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Showing posts from March, 2014

culinating :: pb + j is for cookie

sometimes i have weird ideas. if you've been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that, but this post is just to show you that this extends to all areas of my life, not just the obvious ones like my writing or taste in music.

dom had been trying to drop hints that he wanted me to bake something sweet for a couple of days through subtle comments like "hey, it would be really cool if you baked something, because i have a craving for something dessert-like". i tossed around a few ideas, but i always seemed to come up one or two ingredients short. the easy way to deal with this would have been to buy the extra ingredients. my way of dealing with it was to go to the internet and figure out what i could do with the ingredients that i had, because laziness is a determining factor in many things i do.

the biggest challenge was that there were no eggs in the house and the only oil available to me was extra virgin olive oil. the flavour that makes extra virgin olive o…

give me the chair

i need a new chair.

no, that doesn't quite convey what i want it to. i needed a new chair in about 2007, but i kept ignoring it and now i'm sitting on what feels like a lightly padded assemblage of saw blade factory castoffs. my back, my feet, my neck and basically everything below about my ears hates me and they take out their frustration on me by releasing evil gnomes to pummel my organs and muscles on a daily basis.

my office chair is so bad that it can make sitting anywhere at all kind of painful in its wake. it's like it wants to hurt me. did i punch its mother or something?

and it makes noise. not just when you move it. it squeaks and groans at the slightest flutter and it doesn't matter how much you douse it with lubricants and other spa treatments for furniture. it likes the sound of its own voice.

it also wobbles. the back wobbles [and groans] and the seat wobbles [separately]. this isn't good for someone who suffers from vertigo. it isn't good for any…

more like space greatest hits :: why vick still [still] makes me sick

he's been in the news again lately, so i thought i'd re-post this. i feel no differently about him than i did when i published this originally. if it were up to me, i'd force him to donate 80% of his earnings to animal welfare organisations for the rest of his life. although that's probably progress from my earlier position. however, laws are in place to stop people like me from imposing justice on people who inflict harm on the innocent and defenseless. so at the least, i wish he'd gotten punishment that would have been meaningful to his smug ass.

*


it's not often that barack obama says something that makes me want to tell him to shut the hell up (especially compared to other people who've had his job), but this week when he defended convicted felon michael vick as deserving of a second chance, i'm pretty sure i felt myself vurp.

i'll reveal my bias up front here: i'm an animal lover to the point where crimes against animals oft…

mental health mondays :: there's an app for that

you mean there's an app to cure my crazy? well, no. but there are lots of apps available for those who are concerned about their mental well-being and so i've decided to take a look at some of them for mhm. after all, visits to your doctor and/ or psychiatric professional can be pretty few and far between. you need something to help you during the days, weeks and months in between.

because i'm an iphone user, i can only guarantee that the apps i look at are available for that platform, but i think that developers are now taking into consideration the needs of android and blackberry customers. if you have any experiences you'd like to share, comments are highly encouraged.

first off, by way of introduction, i wanted to give my own thoughts on what mental health apps can do. clearly, they are no substitute for professional help. but can they still be helpful? i think so. many seem to offer an orderly, well-structured way to track progress [or the lack of it] with mental …

making faces :: made from naturally sourced materials

a while back, i did a post full of a week's worth of "naked" looks [makeup looks. specificity matters here -ed.] and while i do normally like a little more colour in the mix, i got the idea a few days ago to take that to its logical extreme and see what the best effect was that i could get while keeping the end look very natural. of course, the joke here is that i'm actually using more makeup than i would normally, because i spent a lot of time prepping my face so that it didn't look like me with makeup, but more like the best version of me i could muster.

when i was younger, i tended to go heavier applying foundation and powder, because i didn't know any better and because i always aspired to a perfectly even matte complexion. i could usually maintain that for about a minute and a half before a little bit of shine started to emerge, which was like some kind of torture for someone who gets obsessed over little imperfections. as i've gotten older, i'v…

three ways of "reading" breaking bad

well it didn't take long. dom and i finished watching "breaking bad" in only a few weeks. and that's counting the fact that we purposely waited a few days before watching the second part of season five. we just wanted to stretch it out as long as possible before we had to resign ourselves to the fact that it was gone [something fans of the show have generally already done].

my thoughts?

well, as i'd been told, it is truly a triumph of screenwriting. the caliber of the script is nothing short of incredible and eclipses anything else i've seen on television. in fact, it eclipses most things i've seen on film. the progression of walter white from cowed, stooped, defeated high school chemistry teacher to vicious drug kingpin and finally to embittered, doomed antihero is beyond brilliant. and i fully believe that the show went out, more than any other show i've seen, when it was just about on top of its game. i'll get to what i meant by "just abo…

making faces :: the extremes of ellis

a few weeks ago [over a month ago -ed.], i promised a review of some new ellis faas products that i'd got my hands on. yeah, i ended that sentence with a preposition and i'm going to carry that knowledge to my grave, but it just felt better than saying "on which i've gotten my hands", which sounds retarded. and no, i don't mean retarded in the offensive, mentally challenged sense. i mean retarded in the "too stupid and slow to keep up" sense, which was always the sense with which it was employed [see what i did there?] in my youth. and all that is an extremely lengthy way of saying that this is the promised review of ellis faas products.

i picked up two shades from their web site: one of their new "hot lips" lipsticks in l403 and one of their creamy eyes shadows in e117.

the hot lips shades are a new formula, based on the existing "creamy lips" formula, but containing incredibly high levels of pigment in colours that venture well…

culinating :: the terrible truth about muffins [and the happy secret about baking]

because someone has to ruin everything and it might as well be me...

me :: honey, have you seen the 9x13 baking pan?

dom :: the one that you used to put the leftovers in?

me :: yes.

dom :: it's in the fridge with leftovers in it.

me :: oh, ok.

dom :: does that mean you can't bake the cake until we eat all the leftovers?

me :: nah. can you just hand me the muffin pan from up there? [points to a space somewhere high in the stratosphere of our kitchen]

dom :: it'll work as muffins?

me :: of course. the only real difference between cake and muffins is the pan you bake them in.

i'm sorry. i know that we all like to cling to the idea that muffins have some sort of intrinsic healthiness to them, that they're a carb-y but not dessert-like option for breakfast. but the major difference between them and a cake is that they come in individual portions.

in this case, i was making a variation of a molasses spice cake that i kind of made up a few years ago. i say "made up…

mental health mondays :: tippling too much?

many of you may be viewing this through the fog of a hangover [or possibly while still inebriated], which made me think that it might be a good idea for us to dedicate this week's mhm to the phenomenon of alcoholism. sure, you might be thinking you'll never drink again, but chances are that'll wear off faster than a temporary "kiss me i'm irish" tattoo. [at least, we all hope it's temporary.]

for those of you in doubt, alcoholism is classified as a mental disorder. actually, it's a broad term that can refer to a range of mental disorders related to the compulsive consumption of alcohol, to the detriment of physical, social and psychological health. and if you think that sounds vague, it's only just beginning. because even by the standards of a mental disorder, alcoholism is fiendishly difficult to identify and treat.

for starters, the question of how much alcohol consumption constitutes too much is problematic. different cultures have different v…

making faces :: hourglass ups their ante

if you're a follower of the cosmetics industry, you've probably heard about hourglass' follow-up to last year's oh-so-successful "ambient lighting powders". those were finishing/ sculpting powders created to mimic the effects of different types of light against the skin. this year, each of those gets a blush to go with it. each of the six original powders has been combined with a complementary blush shade, the two of them marbled together in a compact to create a cheek shade fully infused with the characteristic glow of the ambient lighting powders.

as a huge fan of both hourglass and the ambient lighting powders, i was severely tempted to run off and grab all of them in a rabid makeup frenzy, but i've been told that if i bite anyone in line at sephora again that i'll never be allowed back. so i acted all responsible-like and bought one. because i had to try them...

the one i bought was, by choice, the shade that incorporates the only shade of the si…

is this the worst advertisement ever in the history of mankind?

ok, sadly, it probably isn't, but it's still pretty disturbing.

i was flipping through the march issue of in style and i came across this ad. it looks innocuous enough at first, even kind of adorable.


if you're having trouble- or are trying to avoid looking too closely- the text reads:

an intimate moment captured in two distinctive fragrances for her. designed by ashley olsen and mary kate olsen.
look, i'm aware that "intimate" doesn't always mean something sexual, but throwing a naked chick who looks like she's been knocked unconscious from a four hour fuck fest does tend to lead you in that direction. and then that idea barrels like a runaway train into the image of an equally exhausted and happy-looking puppy passed out just south of the lady's nasty bits.

what the hell am i looking at here? because it kind of looks like the aftermath of a human-pet cuddle session that crossed a line somewhere.

furthermore, why is looking at this supposed to mak…

ur doin it wrong. and so am i.

i saw this infographic on common grammatical mistakes which writers should be careful not to make on their blogs. i'm pretty sure i've made all of them at one point or another, despite my criticisms of others' grammatical failings.


Source: www.grammarcheck.net

i do find that some of the rules here could be better explained: the difference between cumulative and coordinate adjectives is not immediately obvious from their examples. also, there's a much clearer way to illustrate when to use "me and "i", that an english-teaching friend of mine taught me; if you're unsure what to do, take the other person out of the sentence and see how it sounds. observe:

i like it when friends come over to visit dom and i/ me.
i like it when friends come over to visit i.
i like it when friends come over to visit me.

this is what they're saying in the infographic, but it's not abundantly clear. at least, to me it isn't. [note: that was actually a sentence frag…

making faces :: march hares

i've been horribly slack about taking swatch photos. i've no excuse, because we've actually had sunshine and it's been freezing cold, so i haven't really felt like going outside a lot. what can i say? occasionally, the lazies catch up with all of us. some of us weren't going that fast to begin with.

also, dom and i started watching breaking bad a couple of weeks ago, which means that we've basically been spending all our nights bingeing on that and all our days sleeping late and puttering around until it's sufficiently late in the day that we can justify doing just one more disc. it's like we're addicted to something. but more on that later.

but that doesn't mean i haven't had things that i wanted to swatch, because i definitely have. and among those are some new goodies from, you guessed it, rouge bunny rouge. now, it wasn't all that long ago that i did my last review on rouge bunny rouge, but i couldn't resist spoiling myself …

nuit blanche with neville

this past weekend was montreal's "nuit blanche", a night dedicated to celebrating the arts and encouraging members of the community to discover all the different sorts of cultural exchanges that are taking place when they aren't looking. since it promised to be chilly outside, i opted to stick downtown, where many exhibits can be seen just by wandering through the underground city, without needing to venture outside. i also elected to go out earlier. it's a sad side effect of the event that a lot of teenagers who aren't interested in anything remotely artistic use it as an excuse to stay out late and get really, obnoxiously drunk.

don't get me wrong: i am all about finding ways to stay out past curfew. i used to volunteer every year for halifax's annual "shadow-painting", a chilling sort of memorial to the victims of the hiroshima and nagasaki bombings, where thousands of people were literally reduced to their shadows on the ground. and i&#…

the difference engine

inspiration is a tricky thing. you keep thinking that if you clear your head and just let your brain roam like a buffalo across the rolling plains, you'll find the waters of inspiration. unfortunately, it doesn't really work like that. it does sometimes and keeping yourself in the habit of writing is all important, even if all you're writing is snippets. [i'm a big proponent of snippets, because they can often be threaded together when you have enough of them.] but sometimes, you become more like a large buffalo stuck in a mud hole. you need someone else to come and pull you out. 

i'm too proud and stubborn to actually ask for help, but i'm lucky enough to live with someone who's not afraid to intervene when he sees i'm suffering, so he suggested that he just give me a key word and i could work from there. i told him to take a shot, because nothing was going to be more helpless than me floundering in my own creative muck. 

his choice of word: technology.

i…