Saturday, February 21, 2009

An emotional comeback from tragedy...

One year after a devastating tragedy that left seven of their players dead, the Bathurst High School Phantoms basketball team has won the provincial high school basketball championship.

Click here for more.

Wow!

(Photo courtesy of The Canadian Press)

Train plowing through snow

Too cool! Obviously very powerful...

If I had to wake up to this guy every morning...

... I think I'd be having chicken wings for lunch!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Low-carb recipe: Jell-O fluff

OK, this is like the most delicious thing I've had in a long time. It is incredibly easy and cheap to make, as well as very versatile -- depending on the flavour of Jell-O you decide to use.

Be very careful to portion this out. It's quite easy to eat the entire thing in one or two sittings. Keep in mind it's supposed to serve 10-12. After you've served it in a dish, top it off with a few berries if you want to.

Ingredients:

- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature for about an hour
- 8 oz. sour cream (I used a thick restaurant-style sour cream and weighed it. I did not measure it.)
- 1 package of sugar-free Jell-O (Any flavour you'd like. I used raspberry and it was to die for!)
- Bit of Splenda if you'd like (I used a bit of liquid Splenda and it was not too sweet)

Instructions:

- Place the cream cheese and sour cream in your mixer bowl. Sprinkle the Jell-O powder and Splenda (if using) on top. Turn the mixer on high for a minute or two until well blended and creamy smooth.

Serve right away or chill if you'd like. Works either way, as far as I'm concerned.

This is virtually carb-free but quite high in calories, so watch your intake. If you like "unbaked" cheesecake, you'll like this!

Easiest dessert ever!

Buy your tickets now for Blues on the Boulevard!!



On Saturday, March 28, 2009, ECMA winner New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, acclaimed blues artist Matt Andersen and popular Acadian quartet Les Muses will perform for what is sure to be a sold-out audience at the Wesleyan Celebration Centre in Moncton. "Blues on the Boulevard" is the NBYO's 2008-09 season finale concert and is sure to please with its unique fusion of symphony, blues and pop. Tickets are available now at the Moncton Coliseum box office! Hurry before they're sold out!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

With the second baby, everything changes

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial Page

I was going through some old photos of family and friends on the weekend. Not only did I find one of me in my bunny snowsuit sitting in a snow bank in our yard taken in January 1965, but also a photo of me and my old teddy bear, one of me playing a toy guitar and one of me posing in my New Brunswick tartan suit for a formal photo.

As the first-born in a family of three children, my childhood was carefully chronicled from my first steps.

The childhoods of my brother and sister are so photo-less that my parents could have probably left them on the side of the road and driven away. There would have been no photos of them to give to the newspaper anyway. Because they were born after me, their growing up was much less newsworthy, I guess.

As for me, however, well I was the golden first child. Photos of everything!

I have a baby book with a curl from my first haircut preserved and a list of all the gifts I received at my first birthday party. Awwww! I probably had a fancy birthday cake, too. And I'm pretty sure it would have been expensive.

My brother and sister, however, were probably asked to make their own cake. By the time my sister came along, she was likely asked to change her own diapers and bathe herself, too. There's one photo of my brother as a one-year-old with his birthday cake. My sister's babyhood is remembered, if I remember correctly, by exactly one photo of her in an uncle's arms. Meanwhile, as the much-beloved oldest, DNA samples from my first diaper change were promptly filed with the federal government.

Kind of interesting how -- with the addition of children into the family -- parents have less time to spend chronicling every milestone. They just try to survive.

I'm really impressed by some friends of mine who have painstakingly treated their three sons equally insofar as photos and logging their growing up go. This is a good thing.

In my generation, photo evidence of the youngest children was sometimes relegated to when they first started school while the oldest was treated like a Hollywood movie star. That soft light you see over the crib of a first-born child doesn't come from a lamp... it's the glow of holiness.

Younger siblings shouldn't take it too personally. After all, it was likely just a time issue. With one kid -- and everything being so new -- it was fun and exciting to ensure that the history of the baby was carefully noted for future reference. By the time child number two, three or more arrived, well... it was more like "mommy exhaustion time" and the kids were lucky they got fed and changed let alone given a 200-page scrapbook covered in lace, scented with baby powder and their names carefully written in calligraphy on the front cover by Tibetan monks.

The oldest child is chauffeured to school in a limousine. The second-oldest takes the bus. The youngest, meanwhile, gets a map, compass and general directions. "It's somewhere over that way," the youngest is told on the first day of school in September.

The oldest child gets gifts from everyone in the entire extended family. Christmas morning looks like the toy store just exploded! The second oldest gets a few gifts plus a few pity gifts from relatives who feel obligated. By the time the third child comes, that one gets gifts only from Santa.

Relatives have given up on gifts to all the kids by the time the last one comes into the world. Actually, they can't even remember the youngest one's name or what sex the child is.

In a family with three children, you'd see Grampy getting little Tommy a pink dress addressed to "Suzie" and little Heather a jock strap made out to "Jason", while the eldest "golden child" gets a correctly named card with a $100 bill inside. Should make for interesting therapy bills during the younger siblings' teenage years, don't you think?

The oldest child gets brand new clothes. The second-oldest gets hand-me-downs, but they're still in reasonably good shape. By the time the youngest one comes along, especially if the child is the same sex as the oldest two, they're chucked out the door to walk around town wearing a sign that says, "Will tap dance for new underwear."

The oldest kid gets a new puppy, while the second-oldest gets a goldfish. Number three, meanwhile, gets to look at pictures of animals in a book from the library.

The oldest eats homemade organic baby food. The next one gets bottled baby food -- preferably "brand name", but it really depends on what's on sale. Number three, meanwhile, gets last night's leftover, pre-packaged, no-name chicken wings from China put through a blender -- without the bones... if they're lucky.

The oldest gets new school supplies every year. The second-oldest gets the used crayons from the first. The youngest is pretty much relegated to using a homemade geometry set made with clothespins, chicken wire and broken knitting needles.

The oldest gets hypoallergenic cloth diapers woven by mountain people from deep within the jungles of South America. The second-oldest gets generic disposables. The youngest gets strategically placed duct tape and is hosed down outside twice daily.

Must go! The butler says my caviar sandwiched between two $20 bills is ready.

I wonder what my younger brother and sister will be eating today? Let's hope it's something nutritious. All that tap dancing can be exhausting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This week's Hump Day column...




... is about how the oldest kid in the family (like me) has their childhood chronicled from birth straight through to the grave (practically) while the younger siblings barely get mentioned. Above are some of my baby pics... and I do mean just "some". Meanwhile, my brother sister have about three baby pics between them. It seems to be a pattern in many families.

Read all about it in today's edition of the Moncton Times & Transcript, New Brunswick's largest circulation newspaper.

If it's Wednesday, it's Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Brian's Favourite Things #1: American Idol and Canadian Idol

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm completely addicted to both shows. Even though Canadian Idol is taking a year off (GRRRRR!!!), I can take solace in the fact that American Idol is just starting and will be around until May! Lots to chat about and some really great (and not so great) musical performances, too! Check out these performances from past shows...

Jason Castro from the 2008 season of American Idol:



Mookie Morris from the 2008 season of Canadian Idol:

Monday, February 16, 2009

I know things are more liberal in Europe, but there are limits...

Good for her!



I just wish I knew what they were saying.

Brian's Favourite Things

I'm starting an ongoing series of posts beginning tomorrow entitled "Brian's Favourite Things". Several times per week, I will post about things I like. Could be food, music... perhaps a certain brand name of a product that I prefer. You've heard of Oprah's favourite things shows? Well, this will be something like that - only it's Brian's Favourite Things! :) Heck, even Whoopi Goldberg does it on The View! I like these features because I always find a "new favourite thing" for myself!

Do you have a favourite thing? Let me know! Maybe it will become one of mine, too!

Sunday, February 15, 2009