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homeward bound, or, curious and terrible things i have learned while hunting for an apartment

for some months, dom and i have known that we have to move when our lease is up, at the end of june. after years of struggling with multiple sclerosis, dom is basically confined to a wheelchair, and we live in a third floor walk-up. this is dangerous, but it's also depressing, because it means that he's confined to the apartment 24/7. and what someone with multiple sclerosis absolutely does not need is something to push him more and more towards depression. with the vast majority of montreal leases rolling over on the same date, the 1st of july is a moving nightmare. you'll pay through the nose, because movers cannot cope with the number of customers they have on that day. you'll run hours late, because there's always some hitch that stops things dead in their tracks, that then cascades down to all the others who are waiting for the same movers. you'll face frayed tempers that border on murderous the later it gets, because you have new tenants arriving before …
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making faces :: inspired by fire and ice

i don't know why, perhaps because i'm starting to worry that the end of the world is nigh, but i found myself thinking about this verse earlier in the week:

Some say the world will end in fire, 
Some say in ice. 
From what I’ve tasted of desire 
I hold with those who favor fire. 
But if it had to perish twice, 
I think I know enough of hate 
To say that for destruction ice 
Is also great 
And would suffice.

i've always held robert frost at a bit of a distance, although i do love "stopping by woods on a snowy evening" and especially "acquainted with the night". [no self-respecting insomniac can exist without loving that poem. if you don't, you're an insomnia dilettante.] but there's something about the short piece above that strikes me as a kind of saying, like "a stitch in time makes nine", except that it makes more sense. it's almost too short to be a poem, and falls closer to the part of an axiom.

how we get from robert frost to makeu…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…

losers

i couldn't let today slip by without taking a little shot at the republican party and the collapse of their health care bill. after about four hundred efforts to repeal the affordable care act, the party that opposed it couldn't bring its characteristic unity to getting its own bill passed, thus cementing the idea that their principal skill is in criticising. it's normally the progressive left that tends to eat itself alive, with groups arguing over who is more liberated than whom, and whose pet cause is the most important, so it's sort of a relief to see that happening to the other side.

the problem is that it's hard to take even a little pleasure out of the current situation. there are few winners: the major winners are the twenty million people covered under the affordable care act who will remain covered for now; also, there's barack obama, who seems to have shifted the locus of the health care debate to one where americans feel entitled to a certain level…

wtf

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.

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" …