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Showing posts from October, 2014

world wide wednesdays :: gypped

it's likely that you've used the term "gypped" when you've felt cheated of something and i'll bet you didn't know when you were doing so that you were saying something that was derogatory and more than a little racist. most of us don't know that the word originates from the term "gypsy" and began as a way of referring to activities of theirs perceived as sly, underhanded or outright criminal. it's evidence of a long, dark history of mistrust and vilification between white europeans and the widespread minority group they call gypsies.

the term "gypsy" itself is a misnomer, given by people who believed these darker-skinned neighbours originated in egypt. in fact, linguistic and dna analysis has determined that they came from northern india, beginning their migration between 500 and 100a.d. and arriving in europe [specifically the balkans] as early as the twelfth century. the romani language [also the proper name for the people w…

november novelets :: what i'm doing tonight to assure i'm unprepared for nanowrimo

i need you to help me.

i go through this every year around this time.

every year, i start jotting down ideas for national novel writing month, or nanowrimo for those who need it translated for twitter. i think about what i could reasonably accomplish, about which ideas i could possibly flush out to novel length. then i think about whether or not i should just stick by my literary guns and try to write short stories, because i've had it with novel-dominance and attention spans are supposed to be getting shorter, so surely my structure of choice should be due for its moment in the sun.

at the same time, i also get wrapped up in coming up with some sort of fabulous halloween costume and work on that and then i get frustrated. [no word of a lie- i came up with my halloween costume as i typed that last phrase. that's how easy it is to distract me.] and i start taking long walks so i can photograph some of the halloween festooning my neighbourhood, which is great for ideas, but not …

mental health mondays [rewind] :: enough to drive you crazy

those of you who don't follow canadian television [imma go out on a limb and say that's most of you] probably aren't familiar with the show "canada's worst driver". but i actually suspect that a significant minority of you are familiar with the show because the one post that i ever did about it gets views every single day. why? because of a two-time show "contestant" named angelina marcantognini. apparently a lot of you are really interested in knowing what became of her. i wish i could help you. i really have no idea what she's doing now, so you don't have to read this whole post to find that out. i just got inspired to write this post about her because of the questions that her case raised about access to mental health services in canada.

if you're curious, you might want to inquire on the show's facebook page. you might also want to check out the latest crop of behind-the-wheel beelzebubs that have signed in for rehab, as season …

making faces :: purple palettes' majesty

years ago, i was visiting a makeup counter with a friend of mine and as we looked at products, the sales associate commented "wow, you really like anything purple!" i admit to it. it's not like i'm obsessed and have to have everything around me purple, but when shown a rainbow of colours, my eye does naturally fall to the purple tones. [purple isn't part of the rainbow -ed.] [shut up, it's a metaphor. -kate]


so after trying and falling in love with guerlain's new and limited "les sables" palette, with it's gorgeous, buttery matte shades, i knew that i had to go back for the all-matte purple palette "les violines". after all, purple mattes are tough to find and a lot of those that  you do come across are overly powdery or stiff. i tried each of the shades from "les violines" on my hand and was properly convinced that this would not be the case here.

the four shades are what i'd call neutral to warm purples. technicall…

the persistence of perversions

you didn't have to be canadian this week to know the biggest news story in the country. friends from the u.s. and the u.k. [as well as some from further away] expressed their shock and condolences when they heard that a shooter, a canadian man who converted in adulthood to islam, had murdered a young soldier in front of a war memorial in our capital city of ottawa. fewer of them realised that this was actually the second such incident in three days. another young man, also a late convert to islam who expressed anger at the canadian government's support for u.s. bombing campaigns in the middle east, targeting islamic state fighters. it's been a tough week here in a country that isn't exactly used to being the target of such vitriol.

it didn't take long to identify the assailants in either case as "self-radicalised" supporters if the radical islamic state group. the first, martin couture-rouleau, who ran down two soldiers, killing one, in st-jean-sur-richel…

being julia : #tbt goes to the movies

like i said, i don't have that many older photos of myself and this one only dates to 2009, when we were filming conversion. still, i'd say that i look pretty different. well, chiefly my hair colour is different, but it does kind of affect the way you'd perceive me. at least that's what i think.

supposedly, a women with dark hair can expect to earn significantly more than a blonde over the course of their career, although i have to say that i'm still waiting to see how that unfolds.

it feels weird to see this sort of image of myself because i'm not paying attention to the camera, even though, i assure you, it was on my mind. working on "conversion" was the first time i'd tried to act since i was in primary school drama classes [where i wasn't especially favoured by any of the instructors] and while i was able to get caught up in the character [who, after all, wasn't so different than me], i don't think that i ever completely lost myse…

armchair centre back :: your call is important to us

this weekend should have been a very happy one for dom and me, because for the first time in ages, the stars aligned and both of our premier league favourites had their games broadcast here. it's not always that easy to get epl coverage in canada, particular if you're a fan of a less "fashionable" team [hello, swansea] so a weekend where we could each see our team in action without having to wake up at seven and without having to fight over the remote because the games are happening simultaneously is an experience to be treasured.

or at least that's how it looked at first, before the officials got involved.

as it happens, the experience was kind of ruined for us because both of our teams got screwed by game officials making decisions that made less sense than i do before i have coffee in the morning. it's things like this that convince me that people who follow a sport, any sport, are really masochistic. you see something that you know is wrong, that everyon…

mental health mondays :: getting off

there's so much discussion about how psychiatric medication is over-prescribed, whereas non-pharmaceutical methods of treating depression and anxiety are neglected. it can be difficult to maneuver through the morass of information on who should be taking these medications and who shouldn't, plus there's conflicting information on how effective any of them are even if you do need them. the bottom line seems to be the same as it is with virtually everything in this field: brains are so unbelievably complicated that it's difficult to predict exactly what's going to happen with any individual until you try.

i do share the suspicion that a lot of doctors are a little too quick to prescribe pills when someone says they're suffering. i'd like to say that it's because people often wait to see a doctor until they're really suffering, so the doctor just wants to address the problem as quickly as possible, but given that antidepressants and anti-anxiolytics a…

making faces :: two ways about it

this week in montreal we entered the season of the gloom, that point in autumn when it gets all blustery and there's rarely more than feeble light. although i'm easily depressed by rain and heavy clouds at virtually every other time of the year, i have to admit i don't mind it in the fall [as long as there are some breaks when i can take umbrella-less walks].

although it's tempting to just stay in bed under a blanket of cats, wearing pyjamas and not bothering to make myself presentable in any way, but i also get some enjoyment out of feeling like i'm preparing to face the world, even if i'm not exactly going to be making any television appearances. [i actually have, a few times, as a person on the street. i guess i make a particularly average looking citizen.] when i do go to steel myself to face the outside world in the face of the bluster, i've found that the decision on what to do goes one of two ways:

flip the bird at the weather and opt to stand outwor…

that old black magic

in case you were wondering [they weren't -ed.] why world wide wednesdays happened on thursday this week, you can lay the blame solely on the sweet sounds of sweden, specifically those of the sadly defunct cold meat industry record label.

the show was part of a tour that continues to unfold from now until the 29th of the month and if there is any way you can find your way to one of the shows, i can't recommend it enough. seeing bands i've admired in the past has been an uneven experience for me. there were some shows that were so bad that they've made me question why i ever liked the act to begin with, while others have left me marveling at how old masters continue to possess a spark that's absent from so many younger acts. 

here's a little photo tour of my evening...



ok, so the first thing is that when we left to go to the show, we couldn't get to the metro because the street was on fire. it was hard to get a good shot because the air was so hazy that ev…

world wide wednesdays :: the complexities of being caucasian

why do we insist on confusing things by using the same word to describe different things? is there some reason why we have to terrify people by assigning the word "lead" multiple meanings? is there not one other combination of letters that we could have used? [there are lots. umbry isn't in use, for instance and it looks like a perfectly adequate word.] so who decided to take the term "caucasian" which originally referred to the people living in the caucasus mountain region, and use it to refer to white/ beige people everywhere?

in truth, it was a guy named christoph meiners, a german philosopher of sorts who liked to come up with high-sounding arguments for some pretty racist things like "white people are the only pretty people" and "black people can't feel pain". people like that have no business screwing up words for the rest of us. [although it should be pointed out that he screwed it up only in german. the "rest of us" ju…

throw back to throw forward: a second attempt at #tbt

although i don't personally  have older photos of myself, other people apparently have them. someone posted this long ago on facebook and it's since disappeared from there, but not before i saved it so that i could remember that:

1. i used to have a truly ridiculous amount of hair;

2. even my young, normally black-clad self had an inkling that bright, zany patterns suited me. if this dress hadn't been accidentally welded  to a plastic bag and left with scorch marks [thanks to a car with an overheating muffler], i'd still be wearing it, i'm certain;

3. i've been dj kali for a very long time.

this particular image was taken at a noisy techno/ rave event i helped organise in 1994 and there i am, as kali, on the wheels of steel [with vinyl, biatches!].

of course, you don't have to travel back in time to see me dj. you could just turn up tomorrow night at cabaret playhouse for out of step, an evening of fun and spooky sounds with dj kali and mr. dna. think of …

boys behaving badly*

hey look! here's some footage of some hijinks at a euro 2016 qualifying match between albania and serbia:



in case you're not clear what you're seeing, that's a remote control drone launched by albanian fans [who were banned from attending the match due to concerns that they might do something to provoke the serbian team or their fans] with a flag showing a map of the disputed territory of kosovo emblazoned with an albanian double-headed eagle and the word "autochthonous" [meaning that the disputed territory belongs to its ethnic albanians, which is a possible subject for a future "world wide wednesdays"].

things kind of go from bad to worse when a serbian player brings down the drone and then some albanian players rushed up to liberate it.

and then things went from worse to really worse:



and then the english referee decided that things were getting just a little too interesting and called off the game.

serbian team captain, chelsea player and luis…

mental health mondays :: going through a crackhead phase?

addictions are a controversial area of mental health research, what with conflicts over whether an addiction is a mental disorder, a symptom of a disorder or both. [note: it can be both, the conflicts generally arise in determining which it is in each specific case.] but the discussions are about to get even more controversial, because there is evidence we might be giving addictions more credit than they deserve.

because of the degree to which an addict can damage themselves and the people around them, it's tempting to ignore some of the complexities of the disorder and to concentrate on getting addicts into treatment as soon as possible so that they recover as completely as possible. however, the results of a massive study in the united states have shown that the majority of people who meet the criteria to be considered addicts of a large variety of substances recover whether or not they're given treatment. that's a big, scary statement, but there's a lot of data behi…

more like space greatest hits :: i'm thankful i don't have to eat it

it being canadian thanksgiving, i'm seeing a lot of my friends talking about the things for which they are grateful. my day started when lulu kicked my water glass off my night table, shattering it [the glass, not the table] just as the sky was showing the first hints of light. while doing clean-up, i managed to slice my thumb open right on that point where you can feel the pulse, so blood spurted for about three hours.

i'm thankful for band-aids.

but seeing everyone else be so grateful and gracious made me think that i should at least try to write something about feeling thankful. but doing a lot of typing is out of the question because of the cut on my thumb, as well as the unrelated [but also lulu-based] cut in the corner of my pinky finger. that's when i remembered a post i did about thanksgiving way back in the early days of the blog.

i am thankful for being able to recycle content.

when i went to check said post, i was delighted to discover the fact that the woman r…

making faces :: how audacious!

i will start this post by congratulating myself on my relative restraint in the last month, because i cautiously chose to purchase just one of nars' new audacious lipsticks and try it out to test the wear and feel of the formula on my lips rather than doing what originally crossed my mind, which was run into the first store i encountered screaming "all! i want all!" score one for civility.

those who are interested in the beauty industry probably have at least as many details  on this launch as i do: nars has introduced a new lipstick formula in 40 shades [10 of which are exclusive to the nars web site and to barney's in the u.s./ holt renfrew in canada], all named after icons of the silver screen. the "audacious lipsticks" are very pigmented, creamy and opaque. having swatched most of them, i would say that there is a slight range in finishes from moderately glossy to nearly matte. some seem a little more translucent than others, but almost all of them are…