Saturday, August 11, 2007

Some Acadian folk rock

My 25-year high school reunion is this weekend. The Acadian folk rock group 1755 came to our school often to perform for the students. Then they hit it BIG and played concert halls and arenas all over. Here they are singing "Le monde a bien changé"...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Christmas is coming! Paula Deen's Holiday Baking issue out soon

Paula Deen is one of my favourite TV chefs. Her self-deprecating, happy-go-lucky personality is really charming and she comes across as completely genuine. Although her recipes are mega-high in carbs (which I am watching), those of you who aren't watching your carbs can find the magazine in stores later this month. Click here for Paula's official website. Click here to order the magazine online if you don't want to buy it locally or it's not carried locally.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Are you asleep? Oh, so sorry to bother you

Brian Cormier
Hump Day
Published Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Appeared on page D6, Moncton Times & Transcript

My father had vascular surgery last week to "unplug a vein" - for lack of a better term - in his leg in order to allow him to walk more comfortably. His brother had surgery a few weeks ago for the same problem. It must run in the family. Luckily, both are on the mend and should be back to normal before long.

With that said, it gave me an opportunity once again to spend time in the hospital. I hadn't spent much time there since last year when my father suffered a mild stroke and then had carotid (neck) artery surgery which would hopefully prevent another episode.

During this most recent hospital stay, my father had two roommates - a man and a woman. Both were in the hospital for reasons unknown to me, but were obviously quite ill. I believe both were well into their late 70s or 80s.

A hospital is not the best place on Earth for privacy, as I'm sure you can imagine. I've always found that watching people sleep is quite an intimate experience. I don't mean that in a perverted way, of course. It's just that when someone is sleeping in front of you, they are completely vulnerable. For all they know, you could be wielding a machete over their heads. The Internet is full of photos of practical jokes played on unsuspecting sleepers.

My first look at both my father's roommates was in the form of seeing them sleep. There's something about sick people sleeping. Not knowing why they were in the hospital or what their prognosis was, I could only deduce by the way they were sleeping that dead relatives had recently been dispatched to bring them home to heaven.

The woman's husband and son (I assumed that's who they were) sat stoically by her bedside as she slept soundly. Her face looked ashen and utterly exhausted. Her body was limp. To be honest, I thought for sure I'd be hearing that familiar "beeeeeeeeep" any second - the one you hear on TV medical dramas when someone flatlines and dies.

The man across from my father was also sleeping the first time I saw him - his head tilted to one side, his mouth wide open. He, too, looked like the unseen dead relatives were in the room blowing up balloons for his welcome party to heaven.
Both of my father's roommates looked deathly ill when sleeping - emphasis on the "deathly." In fact, I was quite surprised that they were still alive.

Of course, when they both eventually woke up, they were as chatty as you or me. Managing a weak smile, the woman conversed with her family in a completely lucid manner. It certainly didn't appear that she was near death when she was awake. The man, too, was completely fine when awake - joking with the nurse and perfectly able to do little things for himself.

I thought I was the only one who thought they were five minutes away from having a body bag zipped over them, but my father echoed my views. "I kept watching his blankets to see if his chest was going up and down," my father told me, thinking like I did that he was going to witness his neighbour's dying moments.

Sleeping is one of those things that makes us helpless. We can't react. We don't know what's going on. We don't realize the dangers around us.

It's also something we hate to admit we do, for some reason. I'm sure you've experienced calling someone on the telephone and have them weakly answer "Hello?" like a small kitten. We can easily tell they've been sleeping, but they deny it. I've denied it many times myself. I'm sure you have, too.

Why do we deny it? Is it because we don't want to make the other person feel uncomfortable for bothering us? Is it because of some ingrained survival instinct that would have us pretend we were wide awake when really we were having some weird dream about being chased by a giant pelican wearing a see-through bikini? (Note to self: Stop eating so late at night before bedtime.) Maybe if we admitted we were sleeping, it would show some sort of weakness and make us prone to attack or something. I don't know. Just a thought. I should do some research.

I just know we all do it. I could be in a dead sleep and then answer the telephone and pretend I was wide awake. The caller can usually tell, though, because I don't make much sense being awakened from a dead sleep. "How are you today," the caller would ask. "I'm marrying a banana tomorrow in Japan," I would reply, completely confused despite trying my darndest to act normal. "Why don't I just call you later, huh?" Click.

Sometimes it's better to just admit you were sleeping and get it over with. I called my mother once and she answered in a weak little voice that was a dead giveaway. "Were you sleeping?" I asked. "No, it's OK. I was just lying down on the couch." So I proceeded to tell her this big story about something. Can't even remember what it was, but it was of an urgent nature, I'm sure. Anyway, two minutes into my story I hear a soft snoring on the other end of the line.

"Mom?? Mom??" No answer. I pushed the buttons on the telephone to make some noise to wake her up. Nothing. "Mom??" Her reply, "Snore . . ." Let's just say that you have to really work on your conversation skills when your own mother falls asleep on the telephone when you're talking to her. Really makes you feel loved, I tell you. But then again, I probably fell asleep in my cereal as a kid once or twice. She owed me one.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Greg Neufeld's exit interview on Canada AM this morning

Click here to watch the video. Greg stated that he wants Brian Melo to win.

I think the tears in Greg's eyes tell the whole story from last night's Canadian Idol


Stupid voters! The favourite to win is kicked out? I still can't believe it. Call the Prime Minister! Call the Pope! I want a public inquiry! Click on the photo for a larger version.

Today's Hump Day column: Are you asleep? Oh, so sorry to bother you

Check out my Hump Day column on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript - page D6. Today's piece is all about sleeping. Have you ever seen someone sleep in the hospital and thought they were about to check out? Ever answered the telephone from a dead sleep and then insisted to the caller that you were wide awake? Well, so have I. Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It's official: Greg Neufeld eliminated from Canadian Idol

In the most shocking elimination during all five seasons of Canadian Idol, Greg Neufeld was sent packing tonight. This is the guy who was supposed to win!!!! I'm verklempt. Totally and utterly verklempt. What a damn shame!! Click on Greg's photo for more information on him.

Canadian Idol spoiler: Greg eliminated!!!!! OH MY GOD

Check out the spoilers here. This can't be right. It just can't be. The show was taped earlier tonight, apparently. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Canadian Idol review for August 6th performance show and prediction for tonight's results show

I was correct last week in predicting Martha Joy's ouster. Will I be correct again tonight? Time will tell. The show starts in just a little over two hours from now.

First, last night's show. There were many strong performances but, oddly, I'm not obsessing over at least one of them like I usually do. There's always one that I can't stop watching over and over.

Here's how I rated the Top 7's performances of music by Queen:

Brian Melo (Too Much Love Will Kill You) did an absolutely amazing job! He's underestimated in this competition and he needs to pull one out of the hat every week. I love this guy's voice. Definitely a 10/10 from me tonight. He does not deserve to be in the bottom two, but performing first in the show is never good for votes.

Greg Neufeld (We Are The Champions) sang a rather bluesy version of the song, I found. I thought he did fine but I won't be ranting and raving about him like I usually do every week. The judges loved him, though. Zack didn't think he gave it his all, though -- which I tend to agree with. 8.5/10 As far as I'm concerned, though, Greg's still the one to beat.

Carly Rae Jepsen (Killer Queen) did a fantastic job! I was entertained and though she really wow'd the crowd and the judges. 10/10 from me, although I preferred Brian's performance over hers.

Matt Rapley (Under Pressure) was absolutely horrible last night. He sang the song like a quasi-ballad. It needed to be more staccato than he sang it. He dragged out notes and I found it very distracting. 4/10

Dwight d'Eon (Tie Your Mother Down) gave an energetic and dynamic performance but I found his voice sorely lacking. He definitely lost steam on the notes that he held for a period of time. 7/10

Tara Oram (Headlong) was really entertaining last night. The problem I have with Tara is that despite her good performances, there seems to be a complete lack of buzz and talk about her. Am I missing something? I think she's getting lost in the Jaydee/Greg/Carly Rae popularity triangle... although I think Jaydee's star is falling, so maybe she'll have to duke it out with Brian for Jaydee's cancelled membership. 8/10

Jaydee Bixby (I Want To Break Free) wore leather pants last night that were incredibly distracting because it's so NOT him. A good try at trying to alter his country bumpkin image, but he didn't make it. The hair looked good, though. I agreed with the Jake wholeheartedly when he said that Jaydee didn't seem to feel the true emotion of the song because he smiled all the way through it. I can't give Jaydee anything more than a 6/10 tonight. I wish I could give him higher. I like the kid. I love his voice, but he's just turning out to be a one-trick pony. Prove me wrong, kid! Prove me wrong!

Prediction for tonight: According to my ratings, Matt and Jaydee would be in the bottom two, but I don't know of anyone who's expecting that Jaydee's star has fallen that far just yet. I say that Dwight and Matt will be in the bottom two. Honestly, anything other than that will be a huge surprise to me. Matt definitely needs to be sent packing. His performance last night was just awful and Dwight deserves another week there after his really great effort at turning up his performance skills last night.

Monday, August 06, 2007

News release: Canadian challenge in honour of hometown Canadian Idol

"Dwight Day", a RMHC (Ronald McDonald House Charities® Canada) fundraiser in honour of Pubnico's Canadian Idol contestant, Dwight d’Eon, was a success. At the close of a four-hour Family Fun Day, more than $2,280 had been raised! There were a number of activities for the whole family, including horse buggy rides, face painting, a poster contest, a teddy bear parade, a chocolate chip cookie sale, prize draws, Kidzact Dancers and Francois and Luc as musical performers.

A show stopper was a large 30"x40" photograph of Dwight’s hometown performance on June 29, 2007. Tickets are still available until Aug. 12. These can be purchased locally.

So to Canada, we issue you a challenge. Watcha got? If Dwight d’Eon’s village of 2,000 strong [West Pubnico, NS] can raise $2,284 in one afternoon, what can you do?

Challenge: organize your own fundraiser event in honor of your favorite “idol”. We will post your event and its results on our Dwight community site: www.pierrettedentremont.com/dwightdeon_Westpubnicopage.htm

Donated handmade "Dwight Bear" with West Pubnico’s four-year-old Ania. (Ania was born in an emergency at 2.5lbs. After two months at the IWK, her digestive system was still impaired and twice she had to stay at the Ronald McDonald house in Halifax, NS.]

Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home away from home for out-of-town families of children undergoing treatment at nearby hospitals for serious illness or injury.

Many special events can be organized to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities® Canada. They vary from bake sales, golf tournaments to bowl-a-thons. If you are interested in hosting an event to support RMHC please contact them at (416) 446-3493 or visit their website at http://www.rmhc.ca/.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Did you watch SNL last night?

And are you obsessed with the SNL digital short starring Shia LaBeouf that was repeated last night on NBC? If you are, it's called "Dear Sister" and was originally aired on April 14th. Click here for more on the video. Or watch the video here:

A surprise for Claire Danes on The Tonight Show