Saturday, March 14, 2009

Immaculate Conception

Reminder: Rally in favour of stronger animal cruelty laws in New Brunswick and Canada...

... at 1 p.m. today in the parking lot of the Moncton Wesleyan Centre, 945 St. George Boulevard, Moncton. Please take a few minutes out of your day to attend this peaceful rally. Our animal friends deserve our support!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mark your calendars for "Reveille!" on Wednesday, April 22


NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release

Reveille! makes debut at Frye Festival - Share your stories from youth; release your inner child to become effective writer

MONCTON, NB -- Are you a writer or wannabe writer who's saved everything you've ever put on paper? An embarrassing diary entry from when you were 12? Angst-filled poetry after you got dumped by your high school boyfriend/girlfriend?

Then Reveille! is for you!

On Wednesday, April 22, 2009, the South East New Brunswick Chapter of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) will present Reveille!, an event where writers will share past works with the audience in an open-mic format.

Making its debut at the Frye Festival, this event will see Festival authors, local media celebrities and community leaders take the stage, with PWAC members (and Moncton Times & Transcript columnists) Brian Cormier and Brett Anningson as emcees.

The event gets under way at 7 p.m. at the Moncton Press Club and admission is free. Reveille!'s goal is to show how releasing our inner childhood is key to effective writing. So start digging through your attic now to tell your no-holds-barred tales from youth at Reveille!

For more information, check out our Facebook group; visit our website or contact Rayanne Brennan, vice-president of the local PWAC chapter at rayanneb@rogers.com or (506) 961-3633.

-30-

Media contact:

Rayanne Brennan
(506) 961-3633
rayanneb@rogers.com

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My pick for American Idol's #1 performance this week

Adam Lambert singing Michael Jackson's "Black and White".

American Idol results show: Idol Chatter for Wednesday, March 12, 2009

The first two eliminations of this season's American Idol took place last night with Jorge and Jasmine sent packing. Anoop and Megan staved off elimination despite horrible performances. Click here to read my Idol Chatter column in today's Moncton Times & Transcript. You'll also read details of the "Judges' Save"... a new twist being introduced this year on the show. Love the idea! Certainly adds to the drama, especially if a popular contestant is voted out.

Very cute commercial...

This is one of my favourite commercials on air right now. It blends modern technology and tradition (the product) quite effectively, I think. Even though the product has been around since 1912, it's shown here as a contemporary part of everyday life. The chemistry between the characters is apparent even though they're not in the same room.



It's just too bad that Oreos are so bloody bad for you!

With the time change, spring's not far behind

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial Page

It happens twice per year. Either the clocks go ahead one hour, or they go back one hour. People get used to it eventually, but the first few days bring turmoil in the way of missed appointments and internal clocks thrown for a loop, especially sleep patterns!

Personally, I adapt pretty well. An hour more of sleep or an hour less -- it doesn't make a ton of difference to me. I'll be a bit draggy during the mornings this week because my body says it's 4:55 a.m. when my alarm clock says it's 5:55 a.m., my usual wake-up time. But I'll adjust. I always do.

Some aren't so lucky. One friend was complaining on Facebook the other day that it takes her three months to adjust. Luckily, I don't have that problem, but to be out of sorts for three months is rough stuff! I'm glad that I'm one of the lucky ones who adapts reasonably quickly after a couple of difficult days.

On Sunday morning at church this past weekend, I waited for the inevitable: the people arriving during communion when they thought they were arriving early. In fact, one family arrived about 35 minutes into the service and sat in the pew behind me. If I had known them, I would have turned around and teasingly stated the obvious, "Forgot to turn your clocks ahead last night, huh?"

In fact, I heard the church doors open a few times that morning followed by the footsteps of parishioners who were likely mighty baffled as to why church started an hour earlier than usual, only to be reminded by someone that they'd probably just forgotten to change their clocks the night before.

I like the fact that it's light out later, now. I don't mind that at all. It should help with the power bill a bit since I'll be needing the lights on in the house for an hour less every night. The January and February power bills are usually killers. With those out of the way and the arrival of daylight savings time, the next one should bring relief.

I do admit, though, that it will be tough waking up this week as my body adjusts to daylight savings time. The cats will be happy getting fed an hour "early" . . . and surely wondering if they finally managed to train me after years of whining for an hour before feeding time. If the time change gives their furry little egos a boost, then so be it.

Luckily, the time change happens on the weekend so that the only major inconveniences are people arriving very late or very early for church, depending on whether you're talking about the spring or the fall. Of course, those who work on Sunday and who forgot to change their clocks can also be adversely affected -- well, embarrassed is more like it.

It seemed to sneak up on us this year, didn't it? With the new earlier switch in the spring and the later switch in the fall, it kind of messes things up a bit. I'm still getting used to it still being light out when the kids start trick or treating at Halloween. After all, for years it was normally dark because the time change had already happened.

Overall, I think it's been a good idea to alter when we change our clocks. We can certainly wait a few weeks in the fall for it to get dark earlier, and in the winter it's quite nice to have it light out for a bit later in the evening. Makes handling these last few weeks of winter that much easier, right? Now that it's March and people's patience with the snow is wearing mighty thin, at least the longer days offer some solace.

