Friday, January 01, 2010

A new beginning?

Once again I want to wish you all the best for the New Year and for this second decade of the Twenty-first century that we are now just beginning. Hopefully it will bring better days than the first one. May you all get what you desire the most. [ More >> ]

I have spent the last day of the year setting up some new bookshelves that I got from my parents who were moving to a new appartment in their retirement home (more on that later). I have so many books and dvds that they were pilling up and some new shelves were quite welcomed. The need to make space for them also prompted a clean up spree to get rid of the clutter and dust that had accumulated over time because we've been so busy this last year. So much of that remain to do... I finished the evening (unfortunately alone, since my wife was working) switching between the French Radio-Canada year-end's programming and Anderson Cooper's New Year count-down on CNN (I don't know if anyone gets the irony of the American starting a new year by “dropping the ball” !).

Then I have spent the first day of the New Year with my sisters at my parents new place (still filled with moving boxes) for a quick brunch celebration. We came back home in late afternoon for a nap, after which, with a light supper, we watched a few more episodes of the mid-eighties Sherlock Holmes TV series starring Jeremy Brett. There's really nothing better than British TV (I should blog about this eventually).

The new year is bringing a more stable work schedule and, if all is well, a reasonable pay raise--which should allow me the time and peace of mind to finally complete many yearned projects. Therefore, as it is often the tradition at this time of the year, I have formulated a few (very conservative) resolutions for MMX: 1) to take time for my wife and I to get a complete physical and all the necessary tests to insure our good health (it should be everyone's first priority: eat well, make more physical exercices and keep challenging our mind); 2) to finish and release the thematic issue of the magazine / book that I've been working so much on last year and which is now so late (it was planned for last summer) and keep more issues coming (in one format or another); and 3) continue and finish the great clean up of my appartment (since my parents sold their house several years ago I have accumulated so much stuff that I really need to go through it all to get rid, recycle, sell or donate all the papers, books, cds, dvds, tapes, computers, electronics, etc. that are not needed anymore to reduce the clutter and put the appartment in order -- as I often say while considering the huge amount of stuff I own, I'd rather buy the place than move!). As for this blog, I pledge to continue writing as much as I can and, particularly, write more reviews (writing here in both official languages is the best thing to keep my mind working and sane).

Finally, I'll conclude this entry with my “rant of the day.” Lately, while watching french-speaking TV, I've been bombarded with advert for the Résidences Soleil retirement homes and it makes me want to puke! They keep hammering the idea that they are affordable even for people with low (and fixed) income and their web site add that their rent “increases are based on Statistics Canada's cost of living index, which enables people who have the means to live in the Résidences Soleil today, to always be able to do so”. That's total bulls**t. My parents just had to move into a much smaller appartment despite the fact that my father have a quite comfortable Federal government pension because the rent increased more than they could afford over the last couple of years (it seems more than legally allowed by the Régie du Logement, but my parents didn't want trouble and declined to fight against the raise). What a nice business! Those people are clearly preying on the elderly (ok, yes, they ARE offering peaceful and comfortable dwellings but their services have their limits: as soon as you are too sick, too old or too much trouble they get rid of you and they do their best to suck up as much money as they can)! I find this type of misleading advert intolerable.

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