Monthly Archives: December 2016

Hump Day: Go ahead! Make New Year’s resolutions!

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2016
Moncton Times & Transcript

Well, it’s hard to believe, but the Christmas music is gone from radio stations and retailers, and decorations are slowly coming down around town as the days are getting longer – finally! The year is on its last legs as it crawls toward its final hours as Baby New Year is waiting patiently outside for 12 a.m. on Jan. 1 to arrive.

The period between Christmas and New Year’s Day – what we commonly call “the holidays” – is one of the stranger times of the year. The people who don’t like Christmas are thrilled that it’s over – and those who love Christmas are depressed that it’s over. Meanwhile, everyone else is too full and broke to care.

The holidays can be exhausting, can’t they? And don’t even talk about the spending. I think I actually heard my poor little credit card scream as I pushed it into a payment terminal. ‘No! Not again! Have pity! Christmas may be fun for you, but it’s not the greatest time for me, buster! Now, buy me some lotion for all this chafing – and pay with cash!’

We spend too much. We eat too much. We drink too much. We don’t sleep enough. No wonder we’re exhausted afterwards! After the tinsel is packed away for another year and we all start eating salad again, however, January is the perfect time to sit down and start thinking about that dreaded “R” word: resolutions!

Now, many people feel that resolutions are actually bad things. We’re just setting ourselves up for failure, they say. Or we’re just making resolutions because everyone else is. Or… whatever. Some people are so negative that it’s difficult to get them to think positively about anything, let alone their future.

Here’s the thing about resolutions, at least in my humble opinion. Even if you fail at 90 per cent of them, well guess what? You succeeded at 10 per cent! That may not sound like much, but what if becoming a millionaire was that 10 per cent? I’d say that was a pretty good return.

Don't let anyone convince you that making New Year's resolutions is a bad idea. In fact, beware of those who don't want you to improve!
Don’t let anyone convince you that making New Year’s resolutions is a bad idea. In fact, beware of those who don’t want you to improve!

“Resolved to get rid of that stubborn rash on my toe. Failed. Resolved to remember to never leave the house again with the water still running in the sink. Failed. Resolved to eat more kale. Failed. Resolved to find out what kale is. Failed.” I’m sure that if most of your resolutions didn’t pan out except for one major one, then that would at least be something positive, correct? They say money doesn’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery a lot more enjoyable, doesn’t it?

I’m all about making resolutions. Be it fall, spring or the beginning of a new year, these season and calendar changes are new beginnings. Spring is when new things come to life. Fall is when a new school year starts. January is the debut of 12 glorious months ahead of exciting opportunities. Just pick a date, make your plans and go!

Write down some dreams. Get excited. Make a plan. Get even more excited. And if someone tells you not to bother, do it anyway. Clearly, they’re not someone with your best interests at heart. Now, a little disclaimer here: if you’re planning on being the first person to jump off a 20-storey building without a parachute and survive, perhaps you should listen to the naysayers around you. Anything with consequences unrelated to possible death, though, are worthwhile pursuing as long as they don’t hurt others.

A new year is an exciting time. On Jan. 1 at 12 a.m., the pages in our book of life are wiped clean. Many of us just start from there, though, and wander along aimlessly for the next 12 months with no plan just taking what life throws at us from left and right. Now, I’m not suggesting having a plan for every second of every day – but it would be a good thing to kind of know where you’re going. Either you can sail into the wind with strength and determination, or you can be thrown onto to rocks just like any other shipwrecks in choppy waters who lost their way.

I may talk a good talk, but I can certainly use more practice in the planning department, and I will be making a number of resolutions for 2017. Some will be big. Others will be small. Some will fail. Some will succeed.

Either way, though, at the end of 2017, I want to look back at the year that has just ended and know that despite some failures, I ended the year in the plus column.

I truly hope 2017 is good to you. Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

May your Christmas be one filled with peace and good times with family and friends.
May your Christmas be one filled with peace and good times with family and friends. This is another postcard from my grandmother’s collection from the early 1900s.

Hump Day: Staying clear of sugary treats at Christmas no easy task

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016
Moncton Times & Transcript

I’ve known for a number of years that sugar is the enemy in the North American diet – not fat – but that never stopped me from being a sugar addict. Everyone who smokes knows it’s bad for you. Well, everyone who eats a ton of sugar knows the same thing.

In November, I watched a few sugar industry documentaries and reacquainted myself with the issue. To say the least, I was shocked at much of what I re-learned. How anyone could go near candy, cake or pie after watching those is beyond me.

