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Showing posts from July, 2014

making faces :: rebelliously neutral

because it's a season associated with bright colours- the sun, the ocean [which we can finally approach without wanting to die], the trees, the grass and of course the canopy of flowers that decorate houses, parks and everything else, summer tends to be associated with bright colours. personally, that's a glorious thing for me, because i like fully saturated colour, especially when it comes to makeup [and even more especially when it comes to lipsticks].

but in the last week[ish] i thought, just to be perverse, i'd pull out some neutrals, really aggressively neutral neutrals, just to make sure i didn't fall into the seasonal trap. also, i kind of worry that some of my softer-toned lipsticks start to feel like i don't love them very much at this time of year and i don't ever want to be the sort of makeup mom who leaves her babies starved for attention. i'm not that woman.

so i thought throw together a quick post on some of my favourite "quiet summer&quo…

more like space greatest hits :: i would like to not talk about my bum

since the overly pert pervert hawking these shame towlettes has reappeared on my television set, i figure i'm allowed to make this post reappear on my blog.

*

i mostly just tune out advertising when i watch television. although i'm sure it makes some impression, i perceive the bulk of it as background noise. i'm sure i couldn't tell you what products most of the ads were for, because it's all a jumble of cars, insurance, travel sites and stuff that you need because you have children. for me to remember an ad takes something pretty special.

a couple of years ago, for instance, fed ex had an absolutely charming ad with animated singing frogs and scenes from a happy forest that talked about the company's efforts to reduce emissions and their carbon footprint. aw. that was cute.

more recently, however, i've been haunted by the spectre of a perky blonde woman with a british accent demanding to talk about my bum. i don't know her and i don't know why my po…

enter the urinarium

a little while ago, i decided to make myself go through the process of reading every piece of writing that i had on my computer, because i was convinced that there must be a few bits and pieces i'd forgotten among the piles of stuff that i've accumulated and, in some cases, published. turns out that was quite true. in fact, i found an outline for my unfinished-but-will-be-finished-at-some-point serial "a definable moment in time" that predates me thinking of the most of the events and characters of that story. this is a little concerning, because the plot outline is pretty detailed and while i knew that i had had a few of the ideas rattling around in my brain for a long time, when i started to write a.d.m.i.t., i had no recollection whatsoever of having written out a parallel story involving the same plot twists but with completely different characters. 

i also found a file entitled "urinarium", which sounds like a word that i made up, except that spellcheck…

this week in evil

i'm running out of words to describe my continued outrage at the government that has been [temporarily] tasked with the maintenance of my country. it's fun to make fun of the southern neighbours, of course, but up here, there just seems to be an undeniable predilection for malice and outright evil that dominates our federal politics.

for instance, witness this article that a friend of mine posted on facebook earlier today. the short version of this story is that stephen harper decided to get rid of an award for volunteer work named after a pioneering canadian feminist and champion of voting rights. the award has been replaced with a "prime minister's award" in the field. since the award was removed, its image was also taken off our currency, along with images of the "famous five" women who petitioned the supreme court to determine if women were to be considered persons under the constitution. because who the hell wants to remember a bunch of women who p…

making faces :: guerlain's new dream girl

guerlain, you need to stop doing this to me. you know i adore your lipsticks [well, pretty much everything about you, really], but there will come a time when i'm going to have to say "no more". not yet, of course. but sometime. eventually.

i think that part of the problem right now is that bold, saturated colours i love seem to be having a moment, which means that even the more conservative brands are introducing these sorts of shades to their lineups or featuring limited edition products that almost literally call my name. [<-- i="" note="" said="" that="">almost
literally", because if you hear the lipsticks singing to you, it's time to check yourself in somewhere safe.]
in guerlain's case, there's been a series of breathtaking limited shades lately, but now they've been joined by some great new permanent additions. all were released earlier this summer and i've already raved about "rose gréna…

well lit :: the paranoid charms of charles palliser

years ago, a friend got me to read the quincunx by charles palliser, a wilkie collins- or charles dickens-esque tale of tangled family history, class and inheritance set in nineteenth century london. i've always been grateful for the recommendation, as it's remained one of my favourite books and one to which i've returned many times over the years. as a novel, it's quite an accomplishment, not just because of its compelling plot [i stayed up until five in the morning on more than one occasion], but because it was so fantastically detailed in its construction. some of the literary devices palliser employs seem almost amateurishly obvious, but repeated readings show much more complex truths hidden behind the main story. it's those subtleties which have made it one of my longtime favourites.

