Why reading is magical

The one thing that I could not live without in this world is reading. I love reading so much its pathetic. Sometimes my husband will walk into the living room with me engrossed in a book and it takes THREE times saying my name to garner my attention.

It’s because books are magical. That is a fact. Sometimes when I see someone starting a book I’ve read already, I get this feeling like, “wow I wish I was reading these all for the first time.” It started when I was very young. My dad would leave picture books for me to find as I sat like a lazy lump because I refused to crawl. I loved them.



I remember bringing out the giant antique dictionaries we had and telling my babysitter that I could read them super fast in my head. She didn’t believe me and insisted I read it out loud which I did –a little slow. Whatever- victory!

The only time that I recall reading ever getting me in trouble was when my cool older cousin *Mary (*names changed to protect the innocent) came to stay with us for the summer. I think I was nine or ten and she was entering 20’s. Needless to say, I obviously thought she was the coolest person EVER. I wanted her to hang out with me CONSTANTLY.

Surprisingly, a hip 20-year-old and a tomboyish 8-year-old have little in common. I remember begging her to take me with her and her cool friends to see “Village of the Damned” the one about those evil kids that control thoughts? Yeah, she said no. Shocking. I saw her leave, her long hair flowing behind her and remembered thinking, “Man, I wonder what it’s like being her.”

So one day with Mary in the shower, I figured I had my chance to see what she was all about. Years of learning about mysteries from my dad had taught me tricks about being sleuth-like. Unfortunately staying at the scene of the crime we apparently hadn’t been gone over yet.

Yep, I found her diary. And I was enthralled.


So enthralled that I didn’t hear her return from her shower.


I have never been so quick in my life, I threw the diary up in the air, muttered sorry as I streamed past an irate Mary and never looked back.


Now, as you are probably aware finding a great book brings me a certain level of joy. Going into Powell’s Book store in Portland, OR changed my life for the better. I remember being so excited at this massive new and used book store that I threw up in my mouth a little. Every once in a while I have a series or a specific book I want and Powell’s usually has them or a good substitute. You guys, they have a Horror: Short Fiction SECTION. Like, a giant bookshelf. So great.

This year is the 80’s/90’s series “The Year’s Best Horror Stories” edited by Karl Wagner. EVERY time I go into a book store I look for them. Having a new one of those in my hands is something akin to pure anticipatory joy. The best thing about books is that I have been able to find new and exciting books that usually live up to my expectations.

So little in my real life lives up to its expectations that a good book really changes my worldview.

I remember the first time ordering a brand new book though- through the Scholastic book program. (I think it was Scholastic but it may have been something similar) They brought flyers to our classes with photos of the book titles and a short description beside it.


I looked through them all a million times, but the one that I kept coming back to was “The Haunted Underwear” by Janet Bloss. And the summary was something like this:

When underwear start showing up all over the house in weird places, Kelly thinks it is the dumb tricks of her brother. But all she knows for sure it what she sees – is her brother to blame or is this a case of… Haunted Underwear?
You don’t need to be a genius to know I wanted this book.

You also have to know that money was not something we tossed around at my house. I didn’t have an allowance; I didn’t get money for good grades. I would ask my parents for something and was usually greeted with a, “Sorry, no.” and I would shrug my shoulders and have to be okay with it.

So when I brought home that Scholastic form home, I knew I needed to be aggressive.


And my parents shocked me.


It was happening. My parents said yes – My father was so big on my reading that he was willing to put out the cash to get me a brand new book. “You can never have enough good food or good books” he used to say. My belly and love for reading is a daily reminder that I live by this adage to this day.

My very own new book. And I knew exactly which book I wanted! The Haunted Underwear. My mom definitely tried to talk me out of it a few times and suggested books with fewer possessed undergarments but I could not be swayed. And so the order was placed and I waited until the blessed day it arrived, covered in clear wrap and waiting to be read.


It was the best book my grade 2 self ever read. And it showed me the magic of reading, of having a plot twist, of a mystery needing to be solved. I was in the second grade, and I remembered everything about that book when I described it to my husband last night. That’s saying something.


And books have the amazing ability to have a character that you connect with. For me it was Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye (a cliché I know) when I was 15 years old. But when I was twelve, I decided that I was tired of my humdrum life. I wanted adventure. This is partly to blame from books. I specifically wanted to sneak in and stay overnight in The Metropolitan Museum of Art like Claudia in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.


Also I was full of teen angst and thought my parents were lame. So I gathered my friends and hatched a plan.


A little while later I was in my room, considering what I would pack for my long trip when my dad knocked on my door. He held out a small book.


I remember thinking, “He knows.”



And looking into my dad’s non-angry, non-judgmental face and broke down and told him everything. He said he knew and that books sometimes reach children in ways that parents sometimes couldn’t. And so we talked forever about what was bothering me and why I wanted to run away. He told me about all the runaways he came into contact with since he was a cop. We talked about safety and how he knew how I felt but that he wanted to keep me safe as long as he could.
I didn’t even have to read the book, the lesson had been learned. I would always have someone to talk to that wouldn’t judge me but would try to show me different points of view. He always did that.







Reading is magical. Start early with your kids. If you like reading silly books – KEEP reading them! If you like YA fiction and you’re 50 – who CARES?! You’re reading! You are transporting yourself to another world and expanding your mind. There is nothing wrong with that.


This blog entry is dedicated to my amazing Dad; Jim Szekeres.
The man who showed me the magic of reading.
Happy Early Father’s Day.
I miss you tons.

Why you shouldn’t bury your change

I have always loved getting free stuff. I got a free slurpee cup from 7-11 once and could not stop talking about it for months afterwards. Free stuff is one of the best things in the world – it’s the universe smiling upon you.
But you know what’s even better when you’re a kid? Buying stuff yourself. The FREEDOM of saying, “I want that, here is some shiny crap in return.”
You get that money in your hot little hands and you can buy WHATEVER you want! Candy? Check! Toys? Check! When I found a five dollar bill on vacation once, I nearly lost it in excitement. I literally RAN over to the “Sugar Shack” as it was known and bought a boatload of candy (or what constituted a boatload when I was younger) to share with my brothers.
I was a HERO.
But, at the tender age of nine, I had decided that money was what made this world go around. Money was where it was at. And at nine, I had none. My family didn’t do allowance, you did what mom and dad asked you to and once in a while unrelated to what chores you did, sometimes they bought you stuff. It was a good deal and I never remember going without.
But one day, sitting by my doll house I distinctly remember wanting a candy and feeling powerless because, well, they cost money. I knew my Mom and Dad wouldn’t fund this sugar-laden treat more than once a month. But it would seem, fate intervened.
I came downstairs to grab a glass of water when I heard my Mom moving around in the kitchen and the unmistakable sound of coins. COINS = MONEY! I peered around the corner to see Mom tossing in her loose change into this small, black, cardboard tube we stuck on the lower shelf of our kitchen.

I always just thought it was decoration. When she vacated the kitchen, I rushed over to said tube and saw to my surprise and delight that it was FILLED with change! Shiny quarters, dimes and nickels – delightfully copper colored pennies. All I could see when I looked into that thing was: CANDY.

Specifically, the penny candy you got at “Macs” which if you spell it backwards is Scam. Is this a coincidence? I do not think so. Anyway, Macs = penny candy. Which in no world cost a penny, everything was at least a nickel. The really good stuff was a dime. And the rich stuff was a quarter each. When I looked into that tube, all I saw was all the penny candy I could eat and more!

I want to tell you that I had a crisis of conscience. I want to tell you that an angel and a devil sat on each of my shoulders and I weighed the decision thoroughly before eventually deciding to do the right thing.
But if I had, let’s face it, this blog wouldn’t exist.
The moment I knew my Mom had gone into the backyard, I rushed over to the tube and stuck my greedy hand into it. Even as a child I knew that I couldn’t steal all this money at once. I had to be crafty. I had to bide my time. (This is how I know it was devious. The forethought).So over a course of a month, I took small handfuls of change from that tube, stole away to the front yard of my house and buried it in a hole beside my favorite tree. Seriously, I actually DID that.




Then I would sit in my room, pretending to play Barbie’s with my giant dollhouse and secretly just scheme on the next time I would steal from the tube. Would it be Wednesday? No, I would wait until Mom went to mow the lawn. Dad would be at work. It was perfect. Then I would smile a Grinch-like smile and wait until my next covert operation.

I remember the thrill of taking this money. I remember the thrum of my heart in my chest as I scrambled with those coins (always replacing the lid so it didn’t look suspicious) and running to the front yard to bury my treasure.


Now, you’re thinking:
Hey Katelyn, wouldn’t your Mom find it suspicious when you came home with all this candy?”
I had that under control. You see, my brother Matt loved pirates. So much that my Dad made him a pirate ship in a tree. Yes, my parents rocked. And Matt was always going on about pirate treasure. BURIED pirate treasure. I had the scheme all hatched – I would innocently play in the front yard (with my Mom watching of course) and pretend to be playing pirates. I would then unearth this treasure and rush to Macs to buy candy. It was the perfect crime.


Except, you know, it wasn’t…
I went to the tube one afternoon, one of my last planned heists. And just before I could stick a hand into the tube, my Mom and my littlest brother Jon rushed into the room holding a plastic bag full of change.




Yep. My Mom knew all along. She’d watched me over the weeks rushing off, burying the treasure. She saw it all. And she made her move KNOWING that there was no way I could claim the money as my own. I’ll never forget that feeling of being super furious at the situation but feeling utterly powerless because I knew I was in the wrong.



And so yes, I conceded defeat. Either I had to admit the money was STOLEN and get no treats PLUS get grounded and make my brother really sad. Or I could just pretend like my brother found buried treasure and let it go and accept my fate. My Mom was sure to dole out the appropriate punishment.


My mom knew the devastation of the event had hit me at my core. She didn’t even have to move the black tube from its shelf. It sat there until the day we moved from that house and I never touched it again.
Moral of the story: Don’t steal, bury your treasure and think you can unearth it a while later pretending its buried treasure. Someone will always beat you to it.
Oh, and also, just don’t steal.

The Hairy Fairy

I have always been hairy.
From the time of my birth, when I met the world with a fine dark down that covered my body and my mother exclaimed “It looks like I gave birth to a monkey!” I have always struggled with being a hairy little gremlin.
Up until the age of 6, I didn’t mind much. I barely even registered that I was different from any other girl my age. But sometime around the age of 7, as I prayed for a Barbie dream house and the ability to run faster than the grade four’s, The Hairy Fairy paid me a visit.
This is him.

I was already fairly hairy, but the Fairy thought I needed a little more. For warmth? For fun? I will never truly understand his motives.





All I know is that one day I woke up, looked down at my arms and realized they were filled with cotton candy textured dark brown hair. I swear to you, looking back, they looked like little clouds on my arms.

My mother assured me this was normal. Every girl looked like this. I didn’t really mind all that much. Who really cared? Not me. I dug me. I thought I was a fairly fun kid and didn’t really worry about outside influences.
Until catechism class.
I sat next to a boy that had behavioral issues. He had no boundaries, he was not limited by social convention or manners. And I remember sitting there, paying attention to my catechism teacher and seeing movement out of the corner of my eye.
It was the boy. And he was reaching over to my desk.

At first I thought he was reaching for a pencil and went to object when his hands rested lightly on my seven-year-old forearm. More precisely – upon the hair that sat there.

I remember how suddenly silent the room got. The teacher seemed to stop teaching, the students all watching at the horror unfolding before them. The entire thing was so painfully intimately embarrassing. I couldn’t even speak, I could only watch as he delicately began to rub my arm, playing with the hair as I would brushing the hair of my dolls.



It was horrendous. And I recall the only thing I could do was catch the boy’s eye and shake my head in silent, “No. You can’t do stuff like that.”
Finally the teacher said something, but not before the giggles and whispers began to sound out around me. I felt my face go a shade of red before ducking my head into my book.
Shame. I had never felt it like this. I felt shaken, vulnerable.
I was different.
And it seemed to only go on from there. At school, I could suddenly hear snatches of conversation about me.


Stuff that I would have ignored suddenly cut me to the core and I went home from the third grade with tear stained cheeks, rushing up to the bathroom and locking the door behind me.

And so in the third grade, I found my mother’s pink plastic razor and decided to shave my body. My legs and my arms and even the little bit that grew on the upper part of my knuckles. Get that awful, disgusting hair off of me. I was a monster.And so I did… except with the lack of dexterity and experience my legs ended up looking like a carved Thanksgiving ham.


