Category Archives: Cartoons

Santa’s Village

Twas the day before Christmas and I’m going to tell you a story. So gather your cats and settle in.

One year just before Christmas when I was about 7 or 8, my mom announced she was going to take me and my friend Steph to Santa’s Village for the day.

Santa’s Village is a theme park in Bracebridge, Ontario, and it is exactly how it sounds. It is a Christmas amusement park. Santa is there, and I assume all his elves, Mrs. Claus, Christmas-themed rides, etc. In Bracebridge it’s a pretty big deal.

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And obviously if you’re a kid it is very exciting. I was already off the charts excited for Christmas, so add in Santa and Christmas rides and I was losing my mind. I had seen the Santa’s Village commercial. It sounded like a good time and I was PUMPED.

We piled into the minivan ready for our adventure.

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It was about a two and half hour drive from where we lived so we spent the trip singing Christmas carols and excitedly exclaiming what we were going to do when we arrived at Santa’s village. And what we were going to ask Santa for when we saw him.

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Now, it must be noted that this was before the internet existed, so one could not simply Google Santa’s Village to plan a trip. My mom had just heard about it and wanted to take us. She may have questioned this decision during the long drive there…but the trip was impromptu. My mom was flying by the seat of her pants.

We passed by the many signs leading the way to Santa’s Village, getting more excited the closer we got. Finally, we arrived. And this is what we saw.

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Santa’s Village is only open in the summer. The Christmas theme park isn’t actually open at Christmas. It was a total National Lampoon’s Vacation moment. We drove all that way only to find it closed, just like Wally’s World. I will never forget the feeling of disappointment. My mom was absolutely devastated for us. What kind of Santa’s Village isn’t open during Christmas?! WHO CARES ABOUT SANTA IN JULY?! It ruined Santa’s Village for me and to this day I still haven’t been (but I hear it’s crappy and rundown now anyway).

So what were we to do? Rather than break in and go on the rides, my mom took us to the dollar store, gave us $10 each and let us go crazy in there. It obviously wasn’t as good as seeing Santa, but it was still a good time. And I should mention that while not funny at the time, my mom and I think this is hilarious now.

The End.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! I hope you have a great holiday with your families and friends!

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Meanwhile, in the Executive Office of the President…

Last week I was checking out my blog stats after I posted about Evan being the best ever, and I happened to notice this:

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So naturally, this is what I assume is happening over at the White House.

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PS – I don’t mean to call anyone out! We all read blogs at work, so don’t be afraid and stop reading. It just made me laugh.

PPS – I drew the cartoon of Obama and his advisor, but the office background is from here.

Racquetball

Right next to our condo building (literally almost attached to it) there is quite a large rec centre with two cardio rooms, a huge weights room, an Olympic-sized pool (which is currently empty but they are fixing it and should be opening it soon), and a bunch of other good stuff. It’s free for the residents of our building and two other buildings nearby to use (maintenance, etc. is included in condo fees). I know, it is a huge score. It’s pretty awesome and super convenient.

I cancelled my Goodlife membership when I moved because of this gym, but I haven’t mentioned it yet because Sunday was the first time I have set foot in there. Whoops. Not like my Goodlife membership was getting much use either. I hope to step it up now that things at work are simmering down a bit.

Anyway, there also happen to be racquetball courts in the rec centre, and Evan happens to love racquetball. His 60-year-old best friend Bernie taught him how to play a few years ago while he was living in Alberta, and he has loved it since. I have never played before, but Evan has decided that he wants to play with me so he is taking it upon himself to teach me.

I’m pretty uncoordinated, and sports with balls have never been my forte. I love beach volleyball and I used to play tennis a bit (not well), but that is really the extent of my experience with ball sports. Well, I played on a dodgeball team when I was in college, but I am not sure that counts.

What I’m getting at here is that I am not very athletic. I’m pretty clumsy, and it’s pretty obvious when you watch me play a sport.

Here is what I think I look like while I’m playing racquetball:

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Just swooping in like a graceful ballerina

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Successfully diving for those impossible low shots

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Killer backhand.

And here is what I actually look like:

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Twirling on one foot as the ball flies over my head.

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Accidentally hitting the ball with my hand and not the actual racquet that is SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR HITTING THE BALL.

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Actually successfully hitting the ball…

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Directly into the side of Evan’s face.

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Don’t worry, I only hit him once. And it was like five minutes into my first time playing ever. He’s fine. He’s a good sport.

So, I’m not great. But I am loving it! We played three nights this week and I have been getting better every time (‘m exaggerating slightly in the pictures above, I’m actually not horrible, though I really did hit Evan in the face, and I really did hit the ball with my hand instead of the racquet). Last night I actually came close to beating Evan, but he got me 15-12. It’s the closest I’ve come to winning. But I will beat him.

It’s a really fast-paced game and I like how it is a crazy good workout (don’t believe me? watch this video, it’s nuts), but you don’t even realize you’re working out until you’ve stopped. It’s the type of active that is my favourite. You sprint, sprint, sprint, break. Sprint, sprint, break. Kind of like HIIT, but actually fun.

Anyway, that’s all, I’m learning how to play racquetball and it’s a good time!

The Time I Was Trapped in a Cemetery

Hey, did I ever tell you guys about the time I got trapped in a cemetery? Nope, because it was two nights ago.

I’ve been trying to keep up with the running thing lately, and one place I really enjoy running is the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. It’s beautiful, really well maintained, and there are 14km of paved trails in there. It’s a designated Natural Historic Site of Canada, and there are statues, fountains, botanical gardens, and the “forest of memories.” Some parts of it are truly stunning, and it is the final resting place of many well-known Canadians, including William Lyon Mackenzie King and the Eaton’s.

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Eaton family crypt

So running in there is very interesting. Nearly my entire family on my mom’s side is buried in there as well, including my grandma and her parents, and their parents.

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Mom, this picture is for you!

Which was a weird coincidence that I discovered after I started running in there.

Anyway, to access the cemetery you can enter from three pedestrian entrances, or six gates connected to Yonge St, Mount Pleasant, or Bayview. To keep the hooligans out at night, these are all closed and padlocked, and the rest of the cemetery is surrounded by a tall, steel fence. With spikes.

I have run in there many times over the past year, and during the summer they usually close the gates around 9pm.

On Monday I hit up the cemetery a bit after 8pm and all was going well running-wise. Well, besides being a sweaty mess because it was insanely hot. After about half an hour I passed one of the gates on the furthest side of the cemetery from where I entered and I noticed it was locked. I thought it was weird, but I don’t ever use that gate so I thought it may have been unpopular and closed early. I kept running to the gate that I was planning on exiting from, while noting that I hadn’t seen anyone in a while and that was odd because usually the cemetery is busy with walkers/runners and cyclists. That gate too was locked. I ran to the gate I came in from. Locked. Uh oh.

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“What am I gonna do?” – I am saying this to myself in the voice we use to talk to my friend Dawn’s dog.

This was not a good sign. As much as I love the cemetery, it was starting to get dark and I did not want to spend the night in there (um, ghosts?!). But I figured I would get out somehow. I didn’t start really worrying until I came across a young couple who told me that if all the gates were locked we were probably stuck in there.

Awesome. Around that time, an older man on a bike rode past and said he was going to go check out the main gate and report back. We (the couple and I) followed The Biker on foot, and by the time we got to the main gate (locked), he had already hopped the fence with his bike and was on the other side on the street.

The fence was steel and taller than me. I can barely do a pushup with my knees down, so pulling myself up and over it would have been an impossible task with my lack of upper body strength. However, there was a brick pillar on the main gate, and a spot for a foothold on that pillar halfway up the fence. The only problem was at that spot there were giant steel spikes (to prevent people from climbing).

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It looked like this

The Biker on the other side of the fence pointed to the spot on the fence beside the pillar and yelled “HERE! You have to climb here!” and I didn’t see another option, so I stepped onto the pillar and began to pull myself over the fence. And here is how that went:

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And then The Biker appeared in front of me.

