I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Inspiration up the slopes

Looking back, I begin to wonder what runs through my mind when I write. What inspires me? Ingrown hairs and Tupperware? Lord Almighty, what the hell is wrong with me?

My physical and mental health is stable (for those who know me, don't you dare make a comment). No medications are currently flowing through my veins. It’s all so very strange. All of this could make sense if a little too much Columbian snow swooshes itself up the slopes. Like Whitney says, “Crack is whack.” Alas, that is not the case.

The reason is that inspiration happens anytime and anyplace. Be it a person, a place, or a thing. It can really be that simple, if you allow it to be. And, I allow it to be.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Epidermis epidemic

A secretive situation is quietly creeping through society. People don’t speak up because they are too ashamed or embarrassed to admit to this problem; a silent slayer of self-esteem. I’m talking about ingrown hairs.

Before contemplating the ridiculousness of the claim, hear me out. Like a new wrinkle, age spot, or pimple, ingrowns can ruin the day for a beautybot. It’s depressing. Yet, unlike the aforementioned situations, ingrowns are inevitable.

Exfoliating skin with a scrub eliminates any unwanted build-up of old skin cells. It also makes skin feel even smoother, avoiding the need for microdermabrasion and chemical peels. A splash of warm water opens the skin’s pores and softens the hair shaft. With the appropriate shaving solution applied, and a razor in your hand, you are ready to go.

No matter how long or short the stroke, whether skin is stretched or not, there will be a little blood. And, no, it doesn’t matter whether the blade is new, or not. I find after the second shave, the blade is coated with a little shaving gel residue and that allows the sharp edges to glide smoothly across my sensitive areas.

When finished, a balm is applied to cool and moisturize the newly shorn surfaces. Skin is hair-free. Then, the horror begins. Dots, small and dark, appear on the top layer of skin. Looking closer, there appears to be a hair, fighting its way through the epidermis (only the damn thing doesn’t). Inevitably, the end result is a (ahem) blemish.

So, it’s time to get out the fine needle (sterilized, of course) and tweezers perform their duties: prick, pick, and pull. I won’t go into further graphic detail, but I will say that the 3P method can get a little ooh-glay.

After all is said and done, it’s time for another shave. The perpetual cycle continues.

Leading chemists and researchers eradicate other daily (vanity-ridden) drawbacks like blemishes and blackheads, yet they can’t resolve this other problem. Hey, brainiacs, you wanna earn your keep? Resolve this epidermis epidemic.

Don’t design another razor (do you really need one with a half-dozen blades?), or whip up another luscious-smelling solution to slather on your skin (it ain’t edible, so who cares if it smells like vanilla). Develop something to strengthen hair so it can push itself out of the skin, make the outer layer of skin thinner (literally, not psychologically), or eliminate hair altogether. Oh, and while you’re at it, make it affordable and available at every drugstore.

Fulfill the customer’s needs, and you’ll make loads of money (look at botulism in a bottle). As an added bonus, their self-esteem will improve (not to mention their skin). Stop the silence and the suffering!

But, until then, it’s back to the 3P method.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Nip and tuck

A little cosmetic surgery never hurts anyone (unless there's a problem with the anesthesia). A shot of Botox, an injection of Restylane, and a change in colour (courtesy of L'Oreal, naturellement) to keep this site looking its best. It is, after all, Spring.

Ahh, Spring... The one time of the year where the colour of white becomes into the colour brown. Snow melts and mud takes its place. Instead of having your boots slathered with slush, your shoes become covered in crap.

Take advantage of this wondrous occasion - it only happens once a year. Thank God.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Dying never looked so good

Seeing Love Story on television, I have to give Ali McGraw credit for her immense talent. It wasn’t for her acting, though. It was for her death scene. While some inoperable disease (I think it’s cancer) ravages her body, she manages to look more glamourous as she steps just a little bit closer to the cinematic inevitability of her character. I call it Ali McGraw Syndrome (AMS, for short).

Me, on the other hand, do not have that talent. True, I am not dying and I have the flu (which sometimes feels like death), yet I manage to look like I have one foot in the grave. Why is that?

Love Story portrays an illness rather unfairly. As Ali lies in her deathbed, and (rather irritatingly) calls Ryan O’Neal “Preppy,” she has the whole Paramount production team making her look her best (it also helps she was married to Robert Evans, the head of the studio). Her gypsy/bohemian chic clothing looks more Von Furstenberg than vintage, her wavy tresses are styled to frame her face and her glowing skin is luminous (probably due to the right foundation and light filters). She should be vacationing in Monaco, not visiting the mortuary.

As I lay in bed, on my side, my itchy pyjamas irritate my already aching body. The hair on my head is flattened on one side, yet remains curly on the other. My face presses against a pillow, leaving deep creases on a complexion that breaks out with a plethora of blemishes because I haven’t the energy to proactively handle another crisis (that would be considered vanity, and I’m too sick to look good). To top it off, there is a trickling of dry drool off the side of my mouth because I can’t breathe through my nose and have to sleep with my mouth open.

I am positive that if I had Ali’s team behind the scenes of my illness, I’d resemble someone suffering from AMS (and I’d have better clothes). But, I don’t. So, here I am, lying in bed, looking like crap just vomited all over me.

Maybe Ali had it right all along: act like an unsympathetic imp; make Ryan O’Neal fall madly in love with you; get a death sentence; die; and have your man feel guilty for the rest of his life. Love means never having to say you’re sorry? Of course it doesn’t. If you look that good when you’re dying, you don’t have to say nothing at all.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

My perverse addiction

I know I have a serious problem. I have no self-control when it comes to this addiction. I can't help it! I have to have it! It's an indescribable feeling.

Every month, it's the same thing: my mouth waters, my heart skips beats, and my face flushes. I rush to every newsstand in town, craving to see these coveted images of wanton desire. The world becomes a blur. I forget my name. I pick one up and let the pages slide through my fingers. I... I... I'm sorry, where was I?

Yes, I do admit that I am one of the few who does get a little excited when I flip through the pages of these magazines. I am sure that there are others, but they are not as brave as I am. I know there are those who love those shapes, those curves, those solicitous secret crevices.

My name is Steven, and I am a house porn addict.

When I reach for those unforgiving paradigms of sin, my sanity begins to falter and the one shred of dignity that I once had, vanishes like so many of my childhood dreams.

I can still remember experiencing the February 2003 edition of Canadian House and Home; the bible of stylish metrosexuals, ages 30 to 55, no children, two dogs, no cats, an average income of $50,000 to $100,000 a year. On the cover was Brian Gluckstein's home. Home is a pejorative term, since not many people live in 7,500 square feet of living space.

But, I digress.

From the living room, to the dining room, library and master suite, every room is perfectly executed. The bed is made, there are no clothes tossed over a chair, the dishes are washed - it's too perfect!

I show my parents the house, eager for them to feel the same level of excitement.

"Well, if you want a house like that, you have to work hard and pray every night," says my father, passively eyeing the glossy pictures. My mother doesn't want to look at the magazine, for it reminds her of the imperfections of her own life.

Alas, I know I never will get to live in a house like that. The only way I can get close to them is if I am mowing their lawns or scrubbing their toilets. But, I doubt that will ever happen (I'm not that fortunate). People who live in homes like these hover over their polished limestone floors, never drop a crumb on their velvet-chenille upholstery and leave no fingerprints on their Iittla crystal.

Perfect people live in perfect homes and I want to be like them.

It sounds like a simple equation: Buy one perfect home, add one imperfect person, and through the magic of residential osmosis, you will set an example of flawlessness for those with high hopes and loftier dreams.

Are these hopes and dreams a little unachievable? Maybe.

Vogue and Men's Health sell millions upon millions of copies of their magazines, showing us examples of (alternatively) perfect lifestyles. Vogue has incredibly beautiful models, wearing clothes that no one can possibly afford, let alone wear. Men's Health has sculpted men (with 6 per cent body fat - natch), running around on the beach, promoting the benefits of multiple hormone producing drugs.

So, doesn't Vogue and Men's Health have the same agenda as Canadian House and Home? You may never look or live like this, but it sure is nice to watch.

It becomes an integral part in our voyeuristic lives to look at how other people live, even though our lives have dust bunnies under beds and jam stains on walls. And, don't even talk about what lies in the basement.

Shouldn't we be happy? Shouldn't we do the things that bring a little joy to our lives? Shouldn't we do a little something that gives us a sense of pleasure? Yes, yes and yes.

Addictions are windows of opportunity: They allow less socially desirable desires become gratified in a socially tolerable form.

Now, if you excuse me, I have to get back to these pages. Ooh, the texture, those curves... That couch looks sooo comfortable...