Saturday, July 14, 2007

The secret to herding cats... rub catnip into a carpet...

Clockwise from the top: Cindy (adopted from Moncton SPCA in 2003, Casey (adopted from Moncton SPCA in 2004) and Charlotte (adopted from Moncton SCPA in 2006).

Friday, July 13, 2007

America's Got Talent - Incredibly stupid decisions by judges

These two incredibly stupid acts are in as Top 20 finalists for $1 million on this season of America's Got Talent:

Kashir, the Bollywood dancer:

Trust me, buddy. They were laughing AT you.

And Boy Shakira, possibly the most inane act ever. A guy in drag pretending to be Shakira. $1 million????? Seriously???? You think people are going to pay money and stand in lineups for this crap??

And THESE people got eliminated from being in the Top 20:

The Redneck Tenors were GREATLY entertaining. I could see them having a long life not only as a novelty act, but as successful recording artists. I cannot believe (!!) that these guys were dumped in favour of the other two acts mentioned above. Just unbelievable.

Summer cold!

Well I've managed to pick up a cold from somewhere -- in JULY!! *screams* Ya gotta have real talent for that. Doesn't that just rot your socks? I hate being sick at the best of times (who doesn't?) but having a cold in July is kind of like getting a veneral disease without having had sex. The two just don't go together. Ugh.

I'm not sure that's a great analogy, but it's all I can muster through the Dayquil haze I'm in. ;)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A memorable mass for all the wrong reasons

Brian Cormier
Hump Day
Published Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Moncton Times & Transcript, pg. D6

This past weekend, I attended an out-of-town funeral held in an Anglican church. Having attended a university that was founded in the Anglican tradition, I had some exposure to the way their services were conducted, so I wasn't too surprised at the way the funeral played out.

The university I attended was quite traditional, so the chapel there was "high Anglican." In fact, I think it was probably even "stratospheric Anglican" to some of the students who attended chapel there for the first time and who found the services practically unrecognizable from the more modern-day ones they were used to back home.

The "high Anglican" services are very traditional with many old customs. In fact, they very much resemble a Roman Catholic mass from 40 years ago, from what I've seen. Well, "resemble" may be a bit of an understatement. They were more Catholic than the Roman Catholic masses I've attended, I think, with the priest saying mass with his back to the parishioners and singing the entire mass.

Anyway, this funeral service was more laid back than that and quite modern. The priest was very helpful and informal during the service, which I thought was nice and put everyone at ease during the emotional event. The attempt at lightening the mood a bit certainly made it more tolerable for the grieving family, at least.
During the funeral's homily, the priest who'd been asked to deliver the address (a different priest than who was doing the main service) joked that he wasn't sure the family knew what they were getting themselves into by asking him to speak, since he tended to talk for a long time. He commented that we'd be lucky to be done in an hour and a half.

No one seemed too disturbed by this proclamation made only half in jest. The crowd smiled and chuckled politely.

But this here Catholic (me!) was groaning inside. "Oh God . . . no. I'm Catholic! A priest who talks for a long time is just wrong! It's wrong, I tells ya! Wrong!"
I seem to come from a family where a Roman Catholic priest's value to the church and the community is directly related to how fast he says his masses. A priest who drags on a mass for an hour while another one down the road clips through in less than 30 minutes is deemed to be much better. It's not rare to hear someone say something like, "We go to St. Speedy of Assisi Church. In and out in 20 minutes! You barely have time to kneel and cross yourself before it's all over. Wow, what a good priest!"

It's funny how Catholics are. A quick mass put on fast forward is somehow considered better quality. Just showing up is enough, I guess, so it might as well be quick. I would hope that what's said during the mass is important, too.

Although most masses I've attended in my life haven't been that memorable, I do remember a few that I'll never forget.

Each summer, we would visit my grandparents in Prince Edward Island and would attend mass on early Saturday evening at St. Joseph's Church in the tourist mecca of Cavendish. I'm not sure if services are still held there, but it was only open during the summer months and was attended mainly by tourists.

I'll never forget the priest who presided over the masses there. He never realized how loud his microphone was during pre-communion prayers. He would snap the large communion wafer in half right in front of the microphone and you'd swear to God that dynamite just went off. It was so loud!

That, of course, would send me, my mother, aunts and grandmother into fits of laughter. My poor grandmother tried not to laugh, but she ended up giving in. Then, he'd eat the wafer with his mouth practically engulfing the microphone. "Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!" It was like he was chewing gravel.

Whether or not a person is supposed to let their teeth touch the communion wafer, this priest certainly did!

More laughter followed, especially when one aunt wondered just a bit too loudly, in a fit of silliness, whether the amply bosomed lady sitting in front of us was wearing a Wonderbra.

The poorly muffled laughter coming out of us after that caused the priest to throw us a dirty look. This, of course, mortified my grandmother who would have been her usual serious-in-church self had we not started acting so foolishly.

Thankfully, we were sitting in the back row. I guess if we were really stuck for an excuse, we could have explained to the tourists that we were the "dinner theatre" part of mass.

So, oddly enough, when the summer weather turns warm, I have a burning desire to head off to Cavendish again to check out that little church to see if the echoes of that priest munching on the communion wafer are still resonating among its wooden walls. And, if I listen closely, perhaps the laughter of a bunch of New Brunswickers and one mortified Islander grandmother (trying so desperately not to laugh) can still be heard, too.

It's too bad that the priest died many years ago. I don't know if he ever knew how inadvertently entertaining he was. He certainly was one of the rare priests that I've known who I could have listened to all day . . . but not necessarily for the right reasons.

I've always believed that a good priest or minister worth his or her weight in communion wafers should learn how to speak well and hold a crowd's attention.
It certainly beats being laughed at by a bunch of heretics in the back row.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Will It Blend? This episode: an Apple iPhone...

Canadian Idol Top 10 SHOCKERS!!!!

OK, I was really really surprised when Tyler Mullendore and Montana Martin Iles didn't make it through. I really thought they would be in this year's Top 10, especially Tyler. Annika Odegard, as I predicted, was sent home, too.

OK, Tyler was very sullen and Montana was very eccentric. So I guess I can see voters' point. And Annika was pretty much staked for elimination from day one.

But the second guy to be eliminated SHOCKED me and, I'm sure, half of Canada, as well.

If you haven't seen the show yet, then sit down and grab a bottle of vodka to drown your sorrows.

Liam Styles Chang is out.

Yeah. Liam. He is a GREAT SINGER. What the HECK was that about? Seriously? He was polite, charming, nice, cheerful... I mean, c'mon. Sure, he had weird hair, but who cares?

Of course, I forgot to vote for anyone, so I'm one of those people who really liked Liam and wanted him to continue. But I didn't vote. And Liam's gone.

I can't believe it. This is like Greg Neufeld last year. A shoo-in for the Top 10 who doesn't make it through. I really hope Liam comes back next year. He deserves to be Top 10. I truly thought Liam would be Top 3 - at least. Wow. I'm still shocked.

Good luck, Liam! And sorry for not voting. Without Liam there, the Top 5 guys really lost some oomph, especially with the oh-so-boring Matt still there.

Who's off Canadian Idol tonight?

Well, the votes are in and the Top 10 will be chosen tonight. Which four singers are out? Here are my thoughts...
Annika Odegard: She survived last week's brutal comments by the judges. She did much better this week, but will that be enough? I don't think so. Sorely lacking in the charisma department and a bit cocky during her pre-song interview.

Khalila Glanville: Lots of potential but did not stand out. She also has the handicap of not having a strong regional vote behind her, unlike Tara Oran from Newfoundland and Labrador, who could pretty well just sit on stage and yawn and she'd get through. Not fair, but it's true.

Dwight D'Eon: Again, not a bad singer and performer. Lots of passion, but is competing in a very strong male category this year. His regional vote won't help him get through because that seems to be going to Tyler Mullendore, who would also be cleaning up on the rocker vote.

Matt Rapley: Great voice but a great big yawner. Sorry. In such a charismatic male group this year, someone who doesn't stand out is toast. *Ching* That's the toast popping up for Matt.

Today's Hump Day column

Don't forget to check out my Hump Day column in today's Moncton Times & Transcript on pg. D6. "A memorable mass for all the wrong reasons" tells about some experiences I've had in church... namely laughing when you're not supposed to laugh!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Simpsons live in Springfield, Vermont!

"It's Duff time in Springfield, Vt., which on Tuesday was proclaimed the official hometown of TV's favorite dysfunctional family, the Simpsons.

The southeastern Vermont community beat out 13 other Springfields for the honor, which includes hosting the premiere of "The Simpsons Movie" on July 26th.

20th Century Fox ran an online poll on the USA Today Web site inviting people to vote for their favorite among 14 videos submitted by the competing Springfields.

Springfield, Vt., came late to the competition, getting in after the head of the local Chamber of Commerce saw a news report on it and asked to be involved."

Click here for more!

Sean Collins (1994-2007)

I was very saddened to read the news this morning that Moncton East MLA Chris Collins' son, Sean, passed away yesterday following a long and courageous battle with cancer. Sean was a brave young man who did not let his illness stop him from doing anything. He was also the inspiration for this father getting into politics, as he saw the need to further help families who were suffering under the financial strain of medical costs. To Chris and his wife Lisette, please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of your beloved son. He was an inspiration to many. Click here for Sean's obituary. (Photo credit: Ron Ward, Moncton Times & Transcript)

This guy belongs in the NBA!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Exclusive report: Moncton Air Show

Here's another AWESOME exclusive report for my blog by Walt Forsey. Thanks, Walt!!! I missed the show, so was particularly pleased to get this.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Happy 45th birthday to singer Joan Osborne

Singer Joan Osborne was born on July 8, 1962. She sang one of the 1990s most popular songs, "One Of Us." Beautiful song that was also the theme song to Joan of Arcadia. The basis of Joan of Arcadia was what the song was about: God could be anyone we see on the street and we just don't know it. I absolutely loved that show. Brilliant concept.

Here's the theme to Joan of Arcadia: