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Showing posts from November, 2016

mental health mondays :: social disease

EDIT :: unsure if you meet the threshold for social anxiety? this quiz, while not a diagnostic tool, offers some guidance. the site also has information on what social anxiety is, common symptoms, and paths to treatment. [yes, i took the quiz. yes, my answers indicate some level of social anxiety.]

like a lot of introverts, i enjoy public speaking. think that sounds contradictory? i can understand your confusion, because there's a tendency to assume that all introverts are shy types, lacking in confidence. but for many introverts, discomfort doesn't come from having to be around people, but from having to interact with people, and the more personal and less structured the interaction, the more uncomfortable we get. but put us in a situation where we have to do something like deliver a speech in a highly controlled environment, where the other people are at a distance and where there's no need for incidental small talk, and we're surprisingly comfortable.

that wasn'…

making faces :: flower of scotland

ah, the resilient, hardy thistle. the english can go on about their roses, but the oldest national flower that we know of is the thistle, and it represents the resilient, hardy scots who sit forever perched on england's shoulder. it's a peculiar-looking purple flower, encircled by stems with sharp thorns and invasive like a weed, and it does seem to rather sum up the condition of scottish-ness rather well.

it's also, as it turns out, the name of one of the six lipsticks launched by bite beauty this summer as the first extension of their "amuse bouche" lipstick line. given my well-established interest in genealogy and family history, as well as my obsession with lipsticks, it was always pretty much a given that i was going to buy a lipstick called "thistle" no matter what. the fact that it exists in what has become one of my very favourite formulas in the world is just a bonus.

the thistle flower itself is a surprisingly bold purple. i say "surprisi…

originals

i'm going to blame this one on the #nameapencemusical trend that was going around on twitter earlier [i am sticking with my first choice "white side story"], but somehow, i ended up watching a bunch of clips from cabaret on youtube. cabaret is my favourite musical ever, not just because i have the same fascination with weimar germany that everyone with my slightly dark tastes seems to have, but because i'm kind of amazed that the film of it got made when it did. people whose lives had been directly shaped by the second world war were very much alive. homosexuality was still considered a mental disorder. abortion was illegal. but somehow, producers were persuaded to take a racy broadway play that included references to bisexuality and abortion, set in the "good old days" in germany before the war, that was based on an unsuccessful film of a moderately well-received novel by christopher isherwood and put it in the hands of bob fosse, whose previous cinematic …

in peril

i've posted before about my language learning adventures, and my ongoing quest to learn every single syllable in every single language before i die. but every day, i am faced with a horrible thought: not only is my goal facile and ridiculous, but it's also quite likely that a lot of the languages in the world today will die before i do. i already did a post with nifty charts showing the staggering linguistic diversity of the world compared to the paltry number that the vast majority of us actually speak. in that post, i touched upon how standardisation has eliminated most of the variants of "big" languages like french, and how some have been brought back from the dead. this time around, i thought i'd look at some of those languages that are clinging to life by their proverbial fingernails, or at least that are facing some stormy seas ahead.

before i get to my list, i should direct you to a somewhat larger list. that's a list of 180 countries that currently h…

mental health mondays :: parabnormal?

for north america and parts of europe, halloween marked the apex of spooky events, where the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its most diaphanous. but if you're a very traditional roman catholic, you'll know that the 31 of october is merely the beginning, and that the entire month that follows is dedicated to remembering and praying for the dead, specifically for those whose souls are trapped in purgatory. if you listen to dante, purgatory isn't especially pleasant. sure, there's the possibility that you'll end up working off your debt to celestial society, but until then, you get to endure things like having your goddamned eyes sewn shut with iron wire. [much like condo developments, it gets better the higher the floor you live on.]

however, the more common view of purgatory among catholics is that the souls relegated there can't do anything to help themselves, and are reliant on the prayers of their living relatives and loved ones to …

making faces :: meet the vice squad

i'm completely bowled over at the idea that there's a new collection of lipsticks with one hundred and twenty shades to it. how is someone even supposed to wrap their head around that? or their wallet? i don't feel like urban decay has intrigued me with a new launch. i feel like they've assaulted me and stolen my purse.

so perhaps that's why it's taken me a while to get to reviewing something from the line. hell, it took me a while to even figure out what to buy from this line, because the choice seemed so overwhelming. when nars launched their audacious lipstick line two years ago, i was unsure of how to pick that first colour from a batch of thirty. somehow, i was supposed to choose between a hundred colours [at sephora] in six different finishes. i'm a libra, for crying out loud. decision making is not my strong point.

i worked around this problem by going into sephora a few months ago [yes, i am really, really behind in my reviews] about five minutes b…

let's get this over with

ok. i have to face this before it makes me crazy.

you know what this is. it's the post-election wrap up. i planned on doing this post as a critique of the some of the past policies of the first woman president of the united states and how i thought those who had supported her with a somewhat suspicious eye could stay vigilant to hold her to the positions she'd espoused during the election.

unlike mrs. clinton, i didn't have a backup piece writen in case of emergency.

what the hell happened?

well, obviously, donald trump won. so the greater questions are how and why this happened. i don't know much about the hearts of trump voters. i know a couple of people [through facebook] who supported him, or at least had no problem with him being elected, so i hear what they're saying, but i can't speak for the population in general, except to look at statistics.

white college-educated women, who usually vote republican out of economic self-interest, moved slightly towards …

making faces :: this one's for you, america

yes, today i did a special "american election look", something i hope i don't regret later on...

first up, there's the obligatory red, white and blue.


that's a bright, bold red because what is america if not bold and brash? [guerlain rouge parade]

and that's some white, which is for the stars in your flag, but also for the suffragettes who fought for women's right to vote a hundred years ago. but there's black too, because black lives matter and the experience of blacks in america is an intrinsic part of who america is. [skirt annie thompson]


and some blue in both the camisole and the earrings [although i grant that the earrings don't really register. it's a dark blue, because let's face it: you know i'm hoping that's what your electoral map is going to look like tomorrow. [earrings joe fresh, camisole h+m]

but that's not all there is...




that's a nice helping of purple, in honour of all those purple states that are going t…

mental health mondays :: we're all crazy now

you're not imagining it: the election is making you crazy. well, not crazy, but according to a study by the american psychological association, the rush to the whitehouse is causing significant levels of stress among the people who are most affected by it [that would be americans, and possibly one canadian blogger who thinks about these things way too much]. and i get that. there are several factors that have contributed to making this election the most stressful thing to happen in politics since the cold war days. nor is it just about the candidates or the struggle in america, but about the country's position in the world. normally, many of us picture americans as more or less immune to what people think of them, but a recent nbc poll revealed that a shocking number- 62%- felt that this election had made them less proud to be an american. no election should ever be an embarrassment.

there are lots of theories about why the election is so particularly stressful. its dominatio…

worldwide wednesdays :: who goes there? [part 2]

so, earlier we dealt with the great mysteries of our planet: the oceans and antarctica. while those two are definitely the most likely places to belch forth something that will kill us all, it might surprise you to know that there is plenty of stuff on the places we've actually mapped that's still pretty much unknown.

how can it be, i hear you say, that we've been able to create maps of a place, but we don't even know what's in it? in an age where we can all see our homes on google earth and try to moon the satellites to see if we'll end up in street view [just me?], how can it possibly be that there are quadrants of this earth that remain unknown? and to that i say: you have perfectly valid questions.

here's the thing: there is a huge difference between knowing that something is there and knowing what that something is. i know that there are sewers in montreal, but they could be awash in a river of ecstasy and pansies for all know, because i've never …