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UPDATE! the new banner is now hanging above. look at banner! many thanks to dom for rejuvenating it for 2017! also, i've updated the about me page, because i like to do that every couple of years or so, when i realise that at least 50% of it is out of date... [#shameface]

why yes, i have made a slight change in the appearance of the blog. i think this makes it easier to read, and i kind of like the colours involved [although those are subject to change]. i'm not so sure about losing my banner, which i rather liked, or my links [although they were badly in need of updating]. i'm still combing through older posts to make sure that there aren't any huge layout issues, so if anything looks weird, please let me know. in fact, please let me know if you have any thoughts on the "new look" more like space. 
Recent posts

making faces :: magic mushrooms

it seems like such a short time ago that i was criticising bite for not providing me with enough unique colour options in any of their fine products. last year, not only did they reformulate their core lipstick line, replacing their original luminous creme with the amuse bouche formula, but they also started coming out with some of the most original shades on the market. much of their line is still made up by classics, like all lipstick collections, but they've done an excellent job of populating the fringes with surprises. and that's a boon to someone like me, who has perhaps collected just a few more shades of berry and red than maybe she should have during her time on earth...

this spring, bite came out with what might be their most daring collection ever, which is saying something considering that their 2016 summer collection [winner of a coveted shrunken head award] included a nearly glow in the dark purple and a blackened green. it's called "edgy neutrals" …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …

...and my cup size is none of your damn business

this story, about a man who got a female coworker to trade email accounts with him for two weeks to see if he could see a difference in customer reactions, has been making the rounds on social media and beyond in the last week or so. earlier today, i posted it on my personal facebook page about it, and realised that i had a lot more that i wanted to share than made sense for a facebook post. so i've come here to rant.

a couple of things to start:

1. i've had some really good job experiences in my life. i'm both lucky and unlucky that the best of them came early on, but even in more recent years, i worked at a couple of places that treated workers, all workers, with respect. that respect can be expressed in different ways, but believe me, you know it when it's there. so i want to make it clear that #notallworkplaces fit the pattern i'm about to describe.

2. i am really, really, really grateful to martin r. schneider, who thought up and did this experiment, not just …

making faces :: i could maybe not buy this one thing

i've been into makeup on some level for a long time- much longer than i've been writing about it, for certain. even as a young woman, i loved the feeling of i got from applying a deep-hued lipstick and some mascara. it took years for me to figure out eyeshadow, and even longer for me to appreciate blush. but at this point, i think we can agree that i'm pretty much into the whole gamut. [except liquid and super-matte lipsticks, and most very sparkly eyeshadows. but that's because they're painful for me to wear.]

the thing about spending a long time collecting and holding onto just about everything is that you accumulate quite a stash. lately, i'm trying to force myself to think about what i already have before laying down money for something new. most recently, i found myself drawn to the modern renaissance palette from anastasia. me and a lot of people. by the time i started thinking about it, it was already sold out in my local sephora and online. i signed up…

story corner :: there they are, all around

about ten days ago, i posted something about how i'd made use of a very vague writing prompt and some alpha wave sound to see what creativity it brought out in me. today, i thought i would share the story that i wrote while "under the influence".

the word that dom gave me to work with was "parking", and at first i had this idea of writing something about two people battling over a parking spot, envisioned as this epic conflict, but i don't really have the command of fantasy or medieval writing i would need to do that justice. [remember how anal retentive i said i was about details? this is the primary way in which this holds me back.] i had wanted to do something a bit humourous to go along with the tone of the difference engine, which was the story i wrote the first time dom gave me a prompt. however, my brain apparently had other ideas.

as happens from time to lucky time, this just came pouring out of me. i categorize that as 'lucky' because i do…

when you want a great pair

i have finally come to the realisation that i might be trying to learn too many languages at once. that's not to say that i don't want to learn all the languages that exist in written form, but spreading myself across a dozen at one time doesn't allow for a lot of progress in any of them. therefore, while i'm still "checking in" with all of them, i'm trying to focus on a couple at a time. lately, that's been swedish and norwegian, because they are both grammatically similar to english [even if the swedish accent is very tough for me], which makes things progress faster. in general, i've been trying to pair similar languages because, while it can get a bit confusing, building the skill sets of both at once strengthens each of them. if you want more bang for your linguistic buck, 'pairing' like this can be quite helpful. here's a few suggestions for ones that i'd recommend:

swedish and norwegian :: they are so similar, it's easy …