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Showing posts from July, 2016

inspiration and insurrection :: fun times with the dnc

i think that there should be some sort of rule that says that once both american political parties have had their pre-election conventions, no one is allowed to talk about politics for a week. no one at all. we should all just be forced to sit back, breathe, reflect on what we've seen [if we absolutely must] and then, seven days after the final balloon has been popped, we can once again start speaking and, undoubtedly, arguing, about what we've just seen. i feel like that's the only sane response to the insanity that is the pre-electoral nomination convention of an american political party, because, without that, we might start to think it was acceptable to go around shouting "u!s!a!" every time we felt even slightly good about something. and we should never, ever feel that way.

but until that law is enacted, i'm going to do the same damn thing that everyone else with an interest in politics does and keep right on talking until i run out of oxygen and my fin…

trump pot and clinton kettle

if you've been in contact with any media in the last couple of months, you know that presidential candidate donald trump's pet name for his electoral rival [or puppet-master, if you believe some rumours] hillary clinton is "crooked hillary". the nickname reflects a general perception that mrs. clinton is untrustworthy because of the scandal related to her use of a private email server to conduct state business, rather than a government server, where the public could be guaranteed that all her communication on their behalf would be properly scrutinized and archived. [he has also resurrected the story that hillary was implicated in the death of deputy white house counsel vince foster, a rumour that has been investigated and dismissed six different times, including by monice lewinski blow job prosecutor kenneth starr. the story is often included in tales of the so-called "clinton body count", which has also been dismissed.]

what likely galls her supporters th…

oh cleveland, what have ye wrought?

four days. i watched it every day for four straight days. i even watched most of the opening acts, although i'll admit that i dodged out to watch commentary some of the time, because i started to feel like i was in some fact-proof box and needed to know that there were other people who were just a bit more like me in the world. but i think i probably watched more of the republican national convention than most people who are members of the republican party, and that includes some of the people at the convention, who were apparently just in town for some hot, forbiddengay sex.

i delayed a day in posting my reaction to see if allowing what i'd seen to sink in would result in it making any more sense, to no avail. from the wussiest rebellion in history at the very opening of the convention [technically before the opening] to the pornographic exploitation of a mother's grief at her son's death in benghazi to melania trump's speech plagiarized from michelle obama of all…

making faces :: one more bite won't kill me

i've always imagined that "one more bite won't kill me" will actually be my last words [or, alternately "what does this button do?"], but i hadn't until recently thought that the direct cause would be lipstick-related. now, when i look at the extent of my collection, i'm forced to acknowledge that there is a very good chance that i'll be unable to resist a new bite beauty amuse bouche and get crushed in a very colourful avalanche as i am trying to put everything away. i don't know how much time i've got left, but given the strength of my addiction and the limitations of space, things are likely to get dangerous soon. and yet, here i am, about to tell you about the next new shade of bite lipstick i brought home.

it wasn't that long ago that my principal issue with bite [and it wasn't a big issue, given the quality of their products] was that their shade range, while broad, tended to be the sorts of shades that lots of other brand…

three things i learned about english by learning other languages

in the continuing adventures of kate fulfilling her lifetime wish to learn every language ever more languages than the two i already know, i've found that there is a parallel system by which i am learning a great deal about my mother tongue. [spellcheck just suggested i change that to "my mother's tongue". spellcheck, you are officially creeping me out.]

most of us learn how to speak our native language in the same way: we're taught general rules, but because we're speaking the language all the time, we don't tend to reflect on what those rules are on a regular basis. but when you're force feeding yourself a high-grammar, high-vocabulary diet o, you start to notice things about your linguistic diet up to that point. and here are some of those things that i, as a native english speaker, have noticed.

1. we do something awful to the letter 'r'. we will often snicker, or mimic with great exaggeration, the rolled 'r' that we here in spani…

hey, hoosier boy, i have some questions

since donald trump rather confusedly canceled his press conference to announce indiana governor a list of questions that should be asked of [since confirmed] candidate hillary clinton. i anticipated then that none of them would be asked, and thus far that's proven true. herein lies the problem when you have a candidate like trump in the race: other candidates never get the scrutiny they richly deserve and important issues fall by the wayside.
mike pence as his running mate and then blurted it out on twitter when he realised that pence had to officially withdraw from the gubernatorial race today at noon anyway, and since they've already debuted their campaign imagery and vaguely buttseksy logo, i figured it was as good a time as any to put some questions out there. a few months ago, i came up with

i don't have much confidence that anyone will ask any of these questions of governor pence, but i would say it's just a hair more likely that we might hear some of them crop…

playing doctor

nonetheless, i persist in checking up online when i have a problem, just to see if i have signs of anything serious. most recently, i found that my body was showing a lot of signs of a sluggish thyroid. and the thing is, that's something that i can attempt to deal with myself, because there are dietary changes and over the counter supplements that i can try without even making an appointment. seems to me that that actually helps the healthcare system, since, at the worst, it delays the time that it takes me to make an appointment and lets me assure my doctor that i've tried some of the basics.

in the interest of those who'd like to try "helping", i've made this little list of hints on how to consult the internet for health advice without incurring the wrath of the medical system.

1. read from good sources :: the reasons that doctors get furious about self-diagnosis is that so many people are getting their information from blogs that offer only anecdotal evid…

armchair centre back :: the end is near

hard to believe it's been a month since the euro final tournament kicked off. tomorrow, we have the final showdown between france and portugal. [excuse me, i have to suppress bile every time i say that last bit.] so there's no doubt who i'll be supporting tomorrow. i do find it odd that, after a competition that has seen many, many shocks, the team that was the bookmakers' favourite to win the cup does look likely to do so. as far as dom's picks and mine? we need to sharpen our game a little... here's how we fared:

winner :: tbd

we said :: germany. we both said germany. i did, however, say that germany was vulnerable to their own complacency, and i would say that that was a factor in their final game against france. having beaten them with relative ease in the world cup two years ago, perhaps germany felt they could turn in a solid, but not brilliant performance. and that's what they did. unfortunately for them, france did turn in a brilliant performance.

&q…

making faces :: easy ombré

i love staring at photos of very intricate makeup on instagram and pinterest. it really is an art, whether you're creating remarkable trompe d'œils, or simply showing an ingenious use of colour, there is a remarkable amount of inventiveness that is used in decorating the human canvas. unfortunately, it's not something i can really put to a lot of use. i may love a peacock inspired eye with iridescent shades of blue, green and purple, but i'm not exactly going throw it on to run to the drug store. and in professional situations, i'd prefer that when people look at me, they see me and not mimi from the drew carey show
although the most intricate artwork is focused on the eyes, there are some lip trends that show up, most notable the lip ombré. this involves multiple colours, well blended to make a transition from one colour on the outer edge of the lip to another colour at the centre. in "editorial" looks [beauty code for "stuff you're just not …

does anyone know how we got here?

today marks my 183rd consecutive day using duolingo, the language-learning site/ app that's helping me fulfill my sort-of new year's resolution to learn more languages. [i've actually been using duolingo for thirty or forty days more than that, but i skipped a day and lost my streak.] 183 days is exactly half a year, on a leap year, which makes this by far the most successful new year's resolution i've ever made, especially since i can't actually remember making any new year's resolutions. i think once i resolved to stop being depressed and anxious and i don't think i made it until lunch on the 1st before that one was done. maybe next year, i'll resolve to be a much more successful writer.

pausing to reflect on the half-cycle 'round the sun i've done since i started this project, there is one question that keeps coming back into my mind: how exactly did the indo-europeans end up taking over so much of the world? colonialist expansion meant …