Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2013

this time, it's personal

i don't make a secret of the fact that i despise our current conservative government. and i don't mean more than willing to give our current prime minister a fair shot when he won his first minority government back some time before christ.
that just in the sense that i talk about it on the internet where i could conceivably get away with it. i talk about this out in the open, including in my workplace. i feel really strongly that canada currently has one of the worst [and most embarrassing] governments in what was once called the "first world". and it's not like i never gave them a shot. some super-long-term readers of this blog might even remember that i was

but those days are long gone. i have objected to pretty much every piece of legislation contemplated by this government since they were handed absolute power [i.e., a majority government]. i've come to despise every self-serving syllable uttered by prime minister stephen harper in a way that i never im…

friday favourites 29.08.13

i have to admit it. whenever i look at this blog and see a week where "mental health mondays" is immediately followed by "friday favourites", it really bothers me because, as circumstances have conspired to remind me, i like blogging.
immediately followed by "friday favourites", i feel like a failure. and it's not like i haven't had anything to talk about [and let's face it, when has not having things to talk about ever stopped me from blogging?]. the problem i've run into this week is that i simply haven't had time. i've had way too much to do that hasn't involved blogging and that has clearly been impinging on the output here. [on top of which, i've suddenly been attacked by a bizarre case of "i'm allergic to everything", which means that i haven't wanted to do much except sleep when i haven't been working.] and it

so this is kind of an apology to all of you for the lack of posts, but it's also…

mental health mondays :: guilty pleasures?

i once made a decision to leave a job after discovering this fast company article on line. why? because i realised that my job involved answering to a psychopath. and once you've realised that, you know that there's no light at the end of the tunnel. whatever you're doing, however secure or skilled you think you are, even when you think you've mastered the ways of your mercurial overlord and can rely on him/ her to carry you on their dragon's wings ever higher, the fact is that you're working for someone who doesn't accept the fundamental humanity of others. it's not a matter of this person betraying you the way you probably think of it. the psychopath is someone who thinks of him/ herself as somehow different and better than everyone else- including you. if you think they're on your side, if you think that they're your partner, it's really just that you happen to be useful to this person. 

on a basic level, we are acclimatised to have the re…

making faces :: kate's kaleidoscopic adventures [probably part 1]

there are a couple of "secrets" that anyone looking to market cosmetics to me should know:

1. i like deep, intense lipsticks.

2. i've always wanted eye shadows that mimicked the shifting colours of beetle shells and dragonfly wings.

that said, there's probably one more thing you should know:

armani has given me both with their new fall "kaleidoscope" collection. [also "kaleidoscope" is one of my favourite words.]

the collection has some serious meat on its bones. there are six new eyes to kill eye shadows, which i've gushed about before, two shadow plus blush palettes, the kind that debuted with last fall's collection and which now seem to form a part of each armani seasonal offering [always limited] and six rouge d'armani lipsticks. that's a lot of pretty to process.

when i met the collection at my local counter, they had only received three of the six lipsticks, but everything else had arrived. i'm not sure if the other lips…

fear the spam

honestly, i don't get much spam anymore. i troll my own spam and junk filters, hoping to find something hilarious and blog-worthy. i don't get many unsolicited phone calls, either. turns out having a blog is about 400x better than being on the "do not call registry". about the only time i'm really assaulted by spam is in my regular perusals of the internet, where i am exposed to the phenomenon that is obvious spam. [note :: today i checked my "other inbox" in facebook. turns out that's the new spam filter. also, it's where you can find out what the internet thinks of you. amidst the "buy makeup now" advertisements that follow me everywhere, i also get the occasional "have you thought about buying a weapon of mass destruction?" pop-ups that make me realise that no one will ever know me as well as the internet.

but i have to say, i was a wee bit frightened when this popped up a few times in one day:


am i the only one who finds …

making faces :: you say you want a revolution?

so what exactly constitutes a revolution when we're talking about cosmetics? some sort of machine that
applies your face of the day while you catch a few extra minutes of shut eye in the morning? something that blasts you with air that then perfectly resolves itself into a fresh, healthy face to present to the world, no matter how unwell, sleep deprived or hungover you are? cosmetic products that you can plant and grow at home like perennial flowers?

well, if you listen to urban decay, revolution can take place on a much smaller scale. in fact, revolution can look a lot like a tube of lipstick.

anyone who keeps an eye on such things knew it was only a matter of time before urban decay came out with a new line of lipsticks. after all, they discontinued their entire existing lipstick lineup months ago and if you ask people to come up with a list of products any cosmetic company should have in order to be taken seriously, "lipstick" is going to come pretty near the top of…

mental health mondays :: the face of insanity

french romantic painter theodore gericault was probably best known in his time for a painting called "the raft of the medusa", which was not only a richly detailed and haunting image, but also an extremely topical one, as it dealt with a much-discussed story at the time.

however, later in life, gericault turned more to portraiture and was commissioned by one dr. etienne-jean georget, a psychiatrist or, as he would have been known at that time, an "alienist". georget himself is an interesting character, who helped identify different types of monomania [exactly what it sounds like: singular obsession], such as religious, sexual and homicidal. he also theorised that certain among the insane could not be held responsible for their actions and felt that there should be a ban on executing the mentally ill, supporting instead the idea that they should be confined to an asylum.

georget's commission was for gericault to paint a series of portraits- ten were apparently m…

making faces :: comings and goings

with all the new fall collections coming out, there are a lot of brands that are using the shift in
temperatures to introduce new products to and discontinue others from their permanent collections. since i've had a devil of a time keeping track of what's joining us and what's leaving us, i thought that i might make a little reference for all of you to go by, so that you know what you can get excited for and know what you should grab before it's gone...

ardency inn
in :: all of it. at sephora, on line and in store. the new york music scene inspired brand looks a lot like the old days of urban decay, with their edgy shades and punk-themed names. i'm interested to see how the products actually perform.
out :: none of it, yet. they just got here! time will tell how long they stay around.

armani
in :: a new "cc- colour and care" line of lipsticks in 36 shades. information is a little scarce on these, including whether or not they're semi-opaque, sheer or f…

friday favourites 16.08.13

you know what starts a weekend off right? starting it early. i'm taking two of my legally mandated days of vacation and stretching this one to a four day extravaganza of excess. well, i'm just going to have a four day weekend and relax, really, but an "extravaganza of excess" sounds way cooler.

the main thing that marked this week, other than the promise of a long weekend, was that i put myself on a diet. there are a few reasons for this, some of which must remain secret at this time. seriously. yes, i feel like i've let my weight rise again to the point where i'm uncomfortable with it. and yes, i have recently found out that i have osteo-arthritis in my neck, so reducing my weight will help me reduce the strain on my aching bones. but there are other, more mysterious reasons. i'll get around to sharing them eventually.

so i'll start things off by patting myself on the back, because i have tweaked the nose of temptation when it comes to food and gett…

everybody must get stoned

i'm constantly tracking my twitter feed for things that can give me a healthy sense of superiority and/ or
schadenfreude. i was going to save this one for friday favourites, but i think that mr. sunith baheerathan deserves his little moment in the sun- or under the high-wattage hydroponic lights- all alone.

when i first read that some poor kid in suburban toronto had been fired for tweeting about pot, i thought i was going to be appalled at his employers. i looked at the article chiefly so that i could find out which moralistic twats he worked for so that i could do a quick name & shame and move on. after all, does merely mentioning the fact that you smoke pot, or want it legalised, etc. should never affect your employment. those are your own personal opinions and you have a right to express them.

but then i read the story and was bewildered to learn that despite my forty years on the planet, i am still capable of overestimating people.

because sunith baheerathan [can we jus…

mental health mondays :: turmeric tuesday?

scientists at the government medical college in bhavnagar, gujarat may have found the key to fighting
depression: curry night.

according to a study by eight doctors at the school of pharmacology, testing they conducted on 60 patients suffering from major depressive disorder concluded that this rhizome, known best as the ingredient that gives curry its bright yellow colour, performed comparably well to fluoxetine, which you probably know better as prozac.

now, before you go rushing off to the nearest indian buffet to drown your sorrows in a vat of aloo gobi, there are a few things that you should pay attention to- and they're probably instructive for dissecting clinical claims for most products, but especially for pharmaceuticals.