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I protested.

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I actually said this.

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So, I did.

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I managed to not impale myself or fall on my face, and I made it down safely. I don’t even think The Biker hurt his back too badly.

This all happened on a very busy street, so by this point a few people had gathered around (one other guy actually grabbed my hands at the last second to help me down), so that was not embarrassing at all. The couple was still inside the cemetery watching the whole thing, and when they saw my awkward fence jump, they decided to turn around and find somewhere easier to climb out. Kind of wish I stayed and went with them.

So what do you say to the complete stranger whose head you just wrapped your sweaty legs around? I didn’t know.

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Seemed appropriate. And then I walked home.

And that is the story of the time I got trapped in a cemetery.

Rocky the Attack Cat

So, I love cats. I have always loved cats, my family has always owned cats, and you may remember that I was catsitting for two separate kitties over the Christmas holidays. And of course I love my spry elder kitty Winnie.

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Love her a lot.

But it is a little bit surprising that I love cats so much, because I had a very traumatic experience when I was quite young involving my family’s first cat, Rocky.

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He liked to photobomb me.

Rocky was not exactly the friendliest kitty. I’m surprised he is letting me pick him up in the above photo because generally Rocky was not a fan of that. Sometimes he would sit near me and allow me to pet him, but if I tried to take our snuggling to the next level he would to get grumpy and make a getaway. Fair enough, I was young so sometimes I was a bit of a dick to him. It is understandable that I was not his favourite. Winnie still does not particularly like children because of how horrible my brother was to her when he was younger. Usually I let Rocky do his own thing and didn’t bother him too badly.

Unless I had a friend over and I wanted to show off.

One day when I was about three, my childhood friends Amanda and Chad were over, and Chad and I discovered how much fun it was to harass Rocky.

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We chased him around the house for the entire morning. He would try to hide from us, but wherever he went, we would find him.

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Rocky would jump on top of the counter thinking it was too tall for us to be able to reach him, but we would get him.

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He would hide under my parents bed to get away from us, but of course we would find him.

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We played this game for a couple of hours. We would find Rocky, rough him up a little bit, he would run away, we would find him again, and repeat. Rocky got progressively more annoyed. Eventually we became bored with the harass-the-cat game and went off to play by ourselves. Rocky continued hiding.

That afternoon, hours after the Rocky-harass-fest, my mom asked me if I could go down to the basement to get a can of apple juice out of the cold cellar for snack time.

No problem. I loved apple juice. I started to make my way down the stairs to the basement.

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But as I was going down the stairs, I slipped.

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I lost my footing and I fell the last three steps down to the basement floor, thumping very loudly the whole way.

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Rocky was still hiding from us, and his hiding spot of choice was the closet under the stairs. When Rocky heard me thumping on the stairs as I was falling, he assumed I was coming to get him. But Rocky had had enough and he was not going to take it. He decided to seek revenge.

Before I could get up, Rocky leaped out of the closet and onto my face.

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He scratched me, jumped off me, and ran away to hide again.

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Attacked.

He sliced me just under my nose with his front claw, all the way to my mouth. All I remember is lying on the basement floor while my mom’s best friend held a green J Cloth to my face to try and stop the bleeding. There was massive amounts of blood. Just blood everywhere.

I had to go to the emergency room, and in the end I needed to get three stitches.

Rocky lived on to have a long and amazing cat life. But he left his legacy on my face forever.

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It’s fairly faint, but it is there. Of course, this was my own fault for bothering Rocky so badly. He was really just trying to protect himself.

So the moral of this story is, don’t harass cats. They will try to claw your face off.

And then I drew more stuff

As per Gracie’s request…

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I tried…

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Now that’s just silly.

And drawing stuff is time consuming. I really enjoy it and wish I could do it all day long, but sadly I cannot. I think I’m just going to pepper your requests in once a week or so with my regular posts. I’ll get ’em done, not to worry!