Thursday, September 17, 2009

TONIGHT: Launch of Jolicure Cats - 7 to 9 p.m. - Capitol Theatre, Moncton

Don't miss the launch of Lorrie Bell Hawkins' new book - Jolicure Cats - tonight from 7-9 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton. I'm excited to be emcee'ing the event! A portion of the proceeds from each sale tonight will go to the Moncton SPCA.

Jolicure Cats is a look back at the cats who've shared Lorrie's life.

Everyone is welcome! I hope to see you all there!

Click on the photo for a larger version of the book's cover.

Peter, Paul and Mary's Mary Travers dead at 72

Mary Travers of the famed folk group Peter, Paul and Mary has died of leukemia at the age of 72. Rest in peace. (Click on the link to the group to read heartbreaking tributes to Mary from her bandmates Peter and Paul.)

When buying a new car it's love at first drive

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Editorial Page

Last week, I wrote about how I'd acquired the urgent hunger for a new vehicle after nearly five years of driving my small SUV.

Now, before I go on, dear reader, you need to realize that half the time I write this column, I forget what I wrote about the next day. I usually write the column on Sunday and send it in to the editorial page's editor and then forget about it until the following weekend, when I frantically try to come up with a new and entertaining subject for the next masterpiece that graces this spot every Wednesday.

When I sent in last week's column, I pretty much forgot what I wrote about right away and then went on my merry way. People are always asking me, "What did you right about this week?" And I invariably tell them, "For the life of me, I can't remember." After nearly 200 weekly columns in a row, I can barely remember what I write about from one week to the next.

So when I picked up a copy of last Wednesday's paper and read my column, I'd more or less forgotten by then that I wanted a new vehicle. Of course, reading the column again only reignited the urge, and by noon I found myself at the Hyundai dealership test driving a brand new 2009 3.3 GL AWD Santa Fe.

I wasn't fussy about the blue-grey colour of my test drive version, but it grew on me. Finally convinced that black is really only nice when it's clean, I decided that I'd better choose something else, because I couldn't even remember the last time I'd been to a car wash.

The SUV drove like a dream (at least compared to what I was driving) and it actually had some power in the engine (again, compared to what I was driving).

If you've ever driven a vehicle that is several steps up from what you're currently driving, you know the feeling. The minute the test drive was over, I looked at what I'd been driving for nearly the past five years and choked back a gag of disgust. Someone would someday drive it very happily, but it had outlived its usefulness for me and I was ready to trade... now.

My lust for the new SUV was pretty obvious as I started hearing Barry White's "You Sexy Thing" playing in my head and my irises went from hazel and round to red and heart-shaped. The lights dimmed, a disco ball lowered itself from the ceiling in the dealership and Barry's smooth voice started singing, "I believe in miracles / Where are you from you sexy thing (sexy thing you) / I believe in miracles / Since you came along you sexy thing."

It's perfectly normal to fall in love with a new vehicle. Within a few minutes, I'd gone from forgetting that I even wanted a new car to lusting after a new one at the dealership. Even the blue-grey colour I wasn't fussy about grew on me within the hour I was there -- and I knew that was my new car.

To make a long story short, we negotiated a deal and I signed away ownership of some of favourite body parts over to the bank. After work, I drove my old vehicle over to the dealership to leave it there for the next owner.

This may sound strange, but I believe that all things emit energy -- either positive or negative, even inanimate objects such as cars. My old one had served me well and it wasn't as if I hated it. It was just time to move on. After I moved everything over to the new one, I placed my hand on my old car, silently thanked it for the good service and hoped it would serve someone else as well as it had served me. (If any of you think I'm nuts, I'd certainly understand.) I do believe that there's something to be said for gratitude -- even if it's to a machine.

I hopped in the new vehicle and drove off, revelling in its new-car smell, smooth ride, and getting used to all the new knobs and controls.

But now, the nervousness and tension were there. With the old car, I just drove it. I didn't protect it like I was delivering a heart to a transplant patient. My new baby, however, deserved special treatment, and I was going to make sure that no one hurt her!

I passed cars ever so carefully. I scanned every intersection for cars that may not have noticed their stop sign or red light. I checked out every bird flying overhead to make sure it wasn't ready to drop a "present" on top of the car. This was not an easy thing to decipher, mind you, but as any new car owner will tell you, your senses become super sensitive and you notice things you never did before.

If someone looked at my new SUV with impure thoughts, I would notice. "I'm sorry sir, the lust in your heart you're feeling for your neighbour is not good for the paint on my new vehicle. Please divert your gaze onto another automobile." "Excuse me, ma'am, it appears you shoplifted a bra in 1975 from K-mart. Please stop looking at my new car. You're scandalizing my tires."

So, now I have a new vehicle, but I'm a nervous wreck until that inevitable first scratch. Driving on the highway on the weekend, numerous insects met their demise on my windshield and I was insulted by their lack of compassion. They could have at least chosen to die on a vehicle that wasn't fresh off the lot.

Love the new car, but my nerves are taking a terrible beating.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about those nervous first few days/weeks with a new vehicle!

I bought a new 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe last week and have been nervously driving it around town since I picked it up. Until that first ding, scratch or dent, I'll be driving it around like it was a delicate little flower. :)

Check out today's Hump Day column on the editorial page of the Moncton Times & Transcript, New Brunswick's largest-circulation newspaper.

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

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jordan wins Big Brother 11!

All I can say is hallelujah! Glad to see that a nice gal won over that evil Natalie!

Won't you give Chance a chance?

Chance has been at the Moncton SPCA for an entire YEAR waiting for a new family. Won't you give him another chance?

For more information on Chance, click here for his profile on the Moncton SPCA's website.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze dead at 57

Actor, singer and dancer Patrick Swayze has died at the age of 57 after a long battle with cancer. Rest in peace. He was one of the good guys...

My new vehicle!

If you read my column last week, you'll know that I had a hankering for a new vehicle!

Well, here's what I bought: a brand new 2009 3.3 GL AWD Hyundai Santa Fe: