Every new year inspires a slew of good intentions. Here are some easy ones: Resolve to spice up your life! Yes, when the Spice Girls come to the Bell Centre as part of their reunion tour on Jan. 31, but also with the help of the organic spices and dried herbs distributed by Arayuma. All of their products are grown by a Fair Trade farmers’ co-op in Sri Lanka, and even the boxes they come in are woven by the farmers’ family members. Find their goods in most health food stores or at www.arayuma.com.
Resolve to keep on giving. We all feel a little spent from the holidays, but that doesn’t mean the homeless are any more sheltered nor the wartorn any more at peace. Remember how privileged you are and help in any way you can, such as by donating your time or, best of all, your money to the tireless organizations that strive to change the world, like the Maison du Père, Brewery Mission, Santropol Roulant, Unicef, Red Cross, Amnesty International or Oxfam.
Resolve to free your creativity: starting on Jan. 23, UQÀM starts its new semester of Les Cours du samedi, a panoply of three-hour arts courses for kids, teens and adults until April 12. Prices for a 12-course run range from $160 to $200, and the course subjects include still-life drawing, acrylic painting, working with paper and collage, digital photography and watercolour. Learn more and register now at www.lescoursdusamedi.uqam.ca.
Resolve to eat more spaghetti! Though he does warn against food fads that suggest all you’ve got to do is add one thing to your diet to achieve overall good health, Dr. Joe Schwarcz’s freshly published tome An Apple a Day (HarperCollins) contains some fascinating information about different food properties. Like how tomatoes – especially when cooked – are filled with a compound called lycopene that has been proven to protect from prostate cancer, among other benefits. So boys, take to the sauce!
Resolve to appreciate good things in small packages, like a smaller house, a smaller car, smaller meals and the latest in Drawn & Quarterly’s Petits Livres series, three gorgeous little comics by, respectively, nouveau surrealist C. Von Szombathy, dreamy illustrator Julie Morstad and wordlessly witty comic stripper Guy Delisle. Swing by the D+Q store (211 Bernard W.) and see – you’ll want them all.
Resolve to be entertained, which will be a piece of cake for the next while thanks to the folks at Centaur (453 St-François-Xavier). Starting today and till Jan. 19, it’s their annual Wildside Festival, featuring five cutting-edge performances by Montreal and Canadian independent theatre companies: …And Stockings for the Ladies, by Attila Clemann and Zach Fraser; The Cyclops, by Paul Van Dyck; Jake’s Gift, by Julia Mackey and Dirk Van Stralen; Teaching As You Like It, by TJ Dawe; and The Girl With No Hands, by Talya Rubin and Hour’s own Jodi Essery. Surf to www.centaurtheatre.com for info.
Resolve to hump on hump day! In one of the most credible studies correlating overall health with sexual frequency, Ireland’s Queen’s University tracked the mortality of 1,000 middle-aged men over the course of a decade and found, as published in 1997 in the British Medical Journal, that those who reported the highest frequency of orgasm enjoyed a death rate half that of the others. Frequent sex is also said to improve your sense of smell, overall physical fitness, reduce risk of heart disease, diminish depression, not to mention generate incredible fun! Read Vixen for other sexy resolutions.