Saturday, October 04, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

"Hey Sarah Palin" (to "Hey There Delilah")

Warning: Some strong language.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Why do people pay, then ignore the show?

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Editorial Page

I certainly hope that the international movie industry isn't counting on my contribution to set any new box-office records. The number of times that I've gone to the movies in the past seven years is, if memory serves correct, a grand total of two.

Quite a contrast to years ago when I would go quite often. In fact, I even sat through a double feature once. I watched one movie, then exited and went right back in to see another one. That was a great evening. Little did I know that day that I would be seeing two of my favourite films of all time on the same night: Dead Poets Society and Fried Green Tomatoes.

I still watch them from time to time, especially Dead Poets Society. I don't have much use for poetry, though -- with apologies to all the poets out there -- so the fact that I love a movie based on the appreciation of poetry is odd. Maybe I'm a closet poet, who knows? I doubt it. Here's how to write poetry: just jot down a few random thoughts that don't make any sense and then convince someone that they're deep.

The crying rabbit ate the red licorice
and sang opera for the sneezing geese
among the fields of mushrooms
planted by my frog's anxious proctologist.
Superstar! Superstar! Superstar!


Now, I bet someone could actually take that gibberish, stand in front of a crowd, feed everyone a few martinis and convince them that it was some work of great literary art. To me, that's what poetry is about: nonsense for the gullible. There, now I've lost my entire fan base of poets: all two of you!

I can imagine poets talking to their buddies and laughing their heads off after one of those so-called recitals. "My God, Marty! You should have heard me tonight. I barfed up some junk about a singing orangutan giving birth to mosquitoes on Uranus and three publishers offered me a book deal."

"And Marty, did you hear about Nancy? She actually spent five minutes going through the dictionary pointing to random words, wrote them all down on a piece of paper and found out today that she won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry."

The less sense it makes, the better a poem is deemed to be, apparently.

Song lyrics can be very similar to poetry sometimes. If you actually sit down and try to make sense of half of them, you'd give yourself a headache. It's no wonder that so many of us misunderstand lyrics. We're just trying to make them make sense to us.

For instance, I have no idea what half the words in Elton John's Crocodile Rock are, but I like the tune and it makes me feel good. I'm happy when I listen to it. And it took all my self-control not to knee some fellow concert-goers in the head at an Elton John concert earlier this week when some fans kept interrupting others -- and myself -- by constantly getting snacks and going to the bathroom during a concert we'd paid $163 to attend!

What left me shaking my head at the concert is the same thing that drives me crazy at the cinema, hockey games, etc. I'm sure it drives you nuts, too. Maybe you're one of them. You know, the people with a bladder the size of a walnut and an appetite for liquids the size of the Titanic.

I sat at the end of my row and, thankfully, the women sitting to my left were able to hold it in for much of the concert, although why they all felt the need to drink the Atlantic Ocean before the concert, I'll never know.

You could tell which songs weren't very popular during the evening (the unknowns, mostly), because the stairs would fill up quickly with fans rushing to use the facilities or to buy a snack. That didn't bother me much, as long as it wasn't the people in my row trying to squeeze out, but one other phenomenon left me shaking my head.

It wasn't until I was an adult that I discovered that a hockey game actually had three periods because, as kids, my father would practically rush us out the door after the second period to beat the traffic leaving the parking lot. I thought third periods were just some silly rumour being spread by my friends, like fairies and leprechauns.

The Elton John concert was no different. I shook my head in disbelief when some fans started rushing toward the exits before he finished his last song in order to beat the traffic even though they'd paid $163 per ticket for excellent seats at a once-in-a-lifetime concert. I didn't understand the apparent torture of having to wait an extra 30 minutes getting out of the parking lot by waiting until the entire concert ended.

It's only when the gals further down our row decided to make a run for it in the middle of the last song that I really got peeved. Quite frankly, I thought it was excessively rude to interrupt my enjoyment of the night just because they wanted to get their Dodge out of Dodge, so to speak. At this point, I was darned if I was going to let them ruin the evening, so I made it clear I wasn't happy about the interruption.

So, please take my advice. The next time you go to a concert, refrain from drinking Lake Michigan before it starts. That way, you won't be crawling over your peeved fellow fans further down the row. And you'll avoid my knee to your head.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Low-carb recipe: TVP "oatmeal"

If you're following a low-carb diet or are diabetic and trying to stabilize your blood sugar, textured vegetable protein (TVP) makes a great alternative to oatmeal while giving the same level of satisfaction and "feeling" of eating the "real thing".

I tried this the other day and am hooked! I love it! This stuff fills you up and keeps you happy until lunchtime. I made mine in the crockpot and takes only two hours until it's ready to eat! (And it filled the house with a wonderful aroma, too!)

This makes a batch of about six reasonable servings. TVP is sold in the organics section of most supermarkets, in health food stores and at bulk stores.

The original recipe is posted here at Laura Dolson's excellent About.com low-carb website.

Recipe

  • 2 cups TVP granules
  • 1 quart (946 ml) unsweetened soy milk (can use coconut milk or other milk - I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla (or adjust the above seasonings to your taste - my next batch is being made with pumpkin pie spice... yummmmmmmm!)
  • Sweetener to taste (or you can sweeten each individual bowl to your liking)
  • Optional: Whisk in eggs. 4 eggs makes it more like rice pudding (I didn't do this)
Preparation

Mix all ingredients in crockpot, large saucepan/Dutch oven, or large covered casserole dish (be careful about this - when Laura Dolson tested it in the oven, it overflowed).

Cooking times

Crockpot/Slow Cooker: It will be cooked in about two hours on high or four hours on low, but you can let it go longer and it won't hurt it. (I cooked mine for two hours on low and it was 100% ready.)

Oven: About one hour at 350F.

Stovetop: Bring to boil, then simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally - you should know by looking when it's done.

Carb count

Assuming unsweetened soy milk and liquid sweeteners (zero carbs), the entire recipe has about 36 net carbs and makes about 6-10 bowls of "oatmeal", depending upon the size.

(Click on the photo for a larger version.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This week's Hump Day column...

... deals with nonsensical poetry, song lyrics and concert fans' inability to 1) hold in their pee; and 2) reign in their terror of being caught in parking lot gridlock.

Read all about it on the editorial page of tomorrow's Moncton Times & Transcript.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A shout-out to Jimmy Moore!

Many thanks to my American blogging buddy Jimmy Moore who mentioned my recent Hump Day column on low-carbing! It was a really nice surprise to be mentioned!

Jimmy's low-carb success story has inspired me greatly and I urge you all to check out his Livin' La Vida Low-Carb website for more information!

Click here to read the entry where he mentioned Hump Day. Don't forget to look through his immensely resourceful and informative website while you're there.

Also, don't forget to check out my own low-carb blog at http://www.lowcarbdude.com/.

Thanks again, Jimmy!

My view at last night's Elton John concert in Moncton


Amazing seats! This was taken from the seat directly in front me. Photo credit: Roland Gauvin. (Click on the photo for the full version.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm going to see Elton John tonight!

Elton John finally arrives in Moncton tonight for his much-anticipated and sold-out concert. I have a great seats and can't wait! A once-in-a-lifetime experience.













And my favourite song of all time... I will be SO happy to hear this live...