1. 60 people is a small sampling. as starter studies go, it's not bad- i've seen claims based on smaller groups- but it's far from universal. plus, of course, it's only one study.

2. there is no placebo control. you've probably heard …

making faces :: light in august

william faulkner was onto something. there is a quality to light in august that makes it fundamentally different than in july. yes, it's still hot [pleasantly so in montreal for the most part in the last week or so], but where july is all bright summer sun and carefree days, august does contain just the slightest hint of the autumn to come. it gets dark just a little earlier and the sunlight acquires a gold tint rather than the bright, pure yellow of june and july. yes, the demise of summer is inevitable, but rather than being melancholy about it, i like to think of these first subtle changes as an opportunity to start edging towards fall faces [it's still much too warm to think about fall wardrobe choices]. since autumn is my favourite season in every way, including beauty and fashion, i'm always a little eager to get things underway.

so yesterday, which was actually a perfect late summer day here, i tried out a few things that definitely augur what's to come. interes…

friday favourites 09.08.13

well hello boys and girls and welcome back to friday favourites!

i don't know why, but whenever i imagine myself saying that, i hear it in this really exaggerated voice that always strikes me as creepy. i think i'm beginning to see why children don't like me as a general rule. it's not that i act creepy around them, but they can immediately tell that there's something horrifically wrong with me. adults like to think that makes me "eccentric" or "a character". children can tell it just makes me the kind of thing that should probably be avoided.

but you're all adults and don't know better... [cue evil laugh]

i have to say that this week has fairly flown by. it seems like just yesterday i was typing up a friday favourites, but the calendar dictates that it was exactly a week ago.

which means it's once again time for...

good news :: things i can't make up from around the internet

have you ever tried to imagine how to construct a buil…

shut 'em down

so apparently, the international olympic committee might have been "mistaken" when it said that gay-friendly athletes had nothing to fear from coming to the winter games scheduled to take place in sochi, russia. another way of putting that would be to say that they just said whatever they thought would calm people the hell down and didn't bother to check with russian authorities because they knew they weren't going to like the answers.

there are increasingly loud calls for the united states to boycott the russian olympics out of the sochi olympics as russia has introduced draconian new laws that force homosexuals back into the closet. it's a political ploy, of course, as democratically-elected-president-for-life-and-all-eternity vladimir putin sees his conservative base shrinking and growing disenchanted with his leadership. by choosing to attack a group already marginalised in russian culture. it's a cynical strategy with a proven record. karl rove used it …

mental health mondays :: crazy etiquette

a friend of mine has been having a really hard time at her job because she suffers from depression and
has an immediate supervisor who thinks that means it's her time of the month. chances are, if you've had any kind of mental health issues, you've also had to deal with someone who doesn't appreciate how serious these problems can be or even that they are, in fact, real. so in the hopes of enlightening a few people [which won't happen, because such people probably don't read this blog and wouldn't listen to me anyway], i present

shit you should never ever ever ever say to someone with a mental disorder:

1. "you just need to think about something else/ pull yourself together/ get over it"

yeah, let's start with a classic. this is probably something that everyone who has suffered from depression, or any variant of mental illness that involves feeling lower than low, has had to deal with. it's #1 on my list because it's common, but it'…

making faces :: faking naked

you know that old expression "the best makeup looks like no makeup at all"? [oh, you don't? that's probably because you're a lot younger than i am and no one's actually used that expression since the seventies.] well anyway, i don't believe that expression. i think the best makeup looks like whatever you want it to look like, whatever character has won the battle for dominance of your soul at that very moment in time. i think that the best makeup makes a statement, whether that statement is "i'm just so adorable" or "approach with caution".

however, it is possible that i've been underestimating the appeal of makeup that just smooths over the little imperfections and highlights the things that you really want people to see. so i decided to do an entire week of looks using natural colours. i don't think i've ever gone this long without something bold or dramatic on my face... [get your minds out of the gutter, people. ac…