I wept, finally dragging myself from the bath and getting dressed.

Being hairy didn’t stop then however. The Hairy Fairy paid me another visit around the age of eleven. I remember sporting a pretty brutal pale yellow upper lip mustache. Why was it pale yellow? Because I bleached it. I remember the horrible acrid smell and the burn.


Then there was the time I got my mom to wax my upper lip for me because I was too chicken. I’m telling you right now, unless your mother works at a salon for a living, do NOT go this route. Because mothers are loving and want to help even when they lack the necessary skills.




Bottom line: When my Mom pulled the wax y strip from above my lip, part of my lip went with it. Yep. It pulled off a bunch of skin, leaving me (inexplicably still hairy) and with a gash in my mouth that would appear to be a cold sore for weeks.

I’m older now, and I wish I could tell you that I’m hairy and fancy free, but I’m not. I still like the feeling of smooth arms and upper lip. I love shaving my legs and slipping in between bed sheets at night. The fundamental difference is that I do those things now because I like to do them. I like how I feel. I don’t do them because of others expectations. And some days I don’t shave and guess what? That’s cool.
Because you can be hairy, smooth, bumpy, lumpy whatever- it doesn’t make you less of a woman. And I wish I would have known that how other’s perceive me is not how I should EVER define myself. I wish I could go back to that grade three girl and tell her, “Chill dude. It’s hair. There are so many things you’re going to have to worry and fret about as you grow up. Just enjoy being you. Go back to loving yourself.”
Girls, woman, for the love of God, please just love yourselves. I implore you. Woman teach your daughters, nieces, friends, loved ones that being a woman is more than appearance. And to all the kids out there- BE KIDS. Stop worrying about looking like the women in magazines – the women in the magazines don’t even look like that!

And if there are young man, middle aged men, any men who fear the same things and read this blog – who want to shave their chests to look like the men in movies – its your choice. Do what you want. Not what the media says is cool. I know for me personally, a man with chest hair is more than delightful to behold.
Life is so beautiful and we are on this earth such a short time. Doesn’t it make worrying about a trivial thing like hair seem so silly?


Why the Lunch Police ruined my life

I love lunch. Its actually my favorite meal of the day if I had to choose one. However when I was around eight, I had much better things to do during lunch hour than actually eat. You see, I was a very social creature, and I LOVED school. To be fair, I think I was a nerd; I just wasn’t aware of it.


So much that I didn’t want to waste a minute of it, sitting and eating. My friends and I were always coming up with new, usually inappropriate, things to do during our lunch hour. And usually it seemed there simply was not enough time to eat AND play. So I chose play. Every single time.



Unfortunately, I was not the brightest bulb long term. I just kept bringing my mostly uneaten lunch home day after day.  And my Mom kept seeing it, day after day.



And to my mom’s credit, she tried the old fashioned way of trying to get to me.


However, it fell on deaf ears. Cool stuff happened at school and I was not going to miss out on it. Until one day, I think my Mom lost it.


Seeing that guilt wouldn’t work, my poor mother realized she would have to approach this from another perspective. And then my Mom got a horrible idea. An evil idea. My Mom got a horrible, evil, creative idea.



Yes. My mom told me about the Lunch Police. She told me that a group of people were dedicated to seeing who ate their lunch and reporting back to parents. As my father was a Police Officer – my imagination dreamed up something exactly like this:


If you’re wondering why I grew up to be a neurotic mess – its &*@! like this, people. So for days after, I freaked out. I was convinced these lunch police were around every corner watching me like a hawk. My lunches often went like this.



Then I suppose I got suspicious. I never saw these lunch police folk.

I hadn’t seen any. And they were throwing a wrench into my social life. So I threw caution to the wind and said, forget it. I did what I wanted.




Surely no one saw.



But someone did.


And so I disposed of the evidence. I played it off like nothing happened. I came home with an empty lunch box and went to do my thing but I was stopped upon my arrival at home.



That’s when the Lunch Police became real.

 So until the age of 11, I believed in them. Yep. I believed in the Lunch Police. Oh, I still complained about lunch every now and then, I threw away the odd apple. But there would be my mom, telling me the Lunch Police saw and giving me hard evidence.They were nice enough to inform my mom when I did eat my lunch. I think that’s what sealed it. 



It was frightening. My only solace came in the form of trading. If I wanted to trade something, I had to do it like I was in prison. Covertly, quietly and quickly. I was horrified that every minute was being monitored.


 Little did my mother know that her lies would come crashing down around her.

 So what you should know is that I cannot draw bikes in ms paint. I just can’t. What you should also know is that when I was eleven years old I was obsessed with bike riding. I loved my bike. I also abided by the laws of the road and wore a helmet. But because I was me, it was huge and neon green. I was a spectacle.


 I was told I was not allowed to ride as far as the bowling alley in town. It was too far; traffic too fast. Sometimes I listened to this. But sometimes the wind dictated the day and I would find myself cycling down there at full speed.

 On this particular day, Mrs. R – owner of the Subway NEXT to the bowling alley waved to me.


I felt it courteous to wave back as I continued on my sojourn. I was not prepared for what awaited me on my return.





It had finally crystallized. How could the Lunch Police be monitoring my bike ride? Simple. Mrs. R phoned and told her. How was my Mom finding out when I didn’t eat? My teachers were ratting on me every day my Mom came to pick me up from school!


My mother seemed to mull this over. Maybe she was worried her daughter would live her life believing in the Lunch Police if she didn’t admit. Maybe she was sick of the charade with me. Maybe, just maybe, she regretted telling me about the lunch police.




And because I was a horrible sell-out that loved being in on something that the adults were, this was my immediate response:


And thus, the Lunch Police saga came to an end. Why, you ask? Because if I am anything, I am horrible at keeping secrets.

Why sibling rivalry started young

Are you excited? I have a new installment of


So I have two younger brothers. This first story deals with the middle brother. Matthew.

He is a cool kid, but when I first heard about him…. I was not impressed.

You see as the only child so far, I was living the dream. ALL THE ATTENTION and all the love I could take. So I was fairly self -centered. So when my Mom went into labor, I had other things that required more attention.

All I knew was that my Mom was making weird noises and my dad was leading her to the hospital, leaving me with my aunt and uncle. So a few days I got to go to the hospital and see what the fuss was about.I was less than enthused.

(actual photo of event included at the end of this post.)

Then he came home from the hospital and I was even less than enthused.

Yes. That is a direct quote from my childhood.

And the mild annoyances didn’t stop there. Not only was Matthew loud, sobby, smelly and fragile he also took ALL the attention in the entire world. Plus everything revolved around this little eating and pooping machine. I mean, he was a baby but EVERYTHING he did people had to comment on. And no matter how cute I tried to be in comparison – everything fell short.

(He’s a baby. WHAT IS HE GOING TO DO WITH CANDY!?!?!).

And then one day, my four year old self snapped.

A child can only be pushed so far.

And so one day my Mom heard a thump come from Matt’s room, accompanied by a loud wail. She rushed to see what was going on. What greeted her would cause horror for years to come.

Yes. I had crawled into Matt’s cradle. Pushed him out. Burrowed into his blankets, grabbed his bottle and WAITED for my Mom to discover me so that I could inform her in the most chilling, Children of the Corn voice: “I‘m the baby now.”

I fear for my future children.

As promised actual photo from the event

Interesting… So can we leave him here?

Why I suck at having pets

Let me tell you a story. A story of a beautiful princess called Katelyn. All she EVER wanted to do in the world was make it a better place. And what better way, Katelyn thought, than taking care of all the lost, lonely and sad creatures of the earth? But know what? Katelyn was wrong. She was dead wrong. And here is the story of why I will never be able to independently own a pet.

In the twelfth grade, I went to the petstore as I did every week, just for fun. It was on this fateful perusal however that my eyes fell on the loneliest creature I had ever seen.

A bearded dragon – with half his tail missing. Now, a logical person goes: “Hey, this guy is missing half a tail and looks pissed. Something tells me he’s a hard ass.” but a Katelyn person goes, “Awwwwwwwwwww…..what a sad, bedraggled creature! No one to love it! BUT I WILL!”

And so I phoned my father in Kamloops and BEGGED him to buy this lizard for me. I asked if it could be my graduation present. And of course my dad suffering from divorced-parent-guilt folded immediately.Little did he know he would rue the day.

And so my father came down and bought him for me. He bought the terrarium and the crickets (which, not surprisingly I could not feed him out of fear of actually touching them.) and the heat lamp and we set up a nice little desert climate for my favorite pal.But, little did I know that my lizard – now named the ever creative: “Larry” was carrying a big chip on his shoulder.

So one day when I invited some girlfriends over to meet my latest addition, I didn’t count on him immediately hating me. I thought he would find it in his reptilian heart to love the large, loud creature that had saved him from his previous imprisonment.

Turns out I was wrong.

For as I was showing him off, pointing to him in the terrarium, Larry decided that he was going to show who was boss once and for all.

He bit me. HARD. The little bastard bit me so hard I started bleeding everywhere.

When the screaming had subsided and my friends had left, I contemplated my fate with this lizard. He needed to love me. I needed to make him love me. Oh, I tried. For about six months I tried everything to get that little jerk to love me. But he never did. Everytime I came near him his little beard puffed up and he tried to bite me.

And one night, after he had broken out of his terrarium and bit my ankle, something became quite apparent. He hated me and he was going to kill me. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but some day.

And so I did what any rational, sane person would do.

That’s right. I pawned him off on my brother, expecting Matt to grow weary as well. Except he didn’t. How do I know? Because he and the damn lizards became BEST FRIENDS! The stupid thing sleeps on his pillow at night!

Lesson learned. I should not own lizards.

When I was a fashion superstar!

So, girls can be mean.

This point was never more clear to me than when I was asked to be (read: forced) to do a fashion show. At first when my mom approached me (phrasing it like it was actually a question and not a veiled command) the thought was intriguing.

I would be famous! Child model! Yeah! Who cared that I currently dressed like Blossom and screamed every time someone tried to put mascara on me? I would be the next superstar!

(I should mention, this fashion show was being held in a decrepit Mall in my hometown where only the snazziest of Fields‘-fashionistas would come to watch.)

I tried to make friends with the girls in my group, but as the youngest and the nosiest, they seemed to be too cool for me. Usually during practice I was left alone in the corner looking miserable and wishing I were home playing Barbies.

We had our two sets of clothes given to us. Mine was jeans and an uggo shirt with black boots. Ugly then and surely ugly now. My second set was this strange jumper dress that I sort of dug, and white sneakers that were fun to run in. A few days of practicing looking jovial while walking down a rickety catwalk and we were set for our big unveiling!

We got our makeup done the day of by overzealous mothers looking for their child to be the next big thing.

So after all that we descended the stage.  I walked merrily through the crowd, smiling and acting the part. After that I rushed backstage to change into my second outfit – the jumper/dress and white sneakers. What awaited me… was horror.

Some little weiner face had stolen the shoes! I looked high and low, asked all the people backstage. Some smirked, some claimed they had no idea where they were. I wanted to go Naomi Campbell all over their asses and throw a phone in their face when suddenly heard my name being called onstage.

So I sucked it up and pulled on the boots with the ultra feminine dress. At the time, it looked ridiculously stupid. Nowadays, it probably would have been commonplace. I took the stage, looking miserable as I sulked down the catwalk.

The announcer tried to downplay my downtrodden attitude and merrily announced the brand of dress I was wearing, as well as the brand of the WHITE SNEAKERS I was supposed to be wearing.

In my fury, I felt the need to correct her.

I was never asked to participate in any future fashion shows. And I’m sure this is the sole reason I never pursued modeling.

Oh, that and my short stature and love of potato chips.

The day my father shaved his moustache.

Well gentle readers – it’s been forever, and I apologize. Seems that the blog fairy that normally hits me over the head with inspiring ideas has taken a much needed vacation  – much like I will be, next week! Yep, you heard it right – next week my husband and I will be in Mexico, celebrating our 1st year anniversary! I am very excited as there will be swim up bars, a spider monkey sanctuary, Chichen Itza and more!

But on that note – I realized that with this week being ridiculously busy, I may not get a blog post in before I leave. So, at eleven pm this quiet Monday night (turkey resting happily in my tummy) I decided to go through my blog folder on my computer and see any stories I had started… And found this one! You can play a game as you read – which comics are from when I first started drawing for the blog? And which ones are the ones I added today? 🙂

Anyway, onto the story. It’s called- the day my dad shaved his moustache.

Okay, one thing you need to know about my Dad is that… he is his moustache. As in, neither Tom Selleck, Clark Gable or Ned Flanders was ever so much their moustache as my father. It is part of his visual identity. (I know he looks like Mario, but he isn’t.)

So, when  he decided  to shave it during my seventh year on this Earth, it came as a bit of shock.

And when I say shock, I of course mean that I thought a stranger had broken into my home, killed my father and was wearing his police uniform as some sick joke.

My dad and I always gave hugs before he left for work. But today as this large, naked-faced man stepped towards me, arms outstretched I found myself terrified beyond all rationale. My Mother tried to comfort me using hugs and guilt (the latter of which stuck with me as I was raised Catholic), but even that couldn’t coax me to give my father his farewell goodbye.

I couldn’t understand why she was acting so normal towards this obvious charade of my father.  And so with a dark look of venom shot at him, he left the house under my watchful gaze.

But as he left, I sort of started to feel bad.

I realized, he sort of sounded like my Dad. And aside from the moustache, maybe he even looked like my Dad. And then I realized too late that he in fact, was my dad. And I hadn’t given him kisses or hugs. And that he was going to his dangerous policing job.

About five minutes later, my Mom rushed in after she heard wailing.

That evening couldn’t come fast enough. Finally, my loveable father stepped through the door.

I was still a little wary around him.


The day I swore in front of my Mom.

This story is one of my favourite stories to tell to people, mainly because of the inherent drama of the entire thing.  I figure that’s because my Mom and I are pretty dramatic people. But for you to understand this story, you need a bit of a back story.

When I was eleven, I was going through a phase. A phase where I wore backwards caps and insisted that everyone call me “Kate” NOT EVER “Katelyn”.  I was a miserable, sullen little brat (I figure because my parents were splitting up and I had no other appropriate outlet).

I frequently picked on my brothers and pretended I liked grossly obscene horror movies to seem more tough among other things.

Plus, there exists one family video of us singing in a karaoke booth to “Kokamo” by the Beach Boys. While resplendent in my backwards cap and signature frown, I struggled to get through the lyrics without losing my detached facade. (And yes, if I ever find the video, I will post it.)

With my newfound personality change – I also found myself drawn to things I wasn’t normally. Books that veered from mermaids and Nancy Drew and into darker territory. It was there that I actually read my first swear word.

And everything was fine. My covert swearing on the schoolyard and random lined pages filled with obscenity was not an issue.

Until I got reckless.

You know that moment  before the storm? Where everything gets really static and quiet and you get this feeling in the core of your gut where you KNOW something bad is going down? As soon as that swear word exited my lips, that is precisely how I felt.

At that moment I knew one thing; I was going to have to run.


I was going to have to speed up the stairs with all the strength my poor little body could manage.

About halfway up the stairs I made the ultimate mistake and looked behind me.She was there. Looking like some demon dinosaur, screaming and ready to kill me.

I could see the light of the upstairs shining with hope. I reached a hand forward, praying that I could escape, but then I felt a cold, claw-like grasp around my ankle.

I thought I could escape her grasp, but it proved fruitless. And so I did what one does when accosted by a frightening beast and played dead.

If only it had been that easy.

I would like to just comment a.) my mom is awesome and I can think of maybe three times I was paddled with the wooden spoon of horror, so please don’t think I was raised by some draconian monster. b.) After that, ‘Kate’ and her sullen apathy went the way of my backwards cap – and has never returned.

And just a shout out to those who have submitted your photos for the great advertising contest! You’re doing AWESOME!! And I will include some photos that you’ve submitted in the next post!

When I wanted to be a vampire bunny.

Hey, I have been doing as many updates as possible for the last bit because I am going away on vacation on Friday and will not return until the following Saturday so there will be no updates. BECAUSE I’LL BE ON VACATION. Sweet, sweet bliss. I am going to read until I get sick of- okay, that’s not possible. But it’s going to be a welcome reprieve!

But, on with the story.

Okay, I went through a lot of weird phases as a kid. Wanting to be a mermaