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Showing posts from December, 2014

slow death

dom and i are lucky people. that may seem odd given the title of this post and it may seem odd if you know a bit about us, but nonetheless, it's true.

a couple of years ago, dom started having incredibly painful and inexplicable attacks in his right leg. we were convinced it was sciatica, or at least some type of nerve pain, probably the result of an important nerve being compressed between vertebrae. the attacks came and went, some lasting for hours, some lasting a few minutes. they came without warning, at any time of day or night. sometimes they were bad enough that he'd have to go to the emergency room. those visits generally lasted between six and ten hours each and all produced the same result: it was probably a nerve problem, he should get an mri to make sure, but in the meantime, there wasn't much to do except try to relax and put hot and/ or cold packs on his lower back in the hopes that the problem would just sort itself out.

time went on and the attacks did not …

making faces :: in the pink

another week, another group of lip colours to share. this week was pink/ mauve week, however, in view of my predilections, it's really pink/ fuchsia week. it's not that i don't have mauve shades that i love [although i maintain that "mauve" is one of those words that needs an intervention when it comes to cosmetics], but if you're going to throw regular pinks, hot pinks and fuchsias in the mix, then i'm not going to have room for much else. and indeed, there was not room for much else. although i made sure to wear some softer, more traditional pinks, the week was dominated by more muscular shades. even the softer options i chose had a distinctly modern twist.

pink is the colour that girls are socialised to love and then to hate. pink is the colour of femininity, associated with all things girly and light. the angry rejection of pink has become synonymous with a rejection of the traditionally feminine, but also the rejection of an imposed idea of feminini…

armchair centreback :: an argument for jose mourinho being the antichrist

in the spirit of christmas and following a day of enjoying the annual boxing day glut of premier league action, i think it's time to call everyone's attention to the fact that chelsea is currently being managed by the prince of darkness.

i know that you might normally think that it's a little ridiculous to think that, if the scion of evil was among us, he'd be working at all, let alone attacking us through the world of sport, but hear me out. sure, it sounds more reasonable that the great satan would be a banker or a political leader, perhaps some sort of terrorist revolutionary or, if he were obvious, a religious figure. but the thing is, people think about what those guys do. people may analyse the professional choices and performance of sports figures, but they don't really pay attention to any underlying message they may be conveying, like gutting humanity of all hope, destroying the concept of a just universe, and pissing on the concept of good will.

sour gra…

world wide wednesdays :: you're in santa country now

merriest of christmases and post-yuletide greetings to all! i hope that you're enjoying some down time with family or friends or a bottle of bourbon, whichever gives you the most pleasure. since pretty much the entire world is forced to observe this euro-pagan-turned-christian holiday in some way or other, i figured i'd just use this week's post as another way for you to think about the northern nether regions. if you're in an area of the world where celebrations are more of a minority cultural event, take heart: your observant friends will only keep wishing you the best for a holiday you don't celebrate for a couple more days, tops.

i'm not exactly sure how the birth of christ got all mixed up with a greek saint [although he'd be turkish now], a pre-christian figure associated with yuletide, or the winter solstice, and some kind of toy workshop at the north pole. i mean, clearly the early christians took some poetic license that allowed european pagans to…

making faces :: purpleberryvamp!

i'm a little late on the draw with this post, as i've been trying to do my weekly lip posts on sunday, but 'tis the season and that means i had family commitments on sunday, followed by mental health mondays yesterday. it also means that there's a significant chance that this week's "world wide wednesdays" will be delayed, although i'll try to avoid that if i can. [since you completely missed it the week before last. -ed.]

that said, part of me was delaying my review of last week's challenge results because i has an angry. for those who haven't seen my posts on this subject yet, i've been engaged in a challenge with a few other beauty lovers to go a week wearing different shades of a single colour family for a week. last week was something i dubbed "purpleberryvamp", because it encompassed several different, but related groups. for a lot of people, those might be shades that were on the fringes of their collections. for me, they …

mental health mondays :: stop. just stop.

i really hope that this is the last time i have to write this piece. because i feel like i've written it a lot, in different ways. like here. and here. here too. oh, and here*. i've probably written about it more than that, but i just can't be arsed to find every instance.

people who have mental disorders are not any more prone to criminal behaviour than anyone else.

as i said, i'd like this to be the last time i write that. but i hope for a lot of things that are never going to happen and i have the feeling this is one of them.

the latest thing to set me off [people who know me have heard this rant from me more times than i've written it on the blog, that much i can guarantee you] was actually something that kept coming up in publications that really should know better.

as you no doubt heard, [now ex-] police officer darren wilson was not charged with the murder of unarmed teenager mike brown. there are probably a number of reasons for this, but a great deal of t…

you asked, i answered [with some trepidation]

most of the time, i know how people end up here. it's easy to make the link between a referring search term and a post here.

other times, i'm confused, but i'm more than happy to see that someone stumbled into my head space and thought to poke around a little bit.

still other times, i look at what people are searching for and want to hide under the bed for a while. then i remember that my bed doesn't have a raised platform underneath it and i'd have to reduce myself to liquid in order to hide under it. then i go google how to do that and wonder if the search will lead me back here.

nonetheless, i do see it as some opportunity to offer the people what they want, so i thought i would take a stab at answering some of the indirect questions and to pose a few myself.

let's start with some easy ones that turn up all the time.

angelina marcantognini :: i don't know what happened to her. i've actually tried to find her just to let her know that there are so v…

world wide wednesdays :: have a cigar

whoa. this is a big day. i mean huge. i usually try to skip happily from one area of the world to another in this series and i had just featured another state in the central american region, but after years of waiting for a breakthrough and then getting blindsided by the news this morning [that seems to be a thing with obama; he must be amazing at planning surprise parties], today just had to be dedicated to cuba.

so in the interest of promoting understanding and celebrating this new openness, i offer you the brief, inadequate but well-intentioned world wide wednesdays cuba primer. but first, here's a little cuba-centred trivia question to get your brain activated. can you tell me what american said the following? [answer given at the end of the post.]

I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country's …

stand back, c.i.a., i'll handle this

while i can't say that i was surprised by the contents of the recently released "torture report", detailing the various means by which the american central intelligence agency and their military counterparts dragged ultimately useless information from prisoners. if college fraternities can get shut down for hazing, i see absolutely no reason why the central intelligence agency should be able to keep its charter after this fiasco. i've never been a fan of the agency. i think that the world would be a better, safer, more peaceful place if they had never existed. nothing in the "torture report" surprised me, because nothing in it went beyond claims i've already seen documented about c.i.a. activities. it did introduce me to the term "rectal hydration", which is supposedly some sort of medical procedure. what josef mengele did were medical procedures as well.

however, another thing i hate is seeing people screw up a relatively easy job. what i ha…

mental health mondays :: your holiday primer

most of us have heard that there's a bump in the number of suicides every year, as the good cheer of others makes depressed people sink even further. it's not actually true, but it does sound pretty believable, doesn't it? after all, things are rough enough when you're dealing with mental health issues, let alone when the entire world seems to be trying to force you to smile and be "merry". it's easy to believe that the added pressure and the projected happiness of others is enough to nudge someone over the edge.

but the fact is, even if people aren't throwing themselves off bridges like a bunch of lemmings [also a myth, by the way], the holidays can be a pretty stressful time. for my american readers, that stress started a few weeks ago, with thanksgiving, but for the rest of us, it's just starting to hit fever pitch now. i may not be able to help you with your last minute shopping, but i have come up with a list of tips that might help keep you …

making faces :: coral orange crush

continuing in the challenge of "one shade a week" lipstick, i bring you part two, which actually has two colours included, one of which has a huge subset of shades to its name. interestingly, i've already done features, way back, on both coral and orange, which is kind of interesting since i don't believe that either one is particularly flattering on me. i can find ones that i like, but considering the number of available options, the ones that i can pull off are surprisingly limited.

a while back, mac cosmetics did a limited edition series of lipsticks [most of which have now joined their permanent collection] called "all about orange". there were both coral and orange hues on offer and a decent range too- bright, subtle, yellower, redder, shimmery, matte- and although i really liked some of the shades swatched on my hand, they all looked terrible on my face. i wanted to make them work, but for different reasons, none of them did. i have managed to put tog…

hell awaits

this happens to me more often than i like to admit. i'm perusing my writing files and come across a title that i don't remember. part of the problem is that i usually name files according to the first word that jumps into my head as i'm working on something, which would be awesome, if i could keep track of the things that my brain is thinking while i'm writing, but i can't even keep track of the things my brain is thinking when i'm doing nothing but thinking. my brain is not a multitasker.

so i opened up a file intriguingly titled "hell". really, i was thinking that it would be very cool if there was actually a portal to hell on my computer that was fiendishly hidden in a folder where i am most likely to open files wondering what they are. i mean, if there was a devil and he thought that up, it would be evidence that he was really wearing his clever pants. but it turns out that file "hell" was actually just a piece of writing that seemed exa…

making faces :: journey to the heart of light

i'll never understand why some brands launch things so quietly. yves st. laurent snuck in a whole new range of blushes without so much as a ripple, it seems, and that is such a disservice. for starters, it seems that these new blushes, dubbed both "blush volupté" and "heart of light" are replacing their existing powder blushes, which is something i would like to have known before they started disappearing on me. i also would have liked a little more fanfare surrounding the introduction of these new shades in a new formula.

now, i've always liked ysl powder blushes. they've never been the highest profile items in their collection, but yves has a lot of hidden gems and the new "heart of light" blushes look to fall into the same category. trusting my instincts, when i saw that they were available [which is a while ago now], i immediately ordered one to try out. there are a number of cooler pinks that grabbed my attention, however, i decided to go…

mental health "mondays" :: problem or no problem?

the first time i heard about "social anxiety disorder" was in a discussion with my mother. at the time, i believe that both of us gave a derisive snort and one of us said "great, now shyness is a mental disorder". frankly, i suspect that a lot of people had that reaction, because many of us have some level of social anxiety. what we missed in the initial evaluation is that the important part of the name, however, is that the emphasis should be placed on the third word. disorder means that something is clearly wrong, that the person is suffering and prevented from engaging in certain activities that they would otherwise want or have to do. it doesn't just mean reticence or a tendency to withdraw a little in public situations. a few years ago, i was going out to get some groceries and i became so terrified of going outside, of having to talk to a cashier or even of passing others on the street that i had to sit down on the stairs to get my breathing and heartbea…

making faces :: a week in the red

i've been participating in a sort of "lipstick challenge" for the month of december, where each week features a different colour in all its glory. week one was all about red lips and i thought that i might share my results.

honestly, i could do a month of red lipsticks. i already did a ten-part look with different reds a couple of years ago [you can check the recap here] and managed to do a week this year without repeating a single colour. that wasn't actually on purpose, either. i sort of intended to work hourglass "raven" into my plans, but ran out of space. i wanted to showcase a variety of reds, especially some that were softer and less "in your face", but i ran into a couple of problems. first of all, my lips have been in rough shape this week, which made me cautious about the formulas that i wanted to use. [you can see a writeup i did of formulas that are better and worse when your lips are feeling the winter blues here.] second, i do really…

the style fyle :: sweater girls

who doesn't love sweater weather? not too hot, not too cool, just enough that you need something warm and fuzzy [and more portable than a cat] wrapped around you when you venture outside. but in my case, i just love sweaters. i have a particular thing for cardigans, as any who know me can attest. since i was in my early twenties, unless the heat was truly overwhelming, i have always had a selection of cardigans that accompany virtually every outfit i put on. of course, it's not only cardigans, of course. i'm just enamoured of the sweater.

part of the appeal, to me, is that adding an extra layer makes anything look more polished. it's like putting on a top and bottom is something anyone could do in their sleep, but throwing on one extra item takes style. ok, it's possible i'm the only one who thinks that way...

at one point, sweaters were purely functional. they weren't the kind of thing that you wore for how they looked, ever, unless you were trying to look…