28 December 2006

Eyelash extensions

I feel compelled a few days after the fact to post something of a public service announcement on eyelash extensions. My intention with this post isn't to bash the salon or the brand of eyelash extensions (hence no names), it's to warn friends and other visitors to this blog off the temptation to try these very realistic lashes.

Being somewhat of a sucker for salons and various vanity-indulging beauty products, I sprang for overpriced eyelash extensions offered at a Victoria salon a few days before I was due to head back to my home town for the holidays.

I did my research, reviewing accounts of past lash recipients and browsing the salon's site. Everything looked and sounded better than good; one particularly glowing account had me genuinely excited.

So on December 22nd, I went in after work for the roughly hour-long procedure. I paid $60 plus taxes and tip for lashes that were supposed to be brilliant and beautiful for 3 to 4 weeks.

I thought she had been attaching them to my eyelid in the spaces between my eyelashes. But she'd been gluing them to my existing eyelashes. So not only did I start losing lashes within days, as mine fall out that often, they started to look strangely sparse pretty quickly.

At first, they looked fantastic. But I couldn't apply or remove makeup properly. They itched, weighed down my eyes and generally irritated me. Admittedly, I made the mistake of not removing makeup before going to the salon (I'd thought the esthetician would do that if necessary).

After 5 days of uncomfortable, agitated eyelids, I peeled off the remaining eyelashes, taking many of my original lashes with them. So that - as well as the $60 plus salon bill and days of discomfort - is the price for a little vanity it seems. Fair warning to all would-be extension seekers.

22 December 2006

Angels In America

I'm re-watching HBO's Angels In America, the series based on Tony Kushner's play.

It makes me wonder if the ability to connect to a mentally ill character (Harper Pitt) denotes one's own instability. I don't feel unstable - quite the contrary. Despite my renewed interest in painting strange things.

Blanshard Chapel Battle

I've also recently learned that scanning - while an excellent method of retaining image quality - does no justice to mixed media (sequins, feathers and a photograph in this case) or to metallic paint.

So the image above is a photo of a painting rather than a scan. Although I'm not sure at this size and resolution either is really distinguishable anyway.

"There are no forests in Antarctica. Respect the delicate ecology of your delusions."
- Representative of the International Order of Travel Agents

12 December 2006

The Mega Uber Fantabulous Rick Hart Telephoto Gallery

I've had a digital SLR camera since the summer - July I think - and my Dad just bought me a new lens for my birthday. A really swanky 70mm to 300mm (more like 420 or 450 in digital terms) telephoto zoom with a macro mode. And he told me I'd better dedicate an entire slide show to him. So...

Construction crane pod

Freighter at sea

Victoria Shipyards

Victoria Shipyards


Towards the Gorge and Selkirk Waterway

Mount Baker

Mount Baker

Downtown, Pacific Ocean and The Olympias

"When I went to school in Olympia, Everyone's the same, And so are you, in Olympia" -Rock Star, Hole

07 December 2006

Christmas Card 2006

Merry holiday something-or-other. Happy whatever-you-celebrate. I've had a very busy, stressful fall which will probably continue into this winter. So I'm not sending Christmas cards this year, I'm posting a communal card for everyone. Actually it's a collage of past cards.

I know it's not as nice as a shiny piece of mail, but I'm trying small acts of self preservation to see if it helps. (Hence no gingerbread or sugar cookies.) I'm still wearing my "I heart Xmas" sandwich board and ringing my bell - it's just on the inside this year.

"You are not a unique snowflake." - Tyler Durden

27 November 2006

Theory of A Deadman rocked...

And Three Days Grace was pretty cool too. I had a fantastic time at last night's concert here in Victoria, but after tickets, drinks and an overpriced t-shirt, it was way too expensive. Regardless, rockin' out with my boyfriend of 10 years at the first concert we've ever seen together was totally worth it.

And now for something completely different...

Parkside Place courtyard

Tillicum Road

Burnside Plaza

Douglas and View

Fort and Douglas

View from my office across Fort Street

View up Fort from the kitchen

Fort and Wharf

Wharf Street

The Empress Hotel

The Inner Harbour

Provincial Legislature

Harbourside totem pole

Outside the Bay Centre on Douglas

An unfortunate couple with no snow brush

25 November 2006

Is someone listening?

Well, in the era of blogs and big brother, this was bound to happen. I'm not sure whether it's a horrendous invasion of privacy or an interesting new trend. Apparently, these sites are popping up for lots of urban areas.

Their popularity should be something to keep in mind if you're one of those people already looking over your shoulder in coffee shops, malls, public transit or other high-traffic spots. Personally, it doesn't worry me too much because I don't believe in hiding what I think and feel from anyone. Or at least I keep my secret thoughts and ideas truly secret - in my head.

But if you feel differently...

Overheard in Vancouver

19 November 2006


We went hiking in Goldstream Provincial Park yesterday. Even this late in the year, it was mild weather and beautiful terrain.

After we noticed more fungi than on our last visit I started to wonder,

"Just how much of a poisonous fruit will make you sick"...

"How much is fatal"...

"Which ones will make you grow taller"...

"And which ones will make you grow shorter"...

"Which ones send you down the rabbit hole"...

"And back again"...

Fortunately, I live on Vancouver Island and don't have to search for wonderland.

31 October 2006

Happy Halloween!

Jeff and I thought we'd be in for a quiet Halloween this year, so we just went out for dinner and planned to watch a scary movie at home.