The point of my story, though, is not to give dietary advice, but to say that I decided to remove refined sugar and artificial sweeteners from my diet in late November. The results so far have been quite positive. I’m also avoiding grains, such as breads, baked goods, etc. Now, that’s all well and good and you may find me skipping down Parlee Beach in my Speedo next summer, but dramatically changing how you eat right before Christmas is an extra challenge.

Let’s face it, Christmas is the season of sugar – candy canes, sugar plums, etc. The lure of traditional Christmas goodies is very strong. Not partaking in traditional holiday food can certainly seem nearly impossible, but I’m determined. I do have two exceptions though. I will get one of my mother’s meat pies (the bad part is the thick biscuit-like crust) and I will eat one poutine râpée (with stevia instead of sugar). Other than at, I’m sticking to my plan.

Now, I’m sure I’ll be hearing a lot of, “It’s Christmas! Eat! Eat!” Oh trust me, people. I have “Eat!” down pat. I have a PhD in “Eat!” Being a complete and hopeless sugar addict, though, means having to put your foot down somewhere. The one meat pie and one poutine are the exceptions, but there’ll be no candy for me this Christmas.

Actually, that sounds like the title of a sad country song, doesn’t it? “There’ll be no candy for me this Christmas! Me and my sweet tooth have to go our separate ways. My little Tommy and Suzie will spend the holidays eating spinach and kale. And then they’ll kill me in my sleep.” Hey, I said it was sad! Just put my Grammy award in the mail.

I’ve already resolutely committed to being very strict except for those two previously mentioned items, but I know I’m going to have to be firm with some people who’ll be trying to shovel candy into me. If you know an alcoholic who’s newly sober, do you tell them to let loose and go on a bender at Christmas? Well, maybe you do, but you shouldn’t.

I think Baby Jesus would rather see me in church, feeding poor people or helping seniors cross a busy street at Christmas rather than eating candy. “My child, you did not eat an entire box of chocolates on Christmas morning. Verily, you have vexed me and will walk the burning streets of hell for all eternity.” Something tells me that isn’t the way it works. If it does work that way, then the sugar industry is a heck of a lot more powerful than I thought it was!

Yeah, most people can let loose a little bit during the holidays and then hop right back on the train afterwards. I’m not one of those people, though. If I eat one chocolate, I’ll disappear and the authorities will find me naked and covered in sprinkles and caramel in a ditch a week later after a sugar bender.

If you’ve started a new eating regime that’s working for you, I would encourage you to try and stick with it as much as possible during the holidays. Pigging out and going off kilter isn’t going to help anyone – and I doubt any church services are going to be recognizing people who’ve gone off the deep end in order to celebrate Christmas.

“We’d like to thank Becky for helping out at the soup kitchen. And then there’s Bob who helped a man learn to read. And Phyllis who delivered meals to shut-ins. Oh – and then there’s Brian who scarfed down six fruitcakes. He is truly a hero among us. Bow to him! Honour him! Kiss his ring!” Again, pretty sure that’s not how it works.

Some people can handle a bit of cheating. Others can’t. Having to say “No!” – even firmly – to well-intended offers from people this Christmas may be awkward, but it may save you from waking up naked in a ditch a month from now wondering what happened. And with that, Merry Christmas! Eat well.

MH Renaissance Inc. releases virtual reality video of proposed new Moncton Public Library

NEWS RELEASE

December 20, 2016
For immediate release

MH Renaissance Inc. releases virtual reality video of proposed new Moncton Public Library

MONCTON, N.B. – MH Renaissance Inc., the community based non-profit company working for the past two-and-a-half years to revitalize the former Moncton High School through the MH35 project, has a released a new video showing a virtual reality tour of the proposed new Moncton Public Library at the historic structure.

“After our community presentations in June, there were a number of community leaders, citizens, alumni as well as the Moncton Public Library Board through city staff, who brought forth valuable suggestions which we thought would be appropriate to incorporate into the proposed design,” said Dennis Cochrane, President of MH Renaissance Inc. “These suggestions were forwarded to our architectural design consultants in preparation of this beautiful new video.”

“This inspirational new video clearly indicates what’s possible within this building with thought, architectural planning and a professional project team,” Mr. Cochrane said.

MH Renaissance Inc. once again urges Moncton City Council to support this community endeavour. The group believes that a truly unique library can be created which will see diverse programming, an integration with other arts-related tenants within MH 35 coupled with the endless possibilities of utilizing the adjoining auditorium with its acclaimed excellent acoustics.

“This is truly a unique opportunity for our community,” Mr. Cochrane said. “We look forward to getting a formal go-ahead for our project very early in 2017.”

The video may be viewed on the MH35 website at mh35.ca, on their Facebook page at facebook.com/mh35moncton or on YouTube at bit.ly/mh35video.

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Media contact:
Brian Cormier
brian@briancormier.com
506-874-8725