Listening To: stuck on repeat

No Health - The New Division.  My sister recently introduced me to electro-pop crooners The New Division, via their album "The Rookie".  I am now certifiably in love, and am combing the internet for their tracks.  They combine my adoration for a relaxed melodic vibe and my love for techno, house, and electronica.  They remind me a little of '80s sensations like Duran Duran, Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys.


Starfield - The New Division.


Walk in the Dark - The New Division.


Armistice (The New Division Italo Mix) - Phoenix.  So while hunting around for stuff by New Division I stumbled across this remix and fell in LOVE.  I already adored Phoenix's album "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix", and this remix takes Armistice to great places.  If you give one track on today's Listening To a listen, make it this one.


Lisztomania (Feat Jane Hanley) - Edwin Van Cleef.  Continuing the theme of Phoenix tracks, this cover by Edwin Van Cleef is a winner.  Very upbeat and danceable.  I'll be filing it away for the summertime.  Enjoy!


Black and Yellow (T-Pain Remix) - Dirty.  If you like the original, you'll like the remix.  I refuse to be embarrassed by my enduring appreciation of T-Pain.


Helena Beat - Foster the People.  I actually caught this one on a television show and found it so catchy I had to hunt it down by googling the lyrics.  It's kind of an Indie-pop, very danceable, lots of fun.


The Sun - The Naked and Famous.  Another track picked up off TV.  This one's less dance-like and more brooding, for lack of a better word.  Definitely a good one.  It's a lot like Blind by Mega Bass, if you're at all familiar with that one (it was on the Daydreaming Playlist).


Set Fire To the Rain - Adele.  I recently bought Adele's newest album, "21", which I'd heard good things about.  There are definitely songs that stand out more than others, and one of those was Set Fire to the Rain.  It's one of those power-ballad types that she just nails every time.


Well if that's what you're into....

Recently I enjoyed a post on Diary of a Spinster Aunt where the authoress mused about the bizarre referrals she was getting from Google searches.  I heartily enjoyed it and reflected on how the strangest Google referrals I get are generally garbled misspellings of the blog title - serves me right for choosing a name no one can spell, let alone pronounce.

Anyway, amusingly enough only a couple of weeks later when I was checking my own blog stats I discovered several totally weird referring sites and searches:

For starters, I am pumped that the Royal Wedding manicure is getting out to the world.  But can someone please tell me what "a shoe called arbiter" is all about?  The only thing that occurs to me is that it is some kind of children's book.  However, while the "a shoe called arbiter" search referral interests me, the "www.mygfgetfucked.com" referral scares me a little.  To be honest I've been too afraid of what I might find to check out the site.  With a title like that I can't imagine anything good.  I've narrowed it down to either porn or some kind of break-up revenge thing.  Who knows?  Anyway, at the very least I figured it was worth a laugh.  I look forward to enjoying your various strange searches in the future.  

First article for My ETV Media!

Earlier I mentioned that I have been hired as a guest contributor for My ETV Media.  As promised, here is a link to my first review, a critique of Limitless.  Along with the review you will find a trailer for the film as well as a photo gallery.  I encourage you to check out the site, hope you enjoy it!


A Royal Victory: Alexander McQueen hits a home run

It is ten to five in the morning and I have just finished watching several hours of live footage of what can fairly be called the wedding of this generation.  Hailed as the "resurgence of the British monarchy", the events of this morning, April 29th, have reached a rumoured audience of two billion people around the world.  The pageantry, music, and setting combined to create an undeniably moving spectacle that drew upon hundreds of years of tradition and history.

One of the best moments must have been the long waited for reveal of Catherine Middleton's (now the Duchess of Cambridge) wedding gown.  As it turned out the rumour mill correctly guessed the dress's designer: it was created by Alexander McQueen's new Creative Director Sarah Burton.  I can hardly imagine being happier with the design Kate ultimately settled on: the cut, fabric, and design were perfection.  The dress balanced taste, romance, and modesty in an artful blend, invoking both a Grace Kelly-like aura and a pleasing modernity.  It wisely excluded overtly trendy features which might date it (like Diana's or Sarah Ferguson's).  Having watched my fair share of Say Yes To the Dress I was so delighted to see long sleeves - which I feel have been tragically overlooked in favour of strapless designs - and a higher collar.  Hopefully this will encourage further innovation and variation in wedding apparel.

I would say more, but I've been awake for almost a solid 24 hours now and am having trouble stringing together coherent sentences.  So, without further adieu here are some photos of what you all want to see most - the dress.  Once I've had some sleep (and the photos are finally up!) I'll do another post on the fashions sported by wedding guests (Victoria Beckham's outfit was so glamorous!).

Update: Photos are now circulating of Kate Middleton's reception dress (a more modest gown for the after parties) which also happens to be designed by Alexander McQueen.  While I think the dress is pretty (rather simple), I absolutely HATE that shrug she's wearing.  It looks like those terrible furry sweaters that seemed to enjoy a short-lived popularity around the early 2000s.  Of all the cover ups she could have picked that has to be the worst.  Cringe.


Royal Wedding Manicure

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a treat for you today.  You are already aware I majored in History at university, but many of you will not know that I specialized in British history or that the monarchy is one of my favourite parts of history to study (I took an entire course entirely centred on the British monarchy and it was awesome!).  Anyway, as such I have a deep fondness for the institution and a fascination with it, so the upcoming royal nuptials have me very excited!

Besides being an incredible continuation of ceremonies that extend back thousands of years, I also find the upcoming wedding interesting in a more social context.  It's so lovely to see the world (well, maybe just the Commonwealth) get excited about something together.  After so many years of endless headlines on the market crash, its consequent recession, oil spills, wars, and the usual doom and gloom it's so refreshing to finally see people coming together and being happy.  Nothing gets people's spirits up quite like a wedding, and considering royal weddings only happen once every thirty or so years (I wasn't yet alive when Charles and Diana married) it's definitely something remarkable.

So, in keeping with all this my mother, sister and I will all be staying up until one or two in the morning or whenever when things will be starting live in England and we're having a little Royal Wedding Party.  There will be lots of tea and we're all dressing up (my sister and I are going to do our best Kate Middleton impressions).  I have a veil I'm going to bust out while I believe my sister is going to sport a hat with a whole lot of feathers.  Today we picked up replica rings of Kate/Diana's engagement ring, and - the theme of this post - painted our nails Will & Kate Wedding-style.  Anyway, I thought I'd share the photos of the finished result.

My original plan had been to use our nail stamper for the crowns and the bells, but it was being SO UNCOOPERATIVE so I eventually gave up and had to freehand it.  So, it's not quite as tidy as I would have liked but I'm still pretty pleased.

"W&K" - the ampersand is a little blurred but ohhhh well.

The replica!  Unfortunately it's a size too big, but who's going to be choosey?


Not-Quite-Facebook Find:

While reading College Fashion this evening I came across two particularly awesome links.  The first is to a video that is SO CUTE that it is the first time a video has made me cry out of sheer adorableness:

The second is to a post that addresses the social challenges faced by women who don't want children.  Keep in mind that the large pictures that break up the text don't actually signify the end of the article - just scroll past them.


This one struck a particular chord with me as I never intend to have children and have been faced with the "I know better" reaction on more than one occasion.  While I'm not sure I could be quite as understanding toward those who mock my choice, I think that she does an excellent job of explaining our position and the some of the reasons why women might choose not to have kids.  However, her focus seemed to be on personal incompatibility, and I thought that there was another significant factor that needed to be mentioned.

I will admit that the primary reason I don't plan on having children is because it entails a life I don't want for myself and am convinced would make me unhappy.  Having had plenty of time to think about it though, there are a few other significant reasons that deter me from procreating and are worth considering no matter who you are:

For starters, it is no secret that we are burning through resources at an unsustainable rate.  We are already facing a crisis over oil that - depending on your political stance - has been causing terribly destructive wars (is there any other kind?) for several decades now.  While this is bad enough, I cringe to think of what the world will be like later down the line when it is fresh water - another dwindling resource - that is being fought over.  My understanding of humanity's behavior is that we are going to continue doing what we have done since the dawn of our existence: fight pointless fights over territory, resources, religion, power, and race.  Why would I ever want someone I loved so much to be a part of that world?  I barely want to be a part of it myself!  You may call it cynical, I call it rational.

To continue, we currently live in an overpopulated world.  This is a particularly difficult issue to confront due to the huge bias against contraception that is a major part of many religions.  Add to that the inaccessibility of contraceptives and sex-education in many parts of the world (whether it's due to impoverishment or due to religious lobbyists in parts of the USA) and it becomes more and more important to use our own awareness wisely.  If I know that families like the Duggars are doing their best to contribute to both overpopulation and to use up as many resources as humanly possible then it is all the more important that I have no children at all.

Finally, I am repelled by the idea of being conned by biology into doing something so against my beliefs.  I won't lie that I'm a little terrified that as I get older all of a sudden something will change and I'll get what I like to call "baby fever".  As far as I'm concerned this is an outdated scam of Mother Nature's to ensure the survival of our species.  It horrifies me that some renegade hormones may take over my brain and leave me with a decision that I would regret for the next twenty years.  Furthermore (and most inflammatory of all), to me there is something fundamentally narcissistic about having children.  The whole notion of "what would our kids look like?" and of continuing bloodlines are ideas that call to mind the quest for immortality in Homer's Iliad.  As truly rational beings I think there is something to be said for overcoming these more primal instincts and making decisions based upon who we are, not what we are.  To be clear, if that means that after all that you still want children, then by all means go for it!  There is certainly much to say for having kids (as I have been told enthusiastically by my parents): they can teach you so much about yourself and about life and there is such joy to be found in one's family.

I admit (almost) unflinchingly that five years down the road I may be singing an entirely different tune.  In that case I will most likely be cursing my pigheadedness at posting such an article on the internet where it will live indefinitely... but I wont ever deny that each of these points is seriously worth considering before making such a life-altering choice.  Personally I'm a huge advocate of adoption: what could be better than taking a child doomed to a life of impoverishment, abuse and/or neglect and offering it a loving home?  While adoption is for many people inaccessible due to its expense, I hope to see the day where it can be more attainable and widely used.  Anyway, I hope this has at least given you something to think about.


Arbiter Elegantiae does Germany

My dear readers, I can now at long-last tell you that for the last couple of months I have been in the process of applying for an internship overseas, specifically with a (very large) Public Relations firm in Germany.  I hadn't wanted to spill the beans before things had firmed up a little, but I can now very happily tell you that after receiving my portfolio and CV (Curriculum Vitae, a fancy way of saying "resume") they have offered me a position with them for three months.  I am hoping to leave shortly after my Convocation this June, all circumstances permitting.

Now believe it or not I'm not sharing this simply for the bragging rights (though those are great).  Rather, my impending departure means that I now have about a million things on my plate to deal with in a relatively short span of time, including learning basic German, sorting out Visa and passport business, and most importantly saving a lot of money.  As such, I doubt I'm going to be posting quite as frequently as I usually do, and for that I apologize.  However, the bonus is that in a few months' time I will be able to write about the incredible fashion overseas and can provide you with some great new content.  On that note, I am now scouting around for some good German street style blogs so that I can prep my own wardrobe for the culture shock.  If you are familiar with any good ones please let me know!

Another piece of exciting news I wanted to share with you all (which will also be contributing to my diminished blogging time) is that I will soon be a contributor for myetvmedia.com!  I am delighted to say that as a direct consequence of this blog I have been invited to be their Film & Fashion Correspondent, a position I am really looking forward to filling.  So, you can expect to see regular links here to reviews that will be up on My ETV Media's site, which also produces reviews of television shows, awards ceremonies, and video games, to name just a few features.

I'm going to do my best to stay on top of all these exciting things, but I'm afraid I will be prioritizing and paid work will be coming first.  The moral of the story is don't worry if I disappear for a few days: I haven't forgotten about you.  As always I'm sending out huge thank yous to all of you readers, without whom much of this would not have been possible.


A World of Hurt

I have a little treat for you guys today.  Back in eleventh or twelfth grade my English teacher gave us an assignment to write a one page essay on anything we wanted...  I suppose that makes more sense if I add that I attended a small town public school.  Anyway, this was at the height of the Chuck Norris jokes fad and I took her assignment very literally.  So, I wrote an essay on Chuck Norris entirely based on the jokes circulating about him.  It was delightfully fun to write and it's probably my only work from my high school days that I'm still proud of.  Unfortunately in the years that followed it seemed to get lost in the bowels of our numerous computers and I had sadly believed it was lost forever.

Not so.  While digging around today in an old laptop for some resume business I found my Chuck Norris essay.  Though there are definitely some misplaced commas and some awkward sentences, it is just as amusing to me now as it was then, and I thought I'd share with you all this little gem from days gone past.  Now, without further adieu this is my essay, "A World of Hurt":

            Chuck Norris has proved to be one of the most fascinating people of the 20th century, with capabilities so awe-inspiring he has even made himself something of a religious idol. He also has qualities of unparalleled brutality, instilling great fear in all.  His supreme and God-like features paired with his talent for death mark him apart from even the most brutal tyrants of history.

The reason for Chuck Norris’ elevation to godliness can most likely be attributed to the terrifying power he wields.  As in the time of the Greeks and Romans, those who prayed to them knew the Gods were to be feared and worshiped.  The terrible force with which they could strike made them un-human, and were believed to be indestructible.  Chuck’s status may be explained by this fact: “Chuck Norris doesn’t need kevlar.  It isn’t that he’s bulletproof, it’s that bullets are too terrified to penetrate his skin”.  Coupled with sayings such as “Chuck Norris doesn’t go hunting.  The word hunting implies the possibility of failure.  Chuck Norris goes killing,”; this powerful man seems to have transformed himself into an almighty being—with the aid of his trademark roundhouse kick.

To achieve such a metamorphosis and thus attain the aura of an ancient god, he would need to exhibit a cruelty beyond compare. It was by committing atrocities of unbridled horror that provided him with his power over humanity.  Proof of this can be found in other Chuck legends:  “A man once taunted Chuck Norris with a bag of Lays potato chips saying ‘Betcha can’t eat just one!’ Chuck Norris proceeded to eat the chips, the bag, and the man in one deft move.” Even more bone chilling is this episode: “Chuck Norris once killed five people in less than a second.  The only thing he said after the incident was ‘Damn it, when Chuck Norris doesn’t want Girl Scout cookies, Chuck Norris doesn’t want Girl Scout cookies.”  His unique homicidal tendencies and his lack of mercy make him a power to be reckoned with.

Proof of his transmutation from man to God can be supported by some new liturgical canons currently doing the rounds among the general population: “Jesus can walk on water, but Chuck Norris can walk on Jesus”; “the Bible was originally titled ‘Chuck Norris and Friends’”; and lastly, “Jesus owns and wears a bracelet that reads, ‘What Would Chuck Norris Do?’”.  This evidence begs the question “exactly how powerful is Chuck?” We will perhaps never know, but can be deeply impressed by another of his breakthroughs.  In this last quote we see something quite foreboding, he passes yet another boundary becoming not only a God to be feared, but someone so powerful even Satan cannot contend against his fury.  “Chuck Norris sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability.  Shortly after the transaction was finalized, Chuck roundhouse kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back.  The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn’t stay mad and admitted he should have seen it coming.  They now play poker every second Wednesday of the month.”

As modern science will tell us, these “facts” are clearly fabricated, but to have such a reputation proves Chuck Norris to be quite the cultural phenomenon.  What great actions has he committed to become so widely feared and acknowledged?  Truly someone who has achieved such fame must have a life worth knowing about, proving Chuck Norris is, one of the most fascinating people of the 20th century.


They left out the part where Shopaholic becomes a Call Girl to fund her addiction

There's a show on A&E called "Intervention" which I'm sure many of you have seen or heard of.  It's interesting to watch every now and then because you get an insight into the bizarre things people will do to accommodate their addictions.  In one episode a bulimic tells the cameras about how she secretly works as a stripper to pay off her thousand-dollar-a-week grocery habit from when she binges.  It now seems like this may be a glimpse into my own future, but replace "binges" with "expensive clothes habit".

In my last post I made a confession about my addiction to shoes.  I am now thinking, however, that confessing to a shoe addiction was a little misleading of me.  It would be more accurate to say that I am addicted to clothing in general.  Unfortunately this isn't the kind of addiction that can be sated by a quick stop a Walmart or something like that.  No, instead I have fatally expensive taste, which I'm sure is going to get me into all kinds of trouble at some point.

Today I left my little corner of the world to take the forty minute trip into the city, with the intention of catching some films to review (more on that later).  I went in with the girls (AKA my mother and sister), so of course I managed to get side-tracked early in the day.  We were just having fun looking around when I found the sartorial equivalent of the Holy Grail: a Dolce & Gabbana black silk pencil skirt in perfect condition for 60% off.  This was an opportunity too good to pass up.  Who would pass it up anyway?  Things like this don't come along every day, or even once a year.  Not to mention it was a size small which was even rarer (small is generally the first size to get picked off) and black pencil skirts are a wardrobe staple, so it was a totally practical purchase... right?  Well, regardless, it is now my baby and is comfortably snuggled up with my BCBG dress in its garment bag.  Consequences be damned!

I looked (very thoroughly) for a picture of it but I'm afraid that despite my creative google searches I wasn't able to find the exact one.  It's the skirt pictured below but without the gold embellishments.  It has two lovely little pockets and the softest lining you've ever felt in your entire life.  If I weren't afraid of crinkling it I might cuddle it while I fall asleep tonight.  Anyway, thought I'd share the small fashion victory with you all.  Consequences be damned!


Crippling Addiction

I have a confession to make, dear readers.  You are already aware of my total weakness for nail polish, but I must admit I have another weakness: shoes.  I am a terrible shoe-a-holic, and this weekend I totally caved (yet again) and bought new shoes.  Now in my defense I was shopping with my mother, a notorious enabler of this weakness of mine, and the shoes were from Michael Kors' MICHAEL line, and he just makes beautiful things always.  If anyone from Michael Kors ever reads this, please reciprocate my love and send me something free (my shoe size is 7.5).

Anyway, the shoes I bought are peep-toe espadrille wedges in an off-white colour with silver and caramel leather accents.  They're wonderfully comfortable and espadrilles are an on-trend item for this summer, but I confess when I brought them home (after one of those gut-wrenching impulse buys) I was stumped as to how to wear them.  Jeans (obviously), floral dresses (yes), army green (interesting), but what else?  Anyway, usually I can find answers to these questions by prowling celebrity street style or checking my favourite fashion websites/blogs, but this time I had no such luck!  So, I figured I'd pose the question to all of you and see if anyone had any interesting ideas.  Below are the new shoes, and I encourage you to share any thoughts you have of how to style them!

Designer Obsession: Gareth Pugh

The other day I was entertaining myself by watching an old-ish episode of Fashion Television.  When I started watching they were interviewing Karl Lagerfeld, so I spent a while laughing to myself at his accent, his ugly ugly clothing, and that the interviewer was asking where his "genius" ideas came from. 

Anyway, what caught my attention was the segment that followed, which was dedicated to up-and-coming designer Gareth Pugh (pronounced "Pew").  The episode was from early last year, and they were talking about how he was a designer being eyed to take on Alexander McQueen's design house after McQueen's suicide in early February.  Anyway, while conducting their interview they were showing some of Pugh's collection and WOW.  I was blown away by the lines, the ingenuity, and the variety in Pugh's designs (which are almost exclusively monochromatic and most often are black).  While some of his designs verge on a fashion closer to Haute Couture, many of them are absolutely wearable and undeniably cool.  He will definitely be on my watch list in the future.  For your own viewing pleasure below I have posted my favourites from his Fall 2010 and Fall 2011 runways.

Fall 2010

Fall 2011

Facebook Find

I haven't had a good Facebook Find in a while, but today my lovely friend (who has an equally cool blog) sent me a link to this hilarity, and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to share it.  I just laughed and laughed, and hopefully you will too, because this thing is genius.  Enjoy!

At Long Last: Christian Dior Manicure (and extras)

Okay, so I finally got around to doing my Christian Dior-inspired mani today.  And when I say I did it today,  I mean it took pretty much all day to do a satisfactory job.  While I started out using all the colours I bought - both the blues and the mauves - I didn't like how it looked so I wound up taking off the blues and making it all about the mauves, burgundies and blacks.  I used Bahama Mama and Angora Cardi by Essie, and OPI's Black Onyx and Nicole by OPI's Razzle Dazzler Matte.  And, as usual, I used my beloved Seche Vite top coat, though for a base coat I switched up my regular Seche Clear and gave my new Seche Natural a try - I'll keep you posted on how well that does.  For the details on my thumbs and pinkies I had started using one of my Sally Hansen nail pens, but it wasn't showing up clearly enough so I swapped it for one of the nail pens my sister and I picked up at the PNE a couple of years ago.

As for how I feel about the manicure, I do like it but I figure it could be a lot tidier.  While I was able to use tape successfully to do the stripes on my middle finger, it wasn't being cooperative for the matte tips on my index fingers so I had to freehand it which made it less streamlined than I usually like.  Overall it's a pretty awesome mani by my standards, but I feel it's a little too wintry to be wearing with Easter just around the corner, so in all likelihood I'll take it off and do an Easter-themed manicure in the next few days.

As for these next two photos, I was editing some old Facebook photos and found these buried away.  The leopard one speaks for itself (and no, that's not an engagement ring) and the other one was my manicure for Canada Day last summer - FYI maple leaves are HARD to freehand.


Cronenberg's Crash

After having such an interesting debate over the meaning behind Donnie Darko recently, my dad suggested we watch David Cronenberg's Crash (1996), a film he described as equally thought provoking.  While our taste in film doesn't always overlap we can usually agree on the really amazing ones, so I didn't hesitate to agree.  So, for tonight's movie night Crash was our feature.

The simple way to describe Crash would be to say it's a film about a bunch of people who are turned on by car accidents and the consequent injuries.  Sounds weird but not totally unpalatable, right?  Wrong.  The best comparison I can think of is that Crash is much like Lars Von Trier's Europa: notoriously difficult to watch.  I'll also say right now this is NOT a film to watch with your family, otherwise prepare yourself for some supreme awkwardness.

I initially went into viewing it the way I usually do with films I'd like to analyse: with my laptop at the ready so I could take down important dialogue and pivotal scenes.  Well, I gave up on that after the first half hour or so, and by the fifty minute mark I wasn't sure I was going to be able to last the whole film.

My real problem was that Crash is just so goddamn gratuitous.  It is quite literally sex scene after sex scene after sex scene.  And I don't mean that in the sense that characters have meaningful encounters, or tasteful embraces modestly hidden behind the sheets.  I mean that you see everything in pornographic detail, where characters have little to no emotional connection with one another.  Then, they follow that up with the obligatory cigarette.  And it's allllllll downhill from the start of the film.  It moves from stranger-sex to bizarre scar-fetish sex, and the couplings are not exclusively heterosexual: there is also a sex scene with two men and later a sex scene with two women.  But, of course, the gaze in the film is distinctly male ["Gaze" refers to the gender perspective that a film takes - it is expressed through camera movement and particular shots, and is most distinct when it is in the process of objectifying women; think the shot of Megan Fox bending over the car hood in the first Transformers] so, regardless of the fact there must be upwards of ten different sex scenes, men are fully clothed in all but one, while women are entirely naked or at the very least mostly-naked in all of them.  It's so blatantly unequal and exploitative it makes me want to scream at the television.

The film is also frustratingly difficult to follow in terms of any real meaning, and between the car accidents, mangled bodies, and mind-numbingly repetitive sex it's hard not to quit halfway through.  The film is shot so that one cannot identify with the characters, and all the acting is done in a detached and aloof kind of way.  Character motive is equally difficult to distinguish (I found Dr. Remington's actions particularly arbitrary and counter-intuitive), making the film feel mostly like one long awkward shit-fest.

So why am I reviewing it if I hated it so thoroughly?  Well, the film isn't entirely arbitrary.  It has been widely acknowledged that one reading of the film is that it is a commentary on the depersonalization of sex: that it addresses the removal of intimacy from intimacy in our increasingly technological world.  Characters seem to couple randomly while fixating on entirely impersonal items or things.  Sex is never about the person it's with and is rather about satisfaction of unrelated desires.  Identity and even gender are irrelevant to this film's main characters.  But this is not the only interpretation.

My dad's love of the movie is founded on a much deeper meaning he perceives within the content.  His theory (which I had to be walked through more than once) is that the film is a commentary on the American sexualization of the automobile as well as a satire of some of society's more bizarre fixations.  He claims that the film uses its characters' fixation on cars to address our own fixation on trivial things like celebrities: it is a totally irrational obsession that whips many a person into a fanatical frenzy.  Similarly, the film satires our society's fixation with perfection.  The character's all-consuming lust for the scars and wounds of car accidents can directly parallel our own lust for perfection: they engage in risky car accidents in an effort to acquire erotic scarring while we risk our lives on operating tables for perfect breasts or ageless faces.  Furthermore the film (supposedly) attacks our use of sex and the female form to sell anything to anyone.  It takes "sex sells" to its extreme, overwhelming the audience with the repetitive nature of the sexual content.  Which brings us the sexualization of the automobile.

Sex has been used to sell cars almost since they were first invented.  Like most commercials, car advertisements often feature scantily clad heavily-breathing beauties writhing on the hood of the car, or they imply that the car you drive will have a direct impact on how often you will get laid - but only if you're a man.  Cars' interiors (and often exteriors too) are streamlined and rounded, the seats mimicking the curves of the female form, caressing the driver.  While most often I've heard such cars referred to as more of a phallic symbol, the argument is that they have become intrinsically sexual and this film takes that to its logical extreme, mocking our own absurdity.  The film is evocative of the way in which some people lustily discuss "chrome spinners" and "genuine leather seats"; horsepower and hemis.  In particular the character of Vaughn becomes for the other characters an extension of his vehicle's technology - they discuss his body the way others might discuss butterfly doors and elaborate sound systems.  Cronenberg ultimately instills into the sexual encounters a juxtaposition of man and machine that directs the audience toward his critique of this "auto-eroticism", as it has been called.

My dad argues that the last layer of brilliance to all this is that it can so easily be mistaken and disregarded as the power trip of a slightly depraved writer/director (Cronenberg both wrote and directed the film).  I, however, find it almost equally obnoxious as the product of the pretensions of a self-congratulatory and condescending man who is looking to insult and discomfort his audience by laughing at our inability to grasp his hyper-intellectual film.  There could be enough deep social commentary in this film to fill a Stephenie Meyer-length novel and I still wouldn't like it any better.

Manicure Preview: Inspired by Christian Dior

Ever since going through Christian Dior's Fall 2011 runway show the cogs in my head have been turning over how to incorporate that kind of awesomeness into my own style.  The first thing that occurred to me was a manicure.  Since voicing this plan, however, I've had a lot of questions as to how on earth you turn an entire runway show into a manicure.  My thinking was that Dior focused heavily upon using different textures, patterns and colours in a really phenomenal way.  Similarly, nail polish is available in a variety of textures now (matte, suede, glossy), and patterns are not a problem for me.  So, much like the last manicure I posted, I'm planning on using different base colours for my nails overlaid with different patterns.  But this time I'll be using different textures too!

The reason I haven't already started this mani is because until now I was lacking a few crucial colours.  But yesterday while running errands I had a chance to go to Shoppers and get what I needed!  Below are examples of the patterns, colours and textures I'm planning to work with, as well as the nail polishes I picked up so you can have some idea of what I'm thinking.  Can't wait to see how it turns out!

Essie Angora Cardi

Essie Bahama Mama

Nicole by OPI - No Limits Matte

Gosh Metallic Blue 566 (I couldn't find a pic of just the polish)