Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

David Groh - Rhoda's "ex" - dies at 68

Actor David Groh, who played Valerie Harper's husband and then ex-husband on the hit sitcom Rhoda has died at the age of 68 from kidney cancer. Watch the video below for the final part of the wedding episode of Rhoda, one of highest-rated ever sitcom episodes in television history. (Groh is shown at the end of the video.) And in case you didn't already know, Julie Kavner - who plays Rhoda's sister Brenda (she's speaking to Rhoda through the intercom at the beginning of the video) -- is the actress who has provided the voice of Marge Simpson for nearly 20 years.

And here's a video of Rhoda and Joe seeing each other for the first time after the separation. Note that the voice of Carlton the doorman is that of Lorenzo Music, who was the voice of Garfield the cat.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Moncton SPCA's "Hearts for Homeless Pets" campaign

During the month of February, friends of the Moncton SPCA can show their support by purchasing a heart during the "Hearts for Homeless Pets" campaign to be put on display at the following locations: Moncton SPCA, J's Pet Feeds and Needs, Maritime Animal Hospital and the Riverview Animal Hospital. Each heart is $2. 100% of all money raised will go to the Moncton SPCA.

Be open and Cupid just might hit his mark

Hump Day
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Appeared on page D6, Moncton Times & Transcript

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day -- the most romantic day of the year for couples, and the most dreaded day of the year for singles.

Last year, when I wrote my Valentine's Day column, I bemoaned the fact of being single on Valentine's Day and the annoyance of seeing all these happy couples around. Following the article's publication, I received e-mails from singles that were astonishing in their hatred of tomorrow's holiday. I'd definitely opened a can of worms!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a date that I'd been on. I described myself as a lifelong "lone wolf" who was pretty much an eternally single person. Well, I guess I caused quite a stir because I got more e-mails and calls on that piece than I could have ever imagined.

People wondered how it went. Relatives started spit-shining their shoes for the eventual wedding. My mother started knitting booties. Someone even called my editor.

I guess I can't blame them, considering the last date I went on was spent attending the beheading of Marie-Antoinette. No, that's not the name of the movie we went to see . . . I mean the actual beheading of Marie-Antoinette. Let's just say that I hadn't been on a date in a while.

Unless you've been lusting after me in your own heart (and who could blame you?), you'll be pleased to know that the date went well enough that I actually have someone to send a Valentine's Day card to this year.

This is quite strange for me, since being a long-time single hasn't exactly trained me for picking out Valentine's Day cards.

Oh sure, I sent cards to friends as a kid. Like everyone, I exchanged cards in class. In fact, checking back on the calendar, I can pinpoint the day I first exchanged Valentine's Day cards as Friday, Feb. 13, 1970 -- exactly 38 years ago today -- in my grade one class at Aberdeen School. Those old retro cards were the best, weren't they?

Not only was it the first year of the tradition of passing out Valentine's Day cards to classmates, it was also the first time that I received anything with my name spelled incorrectly as "Brain". It's happened many times since, but I do vividly remember that day as being the first. Odd what we remember, eh?

Anyway, back to picking out a card for this year. What do you send that special someone for a first Valentine's Day when you're in the infancy of a relationship? Do you choose a humorous one? Risky, considering the other person may actually send you a really mushy one. Difficult to justify having sent a card with Porky Pig dressed as Cupid on the cover when the other person sends you a card so romantic and sweet that you and everyone within a 10-foot radius instantly develop diabetes.

OK, then do you choose a super emotional card with a 12-page poem inside and a coupon for a free night in a dimly lit luxury hotel room with a heart-shaped bed? That could be overkill, considering we're still getting to know each other. Better to ease into these things, especially for me -- a recovering lone wolf.

Luckily, my dilemma was answered when I spied a section on the card rack entitled "New Relationships". Perfect!

That's exactly what this is and surely the cards would be appropriate. Luckily, they were . . . and that's what I chose. Not overstated in the emotion department but certainly with a strong tone of hope and sincere affection.

Today, I feel like a bit of a traitor to the singles crowd of which I'd been a member for so long. I remember that I'd always try to be happy for friends in new relationships, but I have to admit that I was usually more than a bit annoyed when a previously single friend would end up with someone. Let's just say that I usually dropped down the social life priority scale then. How dare they, huh?

I'm not sure how this will end up. Y'all may be standing in line to catch my bridal bouquet one of these days, who knows? Until then, I'll enjoy the ride and the experience of being in a relationship. Like I said, this lone wolf has a lot to learn in that department.

Compromise is one of them. When you live alone, the only person you have to please is yourself. Getting out of that mode will be challenging, but it's worth it for the right person. It's just that it's not natural for someone like me to put time aside in my schedule for a love interest. I have to admit, it's just weird -- but in a good way!

So what do I say to all those out there who'll be spending Valentine's Day eating tear-stained chocolates from a heart-shaped box while sitting alone in front of the TV? If I were mean, I would laugh and sing a little ditty along the lines of, "Single people have no friends . . . doo-dah . . . doo-dah. You are gonna die alone, oh doo-dah day."

Luckily, I'm not mean. So I won't do that.

Or I could simply state a fact: every pot has its cover and, if you're open to it, you'll find that special someone, too. Being open to the experience is half the battle.

Now, I'm certainly not going to start preaching or giving out relationship advice. That would simply be laughable, considering my complete and utter lack of a track record in this whole thing. All I can say is that it's both exciting and scary at the same time. Opening yourself up to someone else can be quite jarring.

So I'll be sending out that Valentine's Day card this year to a special person. I just hope it gets there on time and says the right thing. And if I get a card with Porky Pig dressed as Cupid on the cover, I'll smile and make a wish that Cupid finally hit his mark.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Stupidstitious Cat

Today's Hump Day: Be open and Cupid just might hit his mark

Don't forget to check out my weekly Hump Day column on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcipt (pg. D6). Today's column is all about me - a formerly long-term lone wolf in the romance department - actually having someone to send a Valentine's Day card to this year. Pick up your copy of the paper today or check back here tomorrow when it will be posted online.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

CBC Radio Moncton's bi-weekly political panel

UPDATE - Feb. 14/08 - Click here to listen to this morning's political panel in RealAudio. Hi everyone! Some great news. I'm the newest member of CBC Radio Moncton's Information Morning political panel along with with Marie-Claude Blais (representing the Tories) and Dave Hackett (representing the NDP). I'll be representing the Liberals' point of view. This is a very exciting opportunity!

My first appearance is at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday morning - 106.1 FM. The panel runs every two weeks at that time.

Adam DuPlessis big winner at this weekend's Atlantic Cup Alpine Ski Racing held at Crabbe Mountain, New Brunswick

This report apparently wasn't given much coverage by the mainstream media, so I'm pleased to provide a bit of visibility. It has been edited for style. It was written by Mel Soicher.

"This year’s edition of Atlantic Cup Alpine Ski Racing took place this past weekend at Crabbe Mountain Winter Park. Ski racers from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were represented over the course of three days.

Friday was the Super Giant Slalom, while Saturday saw the Super Combined and Sunday was the Giant Slalom. The condition of the King’s Horn was as good as it has been in recent years due to the excellent winter we have been enjoying in New Brunswick. It was firm but not icy. Ninety-four skiers in two categories -- Junior (ages 15-18) and Juvenile (12-14) -- competed with points in all three races adding up to an Atlantic Cup Champion 2008.

Adam DuPlessis of Crabbe Mountain Racing Club was the big winner this year taking gold in the Giant Slalom and Super Combined as well as the bronze medal winner in Friday’s Super G to win the title of Overall Junior Atlantic Cup Champion. This impressive display of ski racing easily gave him the Junior title. Adam has been a member of Crabbe Mountain Ski Club for his entire racing career. During that time, he has represented New Brunswick in the Canadian Juvenile Ski Championships as well as the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse.

For this year’s event, the Fredericton Police Force volunteered the use of their radar equipment to clock the athletes during their Super G competition. Adam was recorded at 73 km per hour on the Horn, the top speed of the day!

In the Juvenile (13-14 years) division, Robert Overing of Poley Mountain won with an impressive streak of 5th, 2nd and 1st in the three competitions. He clearly dominated the field in his age group.

In the girls, Cheyenne Coates racing out of Martock Ski Racing Club was the overall Junior winner. Olivia Verge from Wentworth Ski Racing Club won in the Juvenile division.

Other medal winners from Crabbe Mountain were: Phillip Soicher, silver J1 SG; Sebastian Pacey-Smith, silver J2 SG and GS; Henrik Tonning, silver K2 SG and bronze K2 GS; Lincoln Essau, silver K2 GS and Super Combined; Andrew McAllister, bronze J2 Super Combined; Kathleen Trafton, gold K2 Super G."

Congratulations to all these young athletes, especially Adam, who's the son of my friend Paul DuPlessis. Great stuff, Adam! Pictured are Adam and his prize, as well as a photo of Adam in action on the hill.

Monday, February 11, 2008

This week's Hump Day column...

... is all about Valentine's Day, the most dreaded day of the year for singles and the most romantic day of the year for couples. A recovering lifelong single person, this is the first year that I have someone to send a Valentine's Day card to... and how does it feel? Weird... but nice. (Weird in a good way, of course.) Check out this week's Hump Day on the editorial page of Wednesday's Moncton Times & Transcript. It will be posted here online on Thursday.