since i fell under the spell of the quincunx, i've read three of palliser's subsequent novels- betrayals, the unburied and now rustication. while none match the singular e…

eat the cup, 2014 :: auf wiedersehen and danke schön

give credit to dom, who said all along that this was germany's year. after england was eliminated, my loyalty basically transferred to germany, who are always such an entertaining team to watch, but i was honestly worried that they would let themselves get rattled, as they have in the last few world cups. i'm kind of glad to be wrong. so once again, a week after the grand occasion, i took to the kitchen to prepare a feast in honour of this year's champions. [i'd actually intended to get to it earlier this time around, but i've had a sort of bizarre health issue, the kind of thing that only happens to me.]

german cuisine is simple and hearty, which makes it fairly easy to prepare, although not necessarily great for summer. i did, however, manage to find a couple of things that were suitable, although this still isn't the lightest meal in the world. [when we're talking european cuisine, it really would be easier if they had these competitions in the winter, a…

making faces :: the goddess and the princess

ah, the height of summer. the apogee of relaxation. the longest light. the compressed nights. it is here. [actually, the nights are getting longer all the time at this point, but that's like telling people in january that spring is right around the corner.] at no time of year can you be bathed in more flattering natural light and at no time of year do you want to spend less time fussing around with your appearance.

for a cosmetic aficionado to deal with these times, i recommend two things:

1. find an eyeshadow duo you like, because it's the easiest, most cost-effective way to get some different options without having to think about different products.

2. find a nice lipstick in a semi-sheer or semi-opaque formula that can transition from day to night.

so you just know those two things are what i'm reviewing here...

ok, first of all, i'm just going to acknowledge that when i did my initial review of products from mac's "alluring aquatic" collection, i mad…

making faces :: an armani armada

hold on to your seats, folks, because armani has unleashed an italian armada upon us. the brand has been in the process of reinventing its entire line over the last few years, with their updated lipstick and lipgloss formulas, as well as their divine, sparkling potted eye shadows. now is the time when they take the big plunge and redo their single eye shadows [they've already launched some beautiful four-colour palettes] and their blushes. it didn't take me long to indulge, however it has taken me long, very long, to get around to writing this review. lucky for me, everything is permanent, so it's not like they've run out of product.

for this initial review, i have one of each new product, an eye shadow and a blush, which i grabbed with my grubby little hands as soon as they hit counters. seriously, the counter at the bay wasn't finished filling the sample display when i descended on them. [i don't think they know quite what to make of me, since i always seem …

the moon in the garden and me

something i wrote quite a while ago and discovered, in an old format, on my computer. i think that it's actually from a few computers ago, which goes to show you how careful i am about reviewing the contents of my precious writing folders. god only knows what i've lost over the years. i like to pretend that i remember every single one of my literary children, but the fact is that as i've gotten older, i'm just as lax about them as i am about almost everything else in my life. [i can however, tell you for certain whether or not i have a specific limited edition lipstick. my priorities need tweaking.]

aside from the fact that this story was written a long time ago, the idea for it goes back years earlier. it's something that came to me as a much longer idea, but written out long, it got very whiny and dramatic in a way that i didn't like. i've condensed most of the plot into a much shorter framework and as far as i can recall, the only thing i've retained…

eat the cup 2014, part ten :: remix

seems that the two semi-finals could not have been more different. one was a scoring assault where even the winners looked a little embarrassed by the end of the proceedings. the other was a dull crawl towards penalty kicks, which i maintain is a stupid way to end a game on this level. in the end, argentina snuck by with their [thus far unassailable] strategy of hanging back and keeping anything from happening for as long as possible. it does not make for great viewing, but it's kind of hard to argue when it keeps working. 
holland have been great throughout the tournament and found themselves outdone by an argentinian keeper who wanted to show that he too could be a penalty-saving hero. today, they won the match for third place against a shattered brazil. 
the two semi-final matches were as different in terms of cooking experiences as they were in terms of play. although you wouldn't think so at first blush, the cuisines of argentina and the netherlands go together quite smo…