Friday, September 25, 2009

Three months to go 'til Ho! Ho! Ho!

Houston SPCA removes 1,045 from ONE property!!

Incredible!

Tika needs a new home!

Tika is a sweet older dog available for adoption at the Moncton SPCA. I met her last night when I dropped by the shelter for a meeting. (I'm on the board.) What a nice girl! She looked at me with her big eyes and wagged her tail. I melted... but I don't think the cats would appreciate a third companion - especially a dog. So I decided to post her here in the hopes someone would be interested.

Tika needs a nice quiet home with a comfy sofa that she can curl up on. For more information on Tika, click here for her profile.

Just a note: Tika looks large in the photo but she's really quite small.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Talent isn't the only thing you need to succeed

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Editorial Page

When out-of-control singer Kanye West jumped on stage last week to grab sweet little Taylor Swift's microphone out of her hand while she was accepting an MTV Video Music Award (VMA) and he announced to the world that she didn't deserve it, he stole her moment in the limelight. Luckily, he didn't steal her dignity.

It's difficult for me to enjoy Kanye West as a music artist because I find the guy absolutely detestable. For someone to get up on stage and announce that a winner doesn't deserve an award -- in the middle of the winner's acceptance speech -- is not only incredibly rude, it's heartless and downright mean.

For sure, West has had a slew of criticism thrown at him during this entire celebrity scandal. He's apologized to Swift personally and through the media. The fact that he was apparently drunk as a skunk at the time of the incident after chugging back cognac all night is proof that the guy should give up the bottle, too, while he's at it.

To her credit, talented singer Beyoncé, who West declared should have won the award, remained classy throughout the debacle. She even gave Swift an opportunity at the end of the show to finish her acceptance speech. Good for her, because had she not done something, West's drunken outburst could have reflected on her, as well. When someone is shooting holes in their own career, there's no need of stepping in front of the bullets, too.

West's ignorant behaviour also drummed up some pretty funny jokes. Quips were being passed around online that West had also interrupted Michael Jackson's funeral to declare that Elvis had a better death. A video of U.S. President Barack Obama being heckled was doctored to make it seem like it was West who was heckling him.

Speaking of the normally cautious president, he was actually overheard calling West a 'jackass,' which pretty much drove home what the entire country was thinking. Maybe Obama's popularity will take a bump up now after that.

West does have his defenders, though -- of all people, Beyoncé's husband Jay-Z, who said that while it was rude to interrupt Swift's moment in the spotlight, people should realize West is just "super passionate." With all due respect, sir, that is a pile of smelly moose muffins.

West was being a bully, pure and simple. He wasn't being passionate. Basically, physically pushing a younger, weaker, less experienced person aside to rob them of their moment of glory is not passion. Passion brings forth respect and admiration -- even from people who disagree with you. How much respect and admiration did West get from his dumb stunt? Not one iota.

To her credit, Taylor Swift has been the epitome of class during this whole sorry scene. She's accepted his apology and has received a slew of sympathetic, positive media. She's come across as a sweet, talented young lady who's taken the high road after being rudely and crudely publicly insulted by a member of her own profession.

I never thought much of Kanye West before this event. His frequent outbursts and expressions of extreme egomania turned me off a long time ago. I don't know about you, but for me to shell out money and time to support an artist, I have to at least personally 'not hate' them. I don't necessarily have to want to marry them, but if I'm going to buy a CD or spend time in front of the TV watching a performance, I'd at least appreciate it if my skin didn't crawl at the mere sound of their name.

At the height of Whitney Houston's drug addiction and crazy behaviour -- from which she is apparently recovering, thankfully -- I had a difficult time with her. I couldn't bring myself to listen to her music or watch a TV show on which she was appearing because I felt as though I might as well have been shooting drugs into her veins myself. If a radio station played her music, I changed the channel. I couldn't enjoy her artistry because I didn't care for her behaviour.

I don't care how good an artist is -- a singer, writer, musician, painter -- they have to be at least somewhat likeable for me to spend time and money enjoying their artistic endeavours. I realize that others may be able to disconnect the art from the artist, but it's not something that I can do easily.

This, of course, doesn't mean that I'd expect to carry out a thorough security check on every singer, painter, etc., out there . . . but if you're going to run around doing stupid things, don't expect me to throw my hard-earned money at you even if you're the best at what you do. I don't have to love you to support you, but I find it really difficult to support you if I can't even stand the sight of your face.

I'm a fan of a few reality shows, especially talent-based ones such as American Idol, Canadian Idol and Hell's Kitchen. Whether you're trying to be the next singing sensation or the next famous chef, I think it's fair for viewers and the public to want to -- or need to -- like you to give you their vote, in the case of the Idol shows, at least.

A big part of business is relationship-based. We do business with people we like. We give money to people we respect. We give our time to people we feel deserve it. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that.

Nothing at all. Artistry and talent can only get you so far, but good manners and decency will always mean something, too.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Baby loves Beyoncé...

Hopefully Kanye West won't barge in on this one.

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about my thoughts on the Kanye "Douchebag of the Universe (DOTU)" West and Taylor Swift controvery that broke out last week when DOTU stole Swift's moment in the spotlight at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs).

Can we really separate the actions of the artist from the quality of the art? Some may be able to, but I can't. I have a difficult time enjoying an artist I can't stand.

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

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall is officially here!

As of 6:18 p.m. (Atlantic Time), fall has arrived! My favourite season of the year!

Grant Thornton Velvet Gala - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Click on the photo for a larger version.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Teacher in trouble over essay topic

I think the teacher thought up this topic after she'd had a few too many beers... or let slip a secret fetish.

Today's the last day of summer!

Fall arrives tomorrow evening! I love the fall!