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slow company

it seems like once again, quebecers and maritimers have it right.

after all, and i admit that i'm indulging in a little hypocrisy here, what on earth is the benefit to killing yourself week in, week out slaving all your life away at a job? for most of us, myself included, we could drop dead and no one we work with would notice anything except that there was an office available. hell, in the maritimes, you're likely to have a job swept out from under you at a moment's notice, with no extra compensation, so you'd better cultivate either strong outside-of-work relationships or a serious drinking habit if you're going to pull through.

i'm amused to know that 44 hours is considered a "very long" work week, since it's been several years since i've worked less than that on an average week, but i like to think that i've improved since the times when working 44 hours would have been something i considered a vacation week. my point in mentioning that is that i know what of i speak. for all the time that i've invested in any job, no matter how much or how little, i've basically gotten the same thing out of it: a pay cheque (or a direct deposit, but, you know, same difference). i've picked up some skills, but i've discovered that the amount that i learn is inexplicably inversely proportional to the number of hours that i'm putting in. perhaps it's because you tend to learn things when you're new, when there's nothing to keep you in the office for long hours.

fact is, we'd all be better off putting more time and effort into family, friends, intellectual and creative pursuits. the proof of that is that quebecers are the most satisfied with their current work-life balance. only the people who are already working longer hours harbour the jejeune belief that they would be happier if they were able to work and earn more. it doesn't work like that.

that's not to say, of course, that money can't by some remarkable substitutes for happiness and we all need a certain amount to keep us happy, but the people i know who work the longest hours are generally among the most miserable and depressed. all the money in the world doesn't buy back the experiences you miss by shutting yourself off from the world at a job.

so if you're reading this from quebec or the maritimes, sit back and crack open a beer. feel superior. if you're reading this from central or western canada (or from the usa), you'd better close your browser, because we all know you're still at work and big brother is probably monitoring your internet usage.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…