Saturday, January 03, 2009

Getting caught listening to something you're not supposed to like...

Liking the Jonas Brothers can be embarrassing... not that there's anything wrong with that.

Being a reporter can be dangerous

Friday, January 02, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

#1 songs from the last 50 years on January 1st

January 1, 1959: "The Chipmunk Song" by The Chipmunks

January 1, 1969: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye

January 1, 1979: "Le Freak" by Chic

January 1, 1989: "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison

January 1, 1999: "I'm Your Angel" by R. Kelly and CĂ©line Dion

January 1, 2009: "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" by Beyoncé

Happy New Year 2009!

Here's wishing each and every one of you a very Happy New Year in 2009! May this year be your best yet! Decide right now that it WILL be... and your wish will come true.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

An engineer's guide to cats

Looking forward to another great year in '09

(Note: I don't normally post my column on the day it's published, however since it's New Year's Eve and this is a "time-sensitive" piece about the New Year, I decided to post this one today. I will revert to the normal posting schedule next week - article published on Wednesday and posted here on Thursday.)

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Editorial Page

Well, we made it through another year, dear readers. As the final hours of 2008 wind down, 2009 looms on the horizon with all its hope and its renewed sense of wonder and determination to make our lives better, be it through working on ourselves or in the world around us.

I'm very grateful because 2008 was a wonderful year. I believe a lot in sending out good vibes... and I must thank 2008 for being the best ever.

I'm healthy. I lost 35 pounds this year. Added to the 82 pounds I lost in 2007, that's a grand total of 117 pounds so far. I've already achieved my perfect weight in my mind. I'm just waiting for my body to catch up, but it will. Oh yes it will! I'm grateful.

I was able to reduce that most hated blood pressure medication that I'm on. I was quite happy about that -- and even happier when my latest check-up showed an absolutely perfect reading, even with the reduction. As I continue to lose weight, I hope to be able to further reduce the medication. I'm grateful.

Financially, my mortgage came due and I was able to refinance and consolidate a bunch of things, giving me literally hundreds of dollars extra every month. I was also able to upgrade my home's heating system, adding to the value of my home. I also treated myself to some new furniture here and there. I'm happy in my home. I'm grateful.

Despite the financial pressures that plague many university students, my son continues to do well in his final year of university. For a kid who had such a difficult time in high school, he certainly has turned the corner in university. He even managed to win the romantic lead in his final university theatre production to be staged next semester. I'm grateful.

The two cats I share my home with and who greet me at the door every day are in good health and good humour. They get along great and continue to be wonderful company, especially on cold winter nights when I'm snuggled up on my sofa with a blanket over me. Cindy will crawl underneath and snuggle, too. Casey will simply lie on top and fall asleep while purring happily. Good times. I'm grateful.

My aunt Mary passed away in Guelph, Ontario, earlier this year. Although I had not seen her in many years, I have great memories. She was always so nice and friendly. Like me, she loved animals and had them throughout her life. After my uncle Roy died, Mary was cared for by many of her close relatives in Guelph. She died loved and surrounded by people who cared for her. I'm grateful.

My great aunt Marie, who I've written about a few times, passed away in November at the age of 97. She was a nun and the personification of kindness and generosity. I'm glad that I got to know her better in my adult years. I'm so happy to have held her hand during visits and felt her genuine love and happiness whenever I went to see her along with other family members who accompanied me. If I ever have doubt there is human goodness in the world, I need only remember Marie. I'm grateful.

To the community of fellow nuns who cared for Marie -- both emotionally and physically -- during her entire life among the congregation, all I can say is that she couldn't have chosen a better group of sisters. Despite all their various personalities, they came together as a true community to care for her -- and she for them -- in good times and in bad. I'm grateful.

To my employers, be they full-time or freelance, working with these colleagues and clients over the past year has been a true blessing. Every day, I learn lessons in kindness, generosity and professionalism that I try to remember whenever I get frustrated, tired or disillusioned. I'll continue learning from you all, I'm sure. I'm grateful.

To my family, I'm happy that you're in my life and wouldn't have it any other way. We may not be a touchy-feely bunch, but that doesn't diminish the love that's there and will forever be. I know that I can count on you when the going gets tough. Please know that you can count on me, too. I don't know why we all chose to be in each other's family in this lifetime, but I'm glad we did. I'm grateful.

I've had many friends throughout the years. I'm still close friends with many from elementary, junior high and high school. During university, I met many more. The friends of my youth have become the friends of my adulthood. What a lucky person I am to have grown up with such splendid people. I feel so honoured, quite frankly, to know you, and happy that we haven't drifted apart. The comfort we feel when together, the teasing, the genuine caring... That isn't easy to come by. Let's grow old together. I'm grateful.

To the friends I met in adulthood, you're just as special because making friends as adults is sometimes more difficult. The number of these friends may not be as high as the friends I made in my youth, but they're no less special. There are absolutely stellar people in the world and I'm so lucky to have found you. I'm grateful.

To anything "bad" that happened to me in 2008, all I can say is that I've learned from it. These events made me think of a solution, change how I was dealing with something, "smarten up" (so to speak), or just learn to be patient and let things pass.

Adversity can only make you stronger. It's the best teacher. I'm grateful.

As for 2009, I'm grateful, too, for whatever you may bring.

Happy New Year!

Countdown to New Year's: 1 day!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Celebrity birthdays for December 28

Character actor and perennial Hollywood Squares panelist Cliff Arquette (a.k.a Charlie Weaver) would have been 103 today. In this 1968 Hollywood Squares opening, only Sally Field, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Nanette Fabray are still living. Van Johnson just died a few weeks ago (December 12) at the age of 92.

Character actor Lou Jacobi is 95.

Professional wrestler Leaping Lanny Poffo is 54. (Lanny is on the right at the beginning of the video.)

Saturday Night Live writer and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers is 36.

Actress Mackenzie Rosman, who played Ruthie Camden in the long-running family drama 7th Heaven, is 19.

2008 American Idol runner-up David Archuleta is 18.