Writing these weekly wrap-ups do more than just help me remember the hijinks I get up to each week — they also keep me well aware of the time that’s trickling through my fingers, and how quickly 2015 will be a foggy memory instead of the current reality. 2016 brings new goals, more family, and while I never know what’s around the corner anymore, I’m sure plenty of opportunities I’d never imagined possible.
Which is all the more reason I need to get this 2015 stuff off of my plate so I can tackle 2016 with a clear head!
Rasslin’ Big Smoke Burger’s “Urban Cowboy” for Hellmann’s Burger Route
I happened over Hellmann’s Burger Route by chance while visiting the Village’s Fresh Burger, surprised that I hadn’t heard of an event spanning more than 30 restaurants across the GTA! This simple discovery changed my November lunch hours, taking me places I usually found too far to visit.
This week saw the first trip (of many) down to the CF Toronto Eaton Centre’s Big Smoke Burger to get my grubby man-sized paws on their Urban Cowboy, which I’m pretty sure is the best fast food burger I’ve ever tasted. No lie — this isn’t even sponsored. I went back another two times to get it, knowing it’d likely be unavailable after November. I waited in line for this burger — Casey Palmer don’t wait in no lines. Too bad it’ll likely be gone by the time you read this ?
Farewell, Urban Cowboy — we knew ye well.
Rockin’ with the Best at the 2015 Govfest!
Public speaking and performance are two things I thoroughly enjoy, but get to practice so very seldom. Other than a myriad of presentations and training sessions at work over subject matter that’d probably put most of you to sleep, I could count the number of times I got up before an audience this year on one hand.
Which is why I was so excited to reprise my role as MC for the Govfest grand finale, a multi-round battle of the bands my organization’s held annually to benefit United Way and Ryan’s Well!
Back when it was smaller and before parenthood was even a concept for me, I used to perform at the event as a singer in The Calamities — a large band that always lived up to its name. It involved a lot of practice sessions in our band leader’s basement and whatever free space we could find, but it made for some fun times — I’ve never forgotten that feeling.
Years later, I’m more homebody than life of the party, my audience usually a two-year-old who finds my antics hilarious — but it was good to see that I’d still got it!
Between a bevvy of horrible puns, a gaggle of goof-ups (that I’d usually smooth over with more horrible puns), and a show that kept well ahead of schedule, the night was hectic in all the right ways, topped off with a kudos from the Secretary of Cabinet himself — or my boss’ boss’ boss’ boss’ boss!
Though he also said there could be a career for me outside of the organization, so who knows what to make of that?
But here’s to the next time I get up in front of the lights — might be sooner than you think!
“Say Hello to my Little Friend!”— Getting Strapped at Stouffville’s Target Sports Canada
An experience we don’t often get in Canada is what it’s like to fire a gun.
In a city where firearms are all but taboo, guns are things that we often see on-screen but never feel with our own hands. I had a brief experience with a shotgun and a rifle while on my boss’ ranch outside of North Bay, but never expected to touch a piece again for the rest of my waking days.
Six months later, I found myself in Stouffville with an AR-15 in hand up at Target Sports Canada, adrenaline rushing through my veins as I decimated the target before me.
But let’s back up a little.
My best friend’s getting married to a woman who I honestly believe is one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met.
My bud and I have been through a lot these past 14 years, and though life changes have made our time running amok on the streets far less frequent than it used to be, the two of them are still some of my favourite people in the world, and I hope to keep them in my life for many years yet.
Which is why it’s such a shame I can’t attend his destination wedding, as it overlaps with the due date for our second child.
That said, I still want to see him off into matrimony in style, wanting to do just as good for him as he did for me back with the 2011 Bachelor Party That We Shall Never Speak of Again — which made it awesome that his soon-to-be brother-in-law already had a plan in the works to make it happen!
Fast forward several weeks, and we surprised my buddy where he rests his head, a mob of guys in his condo’s ground floor ready to snatch him up for an unknown destination. It took a bit to get us where we were going, but everyone eventually wound up in the right place — Target Sports Canada, where we’d get ready to see what shooting hot lead is really about.
Before anything, I’ll say that safety is of paramount importance at Target Sports Canada. After signing our waivers and presenting IDs, they ushered us into a small classroom where our instructor would tell us what’s what. Though my first-person shooter experience wasn’t quite up to par (tip: when anyone asks what you’ve played that isn’t Call of Duty, Golden Eye is not an acceptable answer), just about anyone can understand keeping a weapon level, faced away from everyone, and holding it firmly for maximum support — because that recoil’s no joke.
From the four weapons I tried, the AR-15 assault rifle was a clear favourite — though the most impersonal piece — as I swiftly learned to unload bullets at my target in quick succession without the kickback of a handgun, or the need to pump and reload that slowed me down with a shotgun.
I don’t know if my frail Canadian heart could take another session anytime soon, but it was definitely a rush — almost makes you forget how dangerous guns are and how they tear communities apart in the wrong hands!
So if it’s something you’ve wanted to try, it’s a mere 15 minutes north of Toronto — not as far as you’d think. But I’m not here to glorify gun violence… it’s something I’ve tried and never need to wonder about again; I think I’ve had my fill.
The Week That Was #7 — We Brought Out the Big Guns, Ate Food on Big Buns, and Stood Out on Stage for MAD Fun!
And there you have it — The Week That Was #7, where the #BloggerLife was still pretty calm, but life found enough to keep me on my feet. I had more opportunities than usual to catch up with my fam, with a dinner seeing my grandma off back to Jamaica and an unexpected diner stop with my brothers in the Stouffville trip. The mail came through with some Care Bears & Cousins swag from Netflix Canada and a FitBit Flex I’d won from Buzz Bishop’s DadCamp blog. Little Man keeps on growing, getting into all sorts of mischief with the construction set my brother gave him as a belated birthday gift, and all in all… the beat goes on.
As for me, there’s no end to the to-do lists in Casa de Palmer, and they’re not about to finish themselves. I hope y’all are enjoying yourselves as we put 2015 to rest, and I’ll catch you on next week’s installment!
Until the next,