By the time we settled in, the trick-or-treaters had tapered off, but the fireworks outside had escalated to battlefield intensity. We headed out to see if we could catch a glimpse only to find an organized fireworks display in the courtyard that rivaled some municipal events I've seen. It was so elaborate I can only assume it was funded by our strata fees.

Well worth it though. The crowd around the light show reminded me of block parties my neighbourhood in Vernon used to throw with hot chocolate and sparklers for all the kids.

Sadly, I don't have pics of the big show, but I do have a recent creepy drawing to post.

Infected Eyeliner

22 October 2006

40th Street Frosting Mummies

These are from a few years ago (2002, I think) but since I won't be making them again any time soon, I thought I'd post them anyway.

15 October 2006

There's always room for Lego

Talking to people about the design and decor of my new place has made me realize two new expectations of me.

a) A 27-year old's apartment should look like a grown-up's.

b) Once you own your own home, you should care about a) and whether or not your guests think you've achieved the look tastefully.

As usual, I'm opting for c) I finally get to do some cool stuff with my space and that will still involve immaturity and eccentricity (in a good way).

So underneath the picture moulding and framed artwork, look for Lego's interpretation of Batman and Catwoman next time you visit me.

05 October 2006

Hinge advisory for Tillicum Road

The forecast this weekend, for anyone travelling to Tillicum Road in Victoria is an 80% of housework with a 90% chance of odd jobs.

Be aware of the loose cupboard doors, hinges and handles, stray paint cans and unmounted moulding.

Visitors may find themselves subjected to paint fumes, dust bunnies and leaky taps as well as an obstacle course of half-emptied boxes.

08 September 2006

Magenta hair and a mortgage

I may officially be the oldest eighth-grader ever. Mentally, anyway. In the last week, I've acquired magenta streaks (the fun, fierce Punky Colours kind), a new pair of Vans (I'm such a brand sucker sometimes) and a mortgage on a condo. Strangely, I'm least interested in the last item.

By 27, I used think I'd look like a grown up, be married, have children, own a house with a yard, sit in an office and make a 'serious face' for the better part of each day.

Well, I have an office, but it's layered in photos, posters and print ads, a pleasant by-product of writing in a marketing department. I like my life this way, without anyone chastising me for my piercings or t-shirts or wrist cuffs.

But I'm still waiting to feel like a 'homeowner' and I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing.

25 August 2006

How crazy do you have to be?

My coworkers heard my 'outside voice' today when I saw this ad. What the hell does the 'etc.' cover?

24 August 2006

Scattered pancakes

The first thing I saw when I got off the bus this morning felt like a punch in the stomach. A woman kneeling on the ground in front of a bench, barely conscious, face first in the metal slats with most of a Mc pancake breakfast strewn on the sidewalk next to her. Syrup, pancakes, various items of litter. She was trying to yell - probably with every ounce of energy - "Screw you. I hate you," and so on. No one was there. After the sensation of being startled by a snarling dog wore off, I felt very, very bad. I wish I was the kind of person who not only knew how to help her, but could actually break through that barrier of fear and disgust and do it.

15 August 2006

Dell battery recall

I should know better than to think I'm being silly about something like an overheating laptop causing uncomfortable warmth and pain in my wrists. Not wanting to worry or complain, I managed to convince myself I was overreacting rather than slowly irradiating my wrists or something equally gross.

Almost immediately after I started using a Dell Inspiron laptop in March 2005, I started wondering whether or not I was developing carpal tunnel syndrome or being otherwise adversely affected by the heat coming off the wrist-rest areas of my laptop.

And now I know...

Dell will recall PC batteries:

Dell battery recall: More fuel to the fire:

Dell Battery Return Program

11 August 2006

Elevators are great because...

They confirm my belief that people do not inherently enjoy small talk, especially not with strangers. I think it's a positive observation that every time I ride the elevator to and from my office, my faith in the average individual's respect of personal space is usually validated.

Rare is the day when some overly cheerful or otherwise dysfunctional person chooses to start some inane exchange about weather or traffic or the line up at the passport office two floors below.

And fortunately, Victoria is still a small enough city that massive 30-person elevators in monstrous 100-floor buildings don't exist here... yet.

28 July 2006

The rat and the cat at the back door

Our new neighbours upstairs have a female cat who's younger and tougher than both Spike and Sam. Sadly, as pretty as she is, she alerted me to the fact that, in all probability, rats live in my backyard.

New cat and her prey

Rat scared stiff

Wounded rat

Sam found the visitor

A closer look and sniff

Sam was either curious or afraid. Even wounded, he didn't take a crack at the poor little thing. I'm glad he's not the predatory type.

19 July 2006

Vader bear rules!

Vader Spirit Bear

Some of you may already be familiar with the bears in urban Victoria and Vancouver. Designs ranging from lame to fascinating have popped up on the same molded bears around both cities.

Corner in front of HMV

It doesn't matter what you think of any others, this bear in front of the HMV on Robson & Burrard is worth a look.

Spirit Bears:

And a few more pics from the recent Adobe-inspired trip...

Richards Street

My kind of artwork

BC Stamp Works

Fountain at the Queen E Theatre

Urban cathedral

Interesting architecture

A pub I will never enter

More interesting architecture

Fire in the sky

Georgia Strait sunset

Calming down

Lava in the clouds

Behind a BC ferry