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Showing posts from January, 2017

there's an amendment for that

for many years, people like me have felt that nausea that accompanies every mass shooting in the united states; the bodies are still warm when wayne lapierre or one of his meat puppets is on television insisting that the solution to gun violence is to increase the number of guns in circulation. guns for teachers. guns for hospital staff. guns for flight attendants (what could possibly go wrong?), guns for every family member, as many as they can feasibly carry while still being able to stand (their ground). any mention of even a single rule about gun ownership being tightened is met with the hysterical response that someone in government is coming for your guns.

the national rifle association and other affiliated advocacy groups trace their intransigence on this issue to the second amendment to the u.s. constitution, which guarantees all americans the right to bare arms. they hold that amendment to be quasi-religious doctrine, true for all times and in all situations, despite the fac…

the black hole of rationality

i should probably make this one an ongoing series, possibly sponsored by some popular headache remedies, because i have a feeling that i'm going to have a lot of these moments.

i've had a busy few days, but that doesn't mean that i haven't been paying attention to what's going on in the world around me. of course, there are moments when i've wished i hadn't paid attention to the world around me, like when i saw that donald trump is apparently planning to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants in the united states. although it's only part of a much larger executive order, the crime sheet requirement is remarkable not just for its offensiveness, but for what it betrays of the civic knowledge of the people [it wasn't just trump] who wrote it.

now, i know i shouldn't go trying to attach things like logic to the current u.s. administration, but i really love logic and thought and all those awesome things our brains can do.

first of …

making faces :: a red story

red is a colour like no other. as the colour of blood, it is part of all of us, and is implicated in many of our common behaviours- the such of adrenaline that accompanies physical exertion, the flush of the cheek when angry, embarrassed or shy, the tumescence of sexual organs when we're aroused. it is fundamentally linked to life and death: menstruation is the female body's signal of the ability to procreate; the loss of virginity is most often marked by blood; we come into the world covered in our mother's blood; lose too much of it, though, and you'll die. it's no accident that our brains are wired to respond to blood like no other colour: it makes us react faster and become more emotional. when humans first started to devise methods of describing colour, red was the first one they described. when they started to dye materials and fabrics, red was the colour they started with. there are three primary colours, but red is the first among equals, the one that will…

in my garden

one of the things that they tell you about learning a new language is that you have to seek to immerse yourself in it. there are programs online that allow you to do that by conversing with native speakers [i've heard great things about italki], which is great if you have the means to pay for hourly tutors. since i've taken on a variety of languages, that could add up quickly, and my spare change tends to get taken up by cat treats and lipstick. so what's a person of limited means [or just someone who's unsure about making a serious investment in their language learning at the moment] supposed to do?
i personally like to do things like listen to news [especially international news], watch soccer games and read beauty blogs in other languages when i can. because those things have a pretty strict framework, a regular, repeating vocabulary and a straightforward style. leaping into german by reading heidegger is not something i'd recommend. but really, lots of things c…

you wanna [highland] dance, mr. trump?

there's a story floating around about an inaugural poem written in celebration of donald trump's scottish heritage, which refers to barack obama as a "tyrant". it's a little unclear what's going on; the author is indeed an author, who does indeed write poetry. but it's possible that this is him playing a prank, and there's no indication that the poem was commissioned, or that it will be read at the [sparsely attended] inauguration ceremony.

that said, trump has certainly expressed an affinity with his scottish heritage, which comes from his mother, a macleod born in the hebrides who immigrated to the united states and married the son of german immigrants fred trump in 1936. of course, he doesn't have enough of an affinity with scotland to know anything about it, as evidenced by his tweet talking about how happy everyone there clearly was with the vote on the brexit referendum. [every constituency in scotland voted to remain. if they seemed joyful…

what're you lookin at? [the most popular posts of 2016 on more like space]

i'm a little late getting around to these, but i feel like i needed some time to decompress from 2016. various commitments meant that i had less time for blogging last year. in fact, i had fewer posts than any time since 2010, when i was rebounding from the great ignoring of this blog. [this was largely due to the fact that i was maintaining a private blog on myspace- remember them?]

the thrilling and surprising thing is that 2016 was also the busiest year ever in terms of visits and in terms of diversity [i.e., the number of different locations from which you visited]. is it a case of quality over quantity? i had a dream last night where everyone in my school was telling me that they hated me because i talked too much. so maybe there's something to that.

for the second year running, the most popular post on the blog this year was music related: 'so hip it hurts', my tribute to the tragically hip and their unexpected effect on me wasn't something i expected to wri…

making faces :: falling hard for viseart

viseart is a brand that went from one i'd never heard of to one that i couldn't stop hearing of in record time. it's been a couple of years that i've seen their pricey but generous palettes on the sephora website, on beauty blogs and on instagram, but it wasn't until the last few months [and some help from the gift certificate fairies] that i decided to wade into their refined waters.

the brand is clearly oriented towards professionals, which explains why all their products are in palettes- eyeshadows, colour correctors, blush, lip colour. i'm not a professional, just an enthusiastic amateur, so i initially started with their new [this year] six shade eyeshadow palettes, which are intended to be used without including other items. [whereas their larger, twelve shade palettes are built around a theme, finish or colour family, like bridal makeup or neutral mattes.] there are three of the smaller 'theory' palettes, one cool, one neutral and one warm. the c…

mental health mondays :: the big lies

the phrase "the big lie" was coined by adolf hitler to describe an untruth on such a grand scale, one that could seem as all-encompassing and passionately communicated that it overcame its self-evident falseness and became accepted. the idea behind it is that the idea would be so ridiculous that no one would believe that a thinking person could make it up. he was onto something there, because there are plenty of examples of people believing ridiculous things. i remember being told in all sincerity that if you dreamt that you died, you actually would die. the question of how people actually evaluated that got skipped right over, because damn, it sounds just crazy enough to work.

is adolf had been born a hundred years after he was, he would likely have made an excellent purveyor of "fake news", something which has come to the public's attention since some have proposed that its omnipresence may have helped tilt the outcome of the american election in favour of e…

thanks for the memories?

i've spent much of the new year angry at myself, because i had a dream on the 1st [i believe], a section of which i remember thinking would make a great short story. i kept reminding myself that i should write it down, in case i forgot it. then i'd forget to write it down for the rest of the day. then i forgot what it was.

[many sighs.]

the people to whom i've spoken about this have been quick to reassure me that, if the idea were really important and really good, i would have remembered it, and that's the advice i'd give to someone in my position as well. but that doesn't stop me from fretting, because all i can remember about it was that it seemed like it was a good idea.

however, the experience did remind me that there are a couple of things that have been running around in my head for years that i've never committed to writing. the reason for that is that, as vivid as they are in my mind, they aren't anything in particular; they're little snipp…

armchair centre back :: relationship woes

although i did stick my head out of my gopher hole on new year's eve, the last several days have been occupied with one thing: watching gorgeous men kick a ball around for 90-100 minutes at a time.

with the avalanche of holiday fixtures, we've officially passed the halfway point of the premier league season. i haven't written much about it because... swansea... goddamn... they struggled last year, but that was nothing compared to the sour river of suck we've been treated to lately. i mean, they're painful to even watch right now. it's a hard blow from a team that used to be as silky as the big guns of the league when they were on their game. now, it's like...





that's me on the sofa, by the way.

so, yes, it's been a hard half season for me, although not as hard a season as it has been for the swansea coaching staff, who are shortly to be moving onto their third boss in sixteen weeks. with the team languishing at the very bottom of the bottom three and …

be it resolved that

at our annual new year's eve get together last night, we played a game. there were two hats on the table. everyone wrote down the most horrible thing that happened in 2016 and placed it in one hat. in the second hat, they placed a note naming something that could happen in 2017 that could offset it (or at least numb the pain). at midnight, we read them all out, drawing first from the 2016 hat and then from the 2017 hat. the random pairings were good for a chuckle, however, something strange happened and the hat with the horrible things of 2016 had one extra note in it, for which there was no 2017 antidote. this was it:



there is no antidote for apathy. you have to cut it off and get rid of it entirely. resolve not to be apathetic in 2017.