Run Away Fast As You Can

Last updated on January 12th, 2021 at 09:01 am

Last Updated: January 12, 2021

The Scintilla Project Logo

1. Talk about a time when you were younger and you embarrassed your parents in public, the one that still shames you.

2. We exert control over ourselves and others in many ways. Talk about a time when you lost that control. This can go beyond the obvious emotional control into things like willpower, tidiness, self-discipline, physical prowess—any time that you felt your autonomy slipping away.

The Scintilla Project’s Day 14 prompts

I wasn’t really that embarrassing as a kid—I asked my Mom about stories where I embarrassed her, and she only came up with a story about visiting an Indian store when I was 4 and complaining about the stink, so not much to tell there.

The real story is the other one, though…

Not exactly done in public, I once tried to run away from home. It was 1987, and I was mad at my mother. Don’t expect me to remember why, though—I was only 4 then. But somewhere inside that child’s mind of mine, I’d had it. I refused to suffer my mother’s tyrannical ways—I was running away.

So, clad in my jammies, I packed my favourite toys and my little brother—I shouldn’t leave him to deal with this injustice, after all—I waited for the perfect opportunity, and around 9 or 10 PM we stole away into the night!

The Master Plan

I had it all figured out. My buddy lived two doors down (I think his name was Jesse), and this was my logic:

  • his parents were nice
  • he had a Sega Master System, which was absent from my life
  • I was sure we’d all get along just fine

So after making the long trek to our next-door neighbour’s next-door neighbour, I knocked on the door, and Jesse’s mom opened it with one of the most confused looks I can ever remember seeing in my life. I promptly explained to her that we were running away and asked whether we could stay there instead.

In the next few minutes, she called my house, my Mom came over in a whirlwind equal parts apologetic worry and embarrassed fury, and my Mom took me home to what was historically one of the worst spankings of my life.

So, lesson learned—there’d be no more running away in the Palmer household. It’s not like I had any money to make it very far, and it didn’t look like anyone else wanted to take care of me, so it just wasn’t the smart play.

I would’ve definitely been the cutest runaway ever, though!

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad


Last updated on January 12th, 2021 at 09:26 am

Last Updated: January 12, 2021

The Scintilla Project Logo

1. Post a photo of yourself from before age 10. Write about what you remember of the day the photo was taken. It may not be a full story—it may just be flashes of event and emotion—but tap into the child you were as much as you can.

2. The saying goes What you don’t know won’t hurt you, but sometimes the opposite is true. Talk about a time when you were hurt by something you didn’t know.

— The Scintilla Project’s Day 13 prompts

I wasn’t always as adventurous as I am today. I grew up a pretty sheltered child, nose in the books, a close-knit group of friends around me, and never doing much that would upset my parents. My diet regularly consisted of chicken, Kraft dinner, and other items that you could find in a generic North American diet.

That is—until I started going to school in downtown Toronto.

A whole new world filled with new experiences, new friends—it was an entirely new chapter of my life where my parents trusted me to navigate it and come out intact.

One of my earliest memories from those days was the first time I ever tried wasabi.

My First Experience with Wasabi. One I’ll Never Forget.

A couple of hand rolls at Maki Maki in Mississauga, ON
All about trying something new!

I remember being out at a sushi restaurant for the first time, and my Asian friends were explaining how it all worked and what many of the ingredients were.

When the food came out, I pointed to the green blob and asked what it was. One friend told me “it’s a candy they give you to cleanse your palate for the sushi—you should try it out!”

And so, popping the entire wad of wasabi into my mouth, I started to suck and chew on it for all of a moment—until I realized that my friends were a bunch of dirty little liars.

It was like flavour exploding in my mouth—in the worst way possible. My eyes started to water, my nose started to burn, I was gasping for relief, and all of my new friends were splitting their sides with laughter. This was not a good start for my studies downtown!

I know what wasabi is now, but I’m still not a heavy user—soy sauce on its own is usually plenty for me!

What you don’t know won’t hurt you and ignorance is bliss. We want to think it’s true, but it’s faulty thinking. Knowledge is power, and the more informed you are, the more opportunities you have available to you.

Getting to know wasabi shockingly might not have been ideal, but knowing the options available to you at any time is always better than going into a situation cold and wondering what’s on the menu.

Think about it.

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

I Once Was Lost, But Now…

Last updated on May 17th, 2021 at 10:57 pm

The Scintilla Project Logo

1. Talk about where you were going the day you got lost. Were you alone? Did you ever get to where you meant to go?

2. What is the longest thing you know by heart (for example, a prayer, speech, commercial jingle, etc.)? Why did you learn it?

— The Scintilla Project’s Day 9 prompts

I’ve been blessed to have a pretty solid sense of direction—I’ll go somewhere and orient myself with the sun’s placement in the sky, landmarks, where the moss is growing on trees (yeah right—I’m a city boy; no way I know that)—generally, I tend to know where I’m going.

But my internal GPS isn’t perfect. There have been times that I’ve gotten ridiculously lost, either due to my ignorance or just rotten luck.

The Wallet Part II: The Evil That Men Do

Last updated on April 6th, 2021 at 02:02 am

A cartoon of a robber stealing bags of money

So following yesterday’s post, this past weekend, I lost my wallet. I didn’t know where it was. I panicked, I looked all over, and in the end, someone had found it and called me at my work number listed on my business cards in the wallet. So all’s well that ends well! Except…

Well, except of course for the fact that he’d found my wallet a full subway stop away from where I’d actually dropped it! I don’t suspect the guy who returned it to me for a second, but I can tell whoever picked it up was going after easy money since they took:

The Wallet Part I: Do the Right Thing

Last updated on March 21st, 2021 at 02:57 am

I’m pretty sure that I’d benefit from a society that didn’t need wallets. For me, it’s an unnatural extension of my body that carries so many of the things I need to function “normally” in this society—so unnatural to me that I misplace it far too often.

Yesterday morning I was primed to leave for work on time—I’d packed everything I’d need for the day, made sure that all my household tasks had been completed—but then I went looking for that little leather folio that partly defines who I am…
…and it was nowhere to be found.

For any of you hyper-organized people out there who’ve never managed to lose a wallet, allow me to describe what happens when you can’t find it.

%d bloggers like this: