Saturday, April 05, 2008

Friday, April 04, 2008

Thursday, April 03, 2008

April 3, 2008: "Sucking up to my co-workers"

Idol Chatter for April 3, 2008: "Heading home this week is..."

Well, we're now down to eight contestants after someone was sent home last night. Who was it? Did Kristy end up in the bottom three again after being saved from elimination with last week's patriotic song? Did last week's surprise bottom three'er Jason make another appearance? Was I correct in my absolutely convinced opinion that Syesha would go home this week? Click here to read all about it in today's Moncton Times & Transcript. Tune in next Tuesday at 9 p.m. Atlantic / 8 p.m. Eastern to watch the new Top 8 perform.

Trying to make one's nemesis crack a smile

Hump Day
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Moncton Times & Transcript, pg. D5

Somewhere deep in the bowels of Hillsborough, I hear there's a lady of a so-called mature age who reads my column faithfully. Normally, I'd be flattered, but in this case she reads me because she can't stand a word I say.

She doesn't get my humour at all! She thinks I'm insensitive. And furthermore, I would dare say that she would even accuse me of having bad breath and smelly feet.

I guess this means that I've met my Hump Day nemesis. (Insert scary music here.)

I hate having a nemesis, though. It takes up so much energy for no reason. You see, I'm one of those people who can dish it out but can't take it. I could sit here all day and rail against every mistake and decision ever made in the world by anyone of any importance, yet if someone walked up to me on the street and told me that I have a nose hair sticking out, my eyes would well up with tears and my bottom lip would quiver just from the fact of being criticized.

I think that's why I write a column about "nothing" and, if I poke fun at anyone, it's usually myself. I don't want to make fun of others because I don't want to set myself up for retaliation because I know I would have a hard time dealing with it.

My Albert County nemesis is the mother of a colleague of mine from a professional organization to which I belong. Each week, my colleague regales me with tales of quasi-hemorrhagic rage that I send her mother into whenever she reads me.

One week, I made fun of "little old ladies". The next week, I made fun of -- oh I don't know -- little old ladies again, I think. The nemesis was not amused.

Now, let's be clear. I'm in absolute love with little old ladies. I think they're just the cutest things on Earth as long as they're not driving in front me on the highway and slamming on the brakes every time we meet an oncoming transport truck -- on the other side of the divided highway. Other than that, I think they're perfectly nice.

I mean, they bake a mean cookie. They tend to have nice soft skin when they take me by the hand and ask me why I'm not married yet. And they're always easy to please when I tell them what I do for a living. After the fifth attempt of explaining my day job, I just give up and tell them that I work with computers (doesn't everyone?) and the glaze over their eyes disappears. "Oh you must be very smart!" they tell me, thinking that a PhD in astrophysics is somehow required for searching for adult "educational material" online -- not that I'd ever do that, of course -- at least not at work.

I don't know if my Hillsborough nemesis will ever come around to liking my columns. Actually, I fear my colleague may arrive home from work tonight to find her dear mother in a conniption fit so out of control after reading this one that Momma may require two cups of tea tonight instead of just one.

I think part of the problem lies in the fact that my nemesis takes everything I write way too literally. I have a sense of humour that tends to exaggerate. Well, to be fair, it doesn't just "tend" to exaggerate, it pretty much blows a hole in the roof of anything that is common sense sometimes.

I really hope that my nemesis knows that I only write things in jest and that nothing should be taken too seriously. When I write about "crying like a little girl", which I often do, it doesn't mean that I think that all little girls cry or that the female of the species is any weaker than me, the manliest of manly men. (One smirk out of any of you and I'll give you such a pinch!) It just means that I'm drawing a picture of how silly it is for me to cry (or joke about crying) sometimes. There's nothing wrong with crying, of course, but a guy in his 40s literally crying like a little girl would be kind of silly.

And when I talk about little old ladies, it's not meant to be insulting. It's meant to simply make a pitiful little stab at humour. That's all. It's certainly not meant to be taken personally.

I'm not sure whether I should offer to hold a peace summit in Hillsborough or call a security company to offer me protection for the next time I roll through town on my way to Fundy National Park, but I hope she hasn't resorted to sitting on her porch with a shotgun hoping for me to drive by on the way to Alma for sticky buns.

Perhaps I should surprise her one night by showing up at her house with a shiny new hot-water bottle and a gallon of itch cream as peace offerings? Of course, I'm just kidding. It's clear that I'm exaggerating here because that's obviously the last thing I would arrive there with and to do so would not only be ludicrous, it would be insulting. Besides, I don't even think they sell itch cream in gallon-sized containers anymore.

I hope I haven't made things worse. By the time she's done reading this column, her head may have exploded. Hmmm. . . maybe my colleague's been telling me about her mother because she wanted me to rib her a bit in order to push her over the edge? Is there a big fat payday in play here? Does good ol' Momma have a mattress full of $20 bills and my colleague needs her out of the picture permanently in order to score her inheritance?

Well, I don't know, but I just hope that my nemesis can find it in her heart to forgive whatever of my humour she finds offensive. OK, so how's just one little smile for me, huh?

C'mon! I know you can do it. I won't tell.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Idol Chatter for April 2, 2008: "Top 9 take on Dolly"

Last night, American Idol's Top 9 performed the music of Dolly Parton. No one completely tanked last night, so predicting who's going home this week could have been difficult, but not really. I think there's a curse on American Idol... and that curse affects anyone who dares take on a Whitney Houston song - even if it was originally written by Dolly Parton. Will Syesha and Jason find themselves in the bottom three again this week? I think one of them definitely will. Did Davids Cook and Archuleta continue getting their stellar reviews? And what about Kristy Lee Cook? She saved herself last week with a brilliantly strategic patriotic song... but did Coat of Many Colors have the same effect on viewers this week? After a couple of "off weeks", will Brooke White land in the bottom three for the first time, especially after having gone first last night - never a good omen? Click here to read all about it in today's Moncton Times & Transcript. To see who goes home tonight, tune in to Fox at 10 p.m. Atlantic / 9 p.m. Eastern.

Today's Hump Day: Trying to make one's nemesis crack a smile

Good morning! Today's Hump Day column is about the mother of a friend of mine who reads my column faithfully. Now, normally, when a columnist hears that someone reads their column every week, it means that you have a fan. And having fans feels nice, right? Wrong. This particular reader hates my columns but somehow can't stop reading them. Ladies and gentlemen, I've met my Hump Day nemesis. Read all about it on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript (pg. D5) or check back online here tomorrow when it will be posted to my blog.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April 1, 2008: "April Fool's Day"

NB Premier Shawn Graham to resign today

I just heard that New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham will resign unexpectedly this afternoon when he announces in the legislature that he does not support his own government’s decision to drop early French immersion in the province’s schools starting in September. The Premier disagrees with Education Minister Kelly Lamrock’s decision and is telling people privately that the only way to protest is to give up his own job. You read it here first! Click here for more!

Monday, March 31, 2008

March 31, 2008: "So anyway..."

Oh Lord! How many times can a person say, "So anyway..." without even noticing? *sigh*

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Disney child actor Bobby Driscoll died 40 years ago today

The decline of Disney child actor Bobby Driscoll has been all but forgotten today. He died 40 years ago day - March 30, 1968 - when his body was found in a New York City tenement. He was only 31 when he died of a heart attack brought on by years of drug abuse. Here he is in Treasure Island (1950):