Personally, I always make sure I change my clocks early on the evening before we're supposed to change them. That way, I don't get any nasty surprises in the morning. Thankfully, the clock in my car is easy to change, but I know a few people who can't figure out how to change the clocks in their own vehicles, so they have to either add an hour or delete an hour for one part of the year, and the clock is accurate for the other part of the year.

The car company that makes the vehicle I currently drive makes it super easy to change the time on the clock. As for the car I owned before, I truly believe a person needed a Ph.D in physics to figure out how to change the time. I would dig through the instruction manual, find the right page and then agonize for a good hour over how to change the time on that blasted digital dashboard clock. It was incredibly complicated -- seriously. "Hold down button A while tapping the rhythm of a penguin's heartbeat with your thumb on button B. Then say a prayer in Japanese to Santa Claus, burp three times, close your eyes and hope for the best!"

The clock in the car I have now has two buttons. "H" for hour and "M" for minute. Very simple. I'll probably buy another one in a year from now just because it's easy to change the time on the clock. Very important, don't ya know! My criteria are as follows: air conditioning, keyless electronic entry, power windows and a clock that doesn't require me hiring an engineer to change the time.

With only a few more weeks of winter left, spring is in the air. Let's not kid ourselves: there will be a few more storms, but the seasons will eventually change. They always do. One day soon, the smell of melting dog droppings will permeate through the air and we'll take a deep breath and smile. "Ah, spring is on its way!"

In the meantime, at least during this first week of daylight savings time, try not to oversleep and be too cranky when your alarm clock goes off. And enjoy that extra hour of sunlight in the evening.

After a long winter, we deserve it!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Today's Hump Day column...

... is about the switch to daylight savings time and losing that all-important one hour of sleep! If you're like me, it's more than bit difficult to get going in the mornings this week, but we'll all eventually adjust! With that said, the arrival of daylight savings time harkens an end to a very long winter and the imminent arrival of spring.

Read all about it on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript, the largest-circulation daily newspaper in New Brunswick! It will also be posted online here tomorrow.

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

American Idol: Idol Chatter for Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Top 13 performed for the first time last night! Tonight, two are gone... or are they? Judge Simon Cowell announced on last night's episode that there's a "twist" coming. Hmmm... I wonder what that is? I'm thinking that they'll let two go, and then bring back another - perhaps Von Smith - who didn't make it into the original Top 13. It's just a hunch.

After watching last night's show, the only two contestants who I really believe deserve to go are Anoop Desai and Megan Joy Corkrey. Both were just horrible. The sad thing is that I really like both... but they didn't bring their game last night and may have to pay the price. Both were wild card choices by the judges, so I'm not sure they have the fan base to push them through after weak performances.

Read my Idol Chatter column in today's issue of the Moncton Times & Transcript or click here to read it online!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I rescued a human today...

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid.

As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship.

A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well. Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.

- Anonymous

If you're in need of rescuing, please consider the Moncton SPCA.

American Idol's Top 13 perform for the first time tonight!

Tonight's the night that American Idol fans have been waiting for! The Top 13 contestants perform for the first time tonight. From now until May, one contestant will be eliminated each week until the new American Idol is crowned.

This year's Top 13 are... (some clips not from American Idol)

Adam Lambert (26, Los Angeles CA)



Alexis Grace (21, Memphis TN)



Allison Iraheta (16, Los Angeles CA)


American Idol Season 8 - Allison Iraheta - The best video clips are right here

Anoop Desai (21, Chapel Hill NC)



Danny Gokey (28, Milwaukee WI)



Jasmine Murray (16, Starkville MS)



Jorge Nunez (21, Carolina PR)



Kris Allen (23, Conway AK)



Lil Rounds (23, Memphis TN)



Matt Giraud (23, Kalamazoo MI)



Megan Joy (22, Sandy UT)



Michael Sarver (27, Jasper TX)



Scott MacIntyre (23, Scottsdale AZ)



(Please note: Some of the above video links may "die" at some point.)

Country music legend Hank Locklin dead at 91

Country music legend Hank Locklin died on Sunday at the age of 91.



Monday, March 09, 2009

#1 songs in Canada on this date...

According to RPM magazine...

10 years ago in 1999: "Believe" by Cher



15 years ago in 1994: "Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springsteen



25 years ago in 1984: "99 Red Balloons" by Nena



30 years ago in 1979: "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" by Rod Stewart



35 years ago in 1974: "Spiders and Snakes" by Jim Stafford



40 years ago in 1969: "You Showed Me" by The Turtles

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Idol Chatter returns to Moncton Times & Transcript this week!

Hello, all you American Idol fans! I'm pleased to announce that the Moncton Times & Transcript will be carrying the Idol Chatter column this year and that they have asked me to write it again! This will be my third Idol-related column for the newspaper. I previously wrote on American Idol last year and on Canadian Idol a few years ago.

Idol Chatter will run the morning after each performance show (Fox/CTV Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern / 9 p.m. Atlantic) and results show (Fox/CTV Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern / 10 p.m. Atlantic) - so weekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the Life & Times section of the newspaper. I will, of course, be posting links to the columns here.

The first Idol Chatter column of this season appears on Wednesday, March 11, when I'll be reviewing the performances of this year's Top 13!

Should be a great season! There is a ton of talent... and I'm very excited. I hope you are, too!

Happy reading!