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what're you lookin at? [the most popular posts of 2016 on more like space]

i'm a little late getting around to these, but i feel like i needed some time to decompress from 2016. various commitments meant that i had less time for blogging last year. in fact, i had fewer posts than any time since 2010, when i was rebounding from the great ignoring of this blog. [this was largely due to the fact that i was maintaining a private blog on myspace- remember them?]

the thrilling and surprising thing is that 2016 was also the busiest year ever in terms of visits and in terms of diversity [i.e., the number of different locations from which you visited]. is it a case of quality over quantity? i had a dream last night where everyone in my school was telling me that they hated me because i talked too much. so maybe there's something to that.

for the second year running, the most popular post on the blog this year was music related: 'so hip it hurts', my tribute to the tragically hip and their unexpected effect on me wasn't something i expected to write, but i'm glad to know that i was far from along in how i felt. and, for the second year in a row, i'm honoured that people stuck around to read something of that length. in a world where it seems speech and dialogue is more compressed than ever, it's heartening to know that the attention span isn't dead yet.

i'm not quite sure how to interpret the reaction to the second most popular post, 'critical failure', and account of my embarrassing collapse on "game day"- my first opportunity to use some of my newly acquired language skills. and if that weren't bad enough, 'so the world hates me', a post about me losing a blog post, also ranked among the most popular. i guess sometimes your purpose on earth is to make others feel better.

in fact, posts about language learning were much more of a hit than i'd anticipated. i figured they were too self-indulgent to find an audience, but apparently the opposite is true. of the most popular posts of the year, about five of the top ten were on this subject. of those, the most popular were 'tongues, twisted' and 'in peril'.

i was not so surprised to see that posts on the american election were popular, since it seemed like it was all people could talk about for great stretches of time. what did catch me off guard, however, was the fact that the most popular of them [the third most popular post of the year] was my recap of the vice presidential debate, 'shut up'. i put that down to the fact that the title itself likely summed up the mood of the people more than any other statement. in second place among the political posts was 'the art of the feel', which again gave me that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from knowing that people are willing to read a long ranty post.

one of the most interesting phenomena was that my cosmetics-focused posts 'making faces' drew a significant number of views, but each of them was about the same in terms of popularity. the most popular were my first ever post about perfume, 'making scents', and my review of urban decay's new lipstick line 'meet the vice squad'. but neither of those got significantly more views than others. the difference? no armani reviews. last year, those were extremely popular, but this year, there were just so many things launching that i never got around to armani's less spectacular [and often very pricey] offerings. although i only did one last year, colour analysis posts remain extremely popular. note to self: do more colour analysis posts in 2017.

to that end, i'm making a few blog resolutions: i'm fully aware that i haven't kept up with mental health mondays in recent weeks and, in the interests of keeping away from the rut of pop psychology, i'm considering reducing the frequency of those posts. i don't want to eliminate them, because i know that they have a following, but, given the number of subjects already addressed, i'd like to focus on providing something that's well researched and meaningful. mental health monthly? we shall see.

second, as i mentioned above, more on colour analysis. no, i'm not a professional, but not everyone can afford a professional, and even those who can don't always have the opportunity to see them. in general, i'd like to shift the beauty posts towards topics other than just reviews of new products. there are far better reviewers, with far more experience than i, and who are able to receive or purchase products on a much more timely basis. and i'm much happier talking about what inspires the different faces i put on, and about the ways that colour and makeup can be used. yes, there will be reviews, but i want to make them a bit different. [fyi, this is my favourite beauty post that i've ever done. it was written in the midst of a bunch of holiday posts about red lipstick.]

third, i want to keep a sharp eye on politics and talk about it. i'm the first person to criticise others for only being interested and active in the runup to an election, and then i do the same goddamn thing on my blog. no, i will not look up from my microscope [except occasionally to learn languages]. i will stay focused and talk about things that i think are important in canada, the united states, and everywhere else.

despite the fact that posts on music have been the most popular on the blog two years running, i'm hesitant to say i'll write more on the subject. for starters, i write a lot about music on other sites. then, there's the fact that my tastes in music are very far from anything popular, so i always wonder how many people can really relate. we shall see.

beyond that... it'll likely be more of the same and possibly some things that i can't predict [because i never know when my next obsession is coming]. 2016 marked the tenth anniversary of this blog, which has always been an outlet for what goes on in my head. i'm too stubborn to change and do all the things that i'm supposed to do in order to have a really good blog. i can live with that and i hope that you can too.

i am so grateful to all of you who've stopped by here. every time you comment, share, mention on another site, hell, every time i see a new visitor, it's a positive experience for me. it's been a rather difficult year on the personal front. i don't share these things too often on the blog [honestly, i don't talk about them too much in person either], but this is my outlet. this is where i come to just be me and to share things that i find interesting, in the hopes that there are others who will enjoy them too. so thank you, always, for making me feel that connection.

welcome, 2017. i'm not sure how good a year you will be, and let's face it, that january 20th bump is going to make things difficult. but we're all pulling for you to make some good out of the crappy situation you've been left. godspeed you, little year. 

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

dreamspeak

ok, so i've been lax about posting here. i apologise. there are reasons. i don't know if they'ree good reasons, but they include:


i've had a lot of work to do, which is nice because i'm a freelancer and things tend to slow down in the summer, so the more work i get now, the less i have to worry about later [in theory].i started watching the handmaid's tale. i was a little hesitant because i didn't actually like the novel very much; i found it heavy-handed and predictable. the series relies on the novel for about 80% of its first season plot but i nevertheless find it spellbinding. where i felt that the novel beat readers with its politics, the series does a better job of connecting with the humanity in the midst of politics. i'm dithering on starting season two because i am a serial binger and once i know damn well that starting the second season will soon consign me to the horrors of having to wait a week between episodes. i don't know if i can han…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…

mental health mondays :: separate and not equal

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the united states surgeon general documented the differences between white and non-white mental health care back in 2001 so we can assume that it was already a known problem at that point. two years later, a presidential commission said the same damn thing and groups like the national association for mental health seized on this to develop guidelines on how to bridge the ethnic gap. from the turn of the century through 2007, the number of papers and publications talking about the mental health care gap spiked. the issue was viewed as being on par with obesity when it came to urgent problems.

starting in 2004, researchers undertook a massive project that involved the records of nearly a quart…