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Showing posts from January, 2016

paranoid theory of the week :: are neopagan holidays based on historical realities?

welcome, paranoimiacs! as you might have noticed, this seems to have become more of a bi-weekly thing, so i guess we're talking more about the paranoid theory of the fortnight. i have the best of intentions, but i seem to forget that sometimes i wear myself out and get tired. so i'll ask you to bear with me and my occasionally unpredictable scheduling until i get better at managing my time or find better drugs.

the end of january/ beginning of february is likely one of the most non-descript times of the year. later in february or in march, spring break for students has become a bacchanalian rite of passage for students. plus february also brings the "i can't believe it's christianity" festivities of carnival/ mardi gras. after that you have the arrival of spring and easter and then we just kind of coast along a series of official holidays that are really just excuses for all of us to get outside and be happy. seriously, nothing says "domination by the no…

making faces :: inspired by bowie

there aren't many celebrities whose passing would really move me. rather, there weren't, because we did lose one of them this month in a way that was unexpected and chilling in the story it told of the artist's strength and dedication up to his final breaths. like a lot of people from several generations, david bowie got into my musical world early. he had some of his biggest hits when i remember first hearing pop music on the radio. when my tastes took a turn for the stranger, i remember hearing bauhaus, one of my new favourite bands, covering one of his iconic songs. in high school, surrounded by friends who were more educated in the history of rock music than i, i discovered some of his older work, most notably the berlin trilogy and the ziggy stardust live album, the best live release ever in history [don't debate me on this one].

as i got older, i wasn't as moved by his new material, but i couldn't help but be impressed with his capacity to reinvent himsel…

where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?

the title of this post is a favourite expression of dom's, especially lately when reading political headlines. although he's often in various sorts of pain and discomfort caused by his multiple sclerosis, i've now learned that the truly pained noises he makes come in the morning when he reads the day's headlines. almost every day, as i'm getting dressed and putting on the day's war paint, this horrified, anguished sound will just come roaring forth from him and i brace myself for what's coming.

if i'm lucky, he'll just read me the headline and a few key points from what he's discovered. sometimes, though, he hands me his newly acquired ipad, unable to make the stupid come out his mouth. that's when i know i'm in trouble.

i'm a little concerned that things have gotten so weird/ obnoxious/ creepy that one of us is about to have a heart attack. a few days ago, after a typically dreadful night's sleep, i decided to take a nap. when …

mental health mondays :: a girl named maria

fans of comedy might already be familiar with the name maria bamford, as she's a very successful stand-up performer who was part of the "comedians of comedy" tour with patton oswalt, brian posehn and zack galifianakis and whom stephen colbert called his favourite comedian on the planet. what you might not know is that she is also someone who has struggled her whole adult life with compound mental illnesses, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder.

dom found this wonderful short video where she talks frankly and charmingly about her battle and also gives some well-deserved recognition to jerod poore's crazymeds.us web site. [which was also a formative influence on the creation of mental health mondays.]

have a look at what she has to say here.



and a longer podcast she did about mental illness here.




making faces :: the fifth annual shrunken head awards for achievement in beauty

yes folks, it's time!!

this is the post where we look back on all the pretty, pretty powders and potions that came out in the previous year and where i get to share my opinion on which were the best. this year felt like a particularly long one in beauty terms, simply because a lot of lesser known brands seemed to be upping their game and there were a lot of new, different products out of some more familiar brands. i didn't get to nearly everything that arrived, as evidenced by the fact that i sort of accidentally discovered urban decay's new glosses at the very end of the year. seems like that should've been an obvious one.

some of you may be wondering "what the hell is with the shrunken head???" that's a valid question and i'll answer it by quoting what i said last year:

if you're not familiar with the shrunken heads, it's a tradition that i inaugurated in honour of the fact that beauty is fleeting [all the more reason to remember it] and ref…

world wide wednesdays :: this is why the ducks have been keeping me up at night

my adventures in learning new languages have led me to think about the connections that those different languages, and therefore different cultures, have. the ones that i'm studying are all from areas in close proximity to one another, from cultures whose boundaries have always been somewhat fluid.

for those of you who might have missed my post on the subject, i started studying german and spanish late last year, which allowed me to make a new year's resolution to learn more languages, because, having already started, i couldn't possibly end up in a situation where i hadn't learned at least a little bit. i'm using the same program- duolingo, which i highly recommend- to get my french to a higher level and, after consulting the hive mind of facebook and twitter to choose the next language for me to start, i've made some tentative steps into the world of italian.

these are all related languages, in the broadest sense. they are all part of the giant indo-european…

mental health mondays :: speak up

so here, finally, is the post that was supposed to be here last week, but the stupid blogger app ate it. i really hope that someone's new year's resolution was to make a better blogger app.

a while ago, i wrote a post about the things you should never say, or at the very least should stop saying, to people with mental disorders. however something i realised when looking around the internet was that there are precious few of the opposite: suggestions for things that it is both appropriate and helpful to say. i thought to include a few of them in the post linked above, but goodness, what a negative lot we mental health advocates are! so in the interests of trying to balance that overwhelming tide of negativity [of which i'm a part], i present to you a list of things that you should say to people with mental disorders. because positivity.

"how can i help?"
i wanted to make the list as different as possible from my previous suggestions, but i really can't overstat…

making faces :: odds and sods

i did say in my last mf post [um, that's making faces, not that other "mf" i sometimes use] that i had a few reviews of products from 2015 that i wanted to do in order to feel a sense of closure before posting this year's shrunken head awards. ladies and gentlemen, this is that post.

it's a sort of buckshot post, lots of little hits over a wide area, where the wide area is my face and possibly yours. many of these are things i've been meaning to review for a while, but just didn't get around to, although i'm happy to say that only one is limited and that it does still appear to be available [for now] online and in stores.

so please follow me over here, folks, and let me direct your attention to exhibit number one...

ardency inn modster manuka honey enriched pigment :: rose gold

in the age of twitter, i really think that it behooves us all to agree to a character limit on product names.

these eye shadows are indeed made with manuka honey [which is like…

paranoid theory of the week :: are we being controlled by bacteria?

isn't that a lovely thought for our first paranoid theory of 2016? what if we are not individuals with thoughts and feelings and our own distinct characteristics? what if everything we think of as our conscious behaviour is in fact driven by billions of bacteria living in us at all times, essentially meaning that everything we conceive of as us is really them and there is no us at all?

do you dare question your very existence? do your micro-controllers want you to look through the words below?

the theory ::
human behaviour is chiefly guided by the needs of the billions of microscopic bacteria that live in and on our bodies.

the origin :: 
very tricky to say with any exactitude, but conjecture around it is inextricably linked with the human microbiome project, which was the first large-scale effort to map and categorize the flora living on all human bodies. so we'll cite that as the root of all subsequent theories.

the believers ::
a number of people involved in or interested in …