiday packages. those jobs are thankless and everyone should bear that in mind when dealing with postal employees close to xmas.

however, there is a sort of mentality that seems to permeate the upper echelons of the postal organisation that i would like to characterise as an absurdist conspiracy. they're all mad there and they want you to join in the fun. to illustrate this [again] here is a conversation i had with a canada post employee when trying to ship a package to halifax.

me :: hello, i'd like to ship this box overnight to halifax

customer service rep :: we can't do that.

me :: it says on the sign behind you that you do.

csr :: …

making faces :: let's talk about this nars guy thing

i'm late, i'm sorry.

i say that phrase all the time, but it's the first time i feel the need to apologise for my tardiness here on my blog, because the fact is that i'm about to discuss something that's already been discussed and review things that are already somewhat hard to find... i am truly sorry. you can't see my lack of sarcasm, but i assure you, it's there.

this holiday season, which starts in october at retailers, never in advance of november for me, but certainly before the sixteenth of december for everybody, nars has released a collection that is about as holiday-friendly as i am. it's inspired by the work of fashion photographer guy bourdin, who in turn inspired francois nars as an impressionable youth.

bourdin's photography is graphic in every sense- he uses stark imagery and bold colour, but often the scenes presented are violent and shocking, in contrast with the haute couture beauty of his subjects. this propensity towards violence,…

mental health mondays :: d for depression?

one of the things that makes depression so difficult to treat is that it can be difficult to distinguish whether it's a condition in itself or a symptom of something else. you can be depressed for no reason other than being depressed, but you can also be depressed as an effect of a condition that has nothing to do with your mood, your outlook or your neurotransmitters- kinda.

because if you've ever tried to diagnose yourself on line, you've probably noticed that depression is a
symptom of just about everything- as ubiquitous as headaches or stomach upset, which means that just because you're showing all the symptoms of depression doesn't mean that it's necessarily your problem. excessive drinking causes depression. so can surgery. a lot of medications can cause depression. thyroid problems can too. chronic or long-duration illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia or diabetes are known to cause secondary depression at much higher rates than are f…

could the postman at least ring once?

me :: hello, is this canada post customer service?

csr :: yes

me :: i got a notice that there was an attempt to deliver a package today.

csr :: it should say where you can pick it up.

me :: yes, i know how that works, thanks, but what i'm wondering is why the deliverer didn't just ring the doorbell. we've been home all day. and this is actually the second time i've had to call, because we got another package delivered a couple of weeks ago, except that the guy forgot to leave the first notice, so we only got a final notice.

csr :: i'm sorry, that's not supposed to happen.

me :: well thank you, i already spoke to someone who apologised, which is cool and all, but the thing is that the apology doesn't mean much if you keep doing the same thing, that is, leaving us notices saying that there was a delivery attempt, but not actually attempting to make a delivery.

csr :: well it's now canada post policy that we don't ring doorbells when we're deliveri…

mental health mondays [rewind] :: bonkers for benzos

consistently, one of the most searched terms that leads people to this blog is "benzo". that's interesting
and not just to the authorities who have probably put me on watch lists because they think this blog is in some kind of drug dealer code.

i've lapsed on the "regular" sections of this blog as i've been in recovery mode lately, but after wading into a conversation about the drugs we love to hate to love, i thought i might just re-post this one. i have been thinking about doing a piece on the comparative experiences that people have with benzodiazepines, but that is quite an undertaking. everyone has their favourites and their betes noires in this category. of course, the fact that everyone has opinions could probably be seen as an indicator that too many people are taking them to begin with. but i'm not a medical professional.

so pop 'em if you got 'em and enjoy the more like space mental health mondays benzo primer [again].

*

originall…

making faces :: xmas kisses from guerlain

there's no denying that the holiday season is upon us. i was in the drug store today and while i was waiting for a prescription to be filled, there was a quebecois country hoedown version of "jingle bells" playing and i was consumed with the urge to set things on fire. i always like to take a moment every holiday season to consider the poor sales associates who are forced to work day in and day out with the most insipid holiday music in their ears all the time. they are truly the heroes of xmas.
but even i'm drawn to overcome my seasonal avoidance syndrome enough to risk venturing out to the retail environment when i don't have to in order to try out the season's makeup collections. and none tempts me more each year than guerlain. 
after last year's operatically themed "liu" collection, the company has gone in another direction for this year's "crazy paris". everything is touched with neon, including the packaging, which is black …

making faces :: orange you glad

i have already established myself as a defender of orange, the redheaded stepchild of the colour wheel and at no time of the year do i find the freshness, fruitiness and friendliness of orange to be more welcome than during this last sprint towards the winter solstice, when i basically feel like a mole person living in a land where the light of the sun is rarely seen.

since i'm still stuck close to home most of the time, i have the opportunity to get creative with what i wear on my face. after all, there's no pressure on me to look professional for the cats or for dom, so the worst that's going to happen is that someone coming to drop off mail is going to think i got all gussied up just for him [or her].

so today, to combat the fact that i didn't feel particularly well in any sense, i decided to do battle against the gloom of perpetual twilight [an ugly thought in all its forms] with an army of orange shades. well, a small army. three. but they're pretty incredible…

wherein i become a flavour of paranoia

personally, i'm kind of happy to relate any story that involves me and the term paranoia that doesn't also 69 flavours of paranoia".
contain the terms "forcibly sedated" or "detained for questioning". but i'm especially happy to report that my short story "spook house" is now available through the grace of the lovely folks at "

please feel free to visit it and read it to your children as a bedtime story, assuming you don't like your children very much. ok, don't read it to children, they won't like it anyway. but i do highly encourage you to peruse the story as well as the rest of the 69 flavours web site. [i particularly enjoyed this nice recap of some of the more bizarre conspiracy theories you're likely to run into. nasa impersonators and great white yiddish sharks.]

a big thank you to writers' carnival for introducing us!

the image above comes from the magnificently creepy carnival of souls. if you haven't…