Posts Tagged ‘common cold’

The Artist: Black & White Film, Scotties Tissue Box Make a Case for Class


Rating: ★★★★★ 

“Colour is so…last year”, thought Sinus Sister, emerging from a post-Oscar party for The Artist. It’s impossible to see this film and not want to take tap dancing lessons. But before I gush about the charm and grace in this silent film, FULL DISCLOSURE: Sinus Sister is “romantically linked” (wink) to the first cousin of the The Artist‘s director/writer, Michel Hazanavicius, but nobody put me up to this review. Michel hardly needs the endorsement of a small-time blogger when he has Harvey Weinstein in his corner. The Artist debuted at Cannes, where it was robbed of the Palme d’Or. Film critics loved pulling for this underdog entry, a clever homage to the silent era in our over-stimulated culture. With only a film score to highlight the action, Hazanavicius tells the tale of a washed-up silent movie star (Jean Dujardin) and the upstart actress (Bérénice Bejo) who brings him back to life.

Why see a silent film: for the unexpected sound gags

Who to take: someone on a first date

Who we loved: Bérénice Bejo, who is all moxy with no mugging

What we didn’t miss: colour

What we wanted afterward: elbow-length gloves

Inspired by the film’s classy black and white palette, Sinus Sister banished all Christmas-sy tissue boxes from the house except one—the seasonal two-ply penguin design by Scotties. It’s understated yet grand, somehow, just like The Artist. Now, let me practice pulling off my long gloves, tugging on one finger (tug) at (tug) a (tug) time (tug).

Kiss on the Lips: Even Germophobes Take a Holiday

February 14, 2012  |  Lifestyle  |  , ,  |  No Comments

Sinus Sister sends a message

How Booze Makes you Invincible and Resistant to the Common Cold

February 8, 2012  |  Lifestyle  |  ,  |  1 Comment

Glass. Half. Full.

From the Department of Justification: Having recently discovered the joys of a white zinfandel called Beringer ($8), Sinus Sister decides to justify—um, investigate—the upside of drinking. She’s no wine snob, having just learned that a white “zinf” actually looks pink. But colour hardly matters. Yes, white zinfs are sweet like Mountain Dew, but I am not ashamed.


Being sozzled all winter in Canada has some surprising benefits:

1) You believe, and therefore can, run to catch the last bus. Wearing boots with heels. This contributes to your financial health (no taxi) and enables a full 7 hours of sleep that night.

2) You can walk without feeling the cold, like Stalin’s red army, to the grocery store. This contributes to your financial health (no take-out delivery) and enables a three course meal.

3) You forget you have to pee while performing #1 and #2. This contributes to your dignity (no begging shopkeepers to let you use their bathroom) and enables longer outtings…in the cold…Wait a minute.

But it’s all for a good cause. Some hectic Googling revealed a study published in The American Journal of Public Health in 1993 showing how those who drink in moderation (insert eye roll) have greater resistance to 5 strains of the common cold versus those who don’t drink. Those people who consumed 2 to 3 drinks daily had an 85% greater resistance. Those people who had 1-2 drinks daily had a 65% lower risk and those who drank less than daily had a 30% risk than abstainers. SOLD!

Hawksley Workman’s “Common Cold” for Christmas, Live in Red Deer

December 28, 2011  |  Celebrity Sinuses  |  ,  |  No Comments

Misery Loves Company: A Poem on the Common Cold by Samantha Reynolds

The questionable plot device of the common cold

by Samantha Reynolds, on

My tongue is a woolen mitt
the ones you see abandoned
on the wet street
run over and over
by buses.

My head is a soggy cave
my only ambition
to find the nomadic cool patch
on the bedsheets.

Having a cold
makes me question
whether there is a God

not because it’s merciless
quite the opposite

if God is the playwright
why conjure up such an undramatic bug
that does little
but render
your cast

#1 Tip for the Common Cold: Booze in the Bath

December 1, 2011  |  Survival Tips  |  , ,  |  5 Comments

Gotta love the Brits, with their costume dramas and their wire-tapping tabloids. While Fox (our unseemly news source) recommends eating cauliflower every day to beat the common cold, The Sun in England says to “booze in the bath”. They also recommend sex, mushrooms and nuts. This is my kind of prevention plan.

The Sun’s expert elaborates on this “booze in the bath” advice:

As soon as I suspect I’m getting a cold, I run a bath as hot as I can bear and sit in it for at least 20 minutes,” says Ron Eccles, director of Cardiff University’s Common Cold Centre.”As soon as I suspect I’m getting a cold, I run a bath as hot as I can bear and sit in it for at least 20 minutes,” says Ron Eccles, director of Cardiff University’s Common Cold Centre. “Very high temperatures can stop the cold virus in the nose from reproducing, killing the cold. Any hot, steamy environment will do – a sauna or steam room at your local gym is equally effective. A glass of wine with your soak may be even better.

The way forward is clear. I must now find us a source to prescribe bonbons and booze in the bath. Have faith.

Thanksgiving Tribute: American Flag Tissue Box for Holiday Snot & Tears

November 27, 2011  |  Tissue Throwdown  |  ,  |  19 Comments

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Happy Thanksgiving Sunday, to our American cousins. Thank you for Tina Fey, David Sedaris, Don DeLillo, Mary Karr, Tom Waits, Dave Eggers, Dorothy Parker, Paul Giamatti, William Styron, Frank Lloyd Wright, Levis, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Basel Miami, Florida oranges, Kitchen Confidential, Alice Sebold, Alec Baldwin, Little House on the Prairie, Death Cab for Cutie, The Brothers Wilson, Coen & Wachowski, Little Miss Sunshine, the Sisters Deschanel and Fanning, The Royal Tanenbaums, The New York Times recipes, The Big Lebowski, Willie Nelson, The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, The Guggenheim (Uptown), Witness, Deadwood, and the concept of delayed adolescence.

Sinus Sister found this apt tissue box cover from Marye-Kelley ($36 US) for the occasion, which we hear is never short on family drama. Cue the snot and tears.

Sigh No More, Rewritten: Mumford & Sons Inspire Sinus Sister

November 24, 2011  |  Lifestyle  |  , ,  |  7 Comments

Same song, different lyrics

Sniff No More

Sneezer, cougher, repent
Your germs will not relent
To a kiss, I can’t consent
And I’m sorry
I’m sorry

Sniff no more, no more
Or I’ll show you the door
The sound’s what we abhor
You know me
You know me

A nose ain’t a picky thing
A nose ain’t a picky thing
A nose ain’t a picky thing
A nose ain’t a picky thing

Germs will always betray you
Dismay, not evade you
They will make you ill
Sneeze in my face
And it’s you I’ll kill
You may mean no harm
But you cause some alarm
In my mind you see
Immunity’s low
Despite Vitamin C.

Sick In Bed With a Book: Review of Ellen DeGeneres’s “Seriously I’m Kidding”


REVIEW: Seriously … I’m kidding

Book by Ellen DeGeneres
by Joanne Latimer on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8:05am

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Since her last book in 2003, much has happened to Ellen DeGeneres. She hosted the Oscars, married Portia de Rossi, started a record label, debuted on Broadway, became a talk-show host and a spokeswoman for Covergirl—a 50-year-old cover girl and an openly gay cover girl, at that. Most readers of her new book will be fans of the show, hoping for more of Ellen’s loopy charm.

As an extension of her talk-show personality, Seriously . . . I’m Kidding is a success. It has funny rants about meditating, gambling, Portia’s addiction to hand lotion, their pets and punctuality. As a book about the last eight years of DeGeneres’s life, it’s an artful dodge. She tries too hard to entertain readers, and forgoes thoughtful reflection. The substance of the book is supposed to be advice from DeGeneres about how to be happy. She throws out predictable chestnuts like enjoy every day, accept yourself, get a mammogram and colonoscopy and think positively. What are missing are personal stories. The result feels less intimate than an episode of her show. Some chapters are so empty generous readers will suspect they’re satirical—Ellen’s spoof on the genre of comedy autobiography.

Still, a few chapters nearly redeem the entire project. Her “Letter to Mall Security” is priceless, as is her riff on endorphins. She speaks honestly about the difficulty of hosting a daily talk show and being a gay role model. “[When I came out], there were extreme groups that didn’t think I was gay enough. There were other groups of people who thought I was too gay. It didn’t occur to me that when I announced I was gay I would have to clarify just how gay I was.” DeGeneres also speaks openly about her and Portia’s decision not to have children. These candid moments are too few. Ironically, Ellen could take a page from Portia’s book, The Unbearable Lightness, which is more accomplished, personal and entertaining.

Hot Drink Time Machine: How a Common Cold Remedy Made Me Friendly

November 21, 2011  |  Survival Tips  |  , ,  |  18 Comments

Why were strangers smiling at me? I wasn’t pregnant or pushing granny in a wheelchair. Yet, people were in my grill, sending good karma with their smiles as we walked along the sidewalk. One guy even nodded.

“We live in the Big City, people, not Petticoat Junction!” Sinus Sister refrained from pointing out. More smiles were delivered, and the one nod turned into two…Then three.

It took a few blocks before the eureka moment hit: they were all carrying a big fat Thermos. So was I, uncharacteristically. By accident, I fell into the Hot Drink Time Machine and joined the cult of old-fashioned, friendly Thermos people. We are Wealthy Barberites, forgoing a $4 pumpkin latte. We are recycling nuts—I mean, enthusiasts—who’ve waged a war against Styrofoam. However, this welcoming tribe probably can’t guess my true motivation: to drink  Sinus Sister’s Apple Cider Vinegar Cure on the road, without having to explain myself or give directions to baristas who hate serving plain, hot water. (No, not everyone wants your double dose of caffeine and sugar, dude!) Smug and superior with my Thermos, I now stride outside with pride, looking to make eye contact with my peeps. Tomorrow, I may start to nod.