Thursday, July 02, 2009

Rt. Hon. Roméo LeBlanc

The Government of Canada is asking citizens to fly their Canadian flags at half-mast in honour of the late Rt. Hon. Roméo LeBlanc, former governor general of Canada. Mr. LeBlanc's state funeral will be held tomorrow beginning at 11 a.m. (Atlantic time) in Memramcook. The funeral will be televised across Canada. Coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. (Atlantic time). Governor General Michaëlle Jean and Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in attendance.

In search of some old-fashioned summer fun

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial Page

Wow! July already, eh? The kids' backpacks are put away for the summer. Teenagers are getting used to those new summer jobs, and people without air conditioning are swearing to every god out there that they'll invest in it "next year".

For the record, I have central air conditioning at home, and I can only say that I would rather hand over my favourite body parts on a plate to a hungry dog than give up walking around the house with icicles hanging off my nose in the middle of summer.

While summer is a time to have fun and relax for many, I'm finding myself a bit wanting in that very area of my life. Last week, I wrote about goal-setting and getting things accomplished. I've written about everything under the sun over the nearly four years that I've been writing this column... but I've never written about having fun.

When my "wheel of life" was critiqued in front of my last Effective Personal Productivity class a few weeks ago, the one negative comment that I received -- and rightly so -- was that I wasn't scheduling or planning some "down time" or "fun" for myself. Everything was based on accomplishing business or work-related goals.

Quite frankly, it was bang on. Some people, I suppose, would think that I don't have enough fun based on their own definition. No, I won't jump out of an airplane for "fun". I won't wrestle a starving tiger for "fun". And I won't wave a red cape in front of an enraged bull and yell "Olé!" for "fun", either. Some people call that sort of stuff "fun" and "adventurous". Personally, I think it's all suicidal.

But that left me to start thinking about what I actually believe is fun. I was quite horrified to figure out that I don't honestly know. Is going to movies fun? Yeah, I suppose. I mean, I enjoy it and all that... and it depends on the movie. But if going to the movies is my definition of having fun, I have to confess that I've only had fun at that particular activity about three times in the last five years... maybe even longer.

The weird thing is that I have absolutely no qualms about going to the movies by myself but just never get around to doing it. When I was a kid and teenager, I used to go all the time with friends. Saturday and Sunday afternoon matinees at the Paramount, Capitol or Highfield Square (where the food court is now) were a staple of many weekends. Top Gun and Grease played at the Paramount. Jaws and Tootsie played at the Capitol. Charlotte's Web played at Highfield Square.

So I can't blame my lack of going to the movies lately on not having someone else to go with. I just don't bother going.

I'm not a big-time traveller, although I have my passport now and certainly have the world as my oyster. I would need a travelling companion, however, and being single when most of your friends are all married with kids isn't exactly conducive to having fun travelling. Even if I found someone to travel with, I dread not wanting to do what they want to or wanting to impale myself on the pointy end of a wrought iron fence by doing something I detest.

It's hard to define "fun", isn't it? I mean, hanging out with friends and partying is fun, I suppose. But there are only so many times you can do that before you get a registered letter from a lawyer saying, "Dear Sir: Please be advised that your liver is suing you for child abuse." Well that just ain't no fun, either!

For me, having fun and summer just don't go together because I don't like the heat. Someone asking me to sit at an outdoor cafe for a meal in the middle of a hot and sunny July day sounds about as much fun to me as sticking my face into a pile of glowing red-hot charcoal. Either way, I'd end up burnt and miserable.

So if more outdoors-y activities are out for the summer, what about indoor activities? There are always museums. Day trips to visit family and local tourist attractions. Renting movies to watch at home. Going out to dinner with friends.

I'm not bored. Believe me, I have plenty to do. But I need to find the balance between work-related stuff and fun. I've got plenty of work... just not enough fun.

I just need to figure out what's really (really!) fun. And for the life of me, I'm not sure. What a strange situation I find myself in. I know what others consider fun. The problem is, I'm not sure what I really consider to be fun.

I guess that's my next goal: try a few new things to determine what out there it is that I consider something fun to do. I don't need to make money from it. I don't need to have it become a financial or time burden. I just want something fun to do.

It sounds so simple, but I'm quite honestly baffled. What a dilemma! I guess knowing exactly what you don't consider to be fun is half the battle. The other half is finding out what to do to have fun. Maybe I need to start going to clubs and partying again -- not that it was ever something that was high up in my repertoire. Maybe not!

I kind of feel like Charlie Brown right now: kind of pathetic. I think maybe it's time to take up skydiving after all. Maybe I need to kick-start the "fun" part of my brain by doing something shocking. Or travel somewhere dangerous. Or eat a barrel of tacks.

Maybe... just maybe... I'm getting sick of playing it safe? Interesting...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Today's Hump Day column...

... is about the concept of having fun. I came to an epiphany this week that I didn't know how to have fun. Was I overworked? Overtired? I don't know... but I somehow felt the need to go out and do something other than work.

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

And remember... if it's Wednesday, it's Hump Day!

Happy Canada Day!

It's Canada Day 2009, a day for all Canadians to reflect on how lucky we are to live in a country that is consistently ranked as one of the top countries in world in which to live!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

For the heavy sleepers in your family...

If this doesn't wake them up, nothing will...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

TV pitchman Billy Mays dead at 50

Billy Mays was found dead at his home earlier today. He was 50. The cause of death is so far unknown. There are reports that he received a bump or two on the head yesterday during a rough plane landing. Although apparently uninjured, perhaps there was some internal damage that was not apparent à la Natasha Richardson?

Thoughts?

I can see how this would be of assistance to some people, but I'm not sure about the selling point of "touching dirty toilet paper". I mean... c'mon... if you don't know which side of the toilet paper NOT to touch, then you need more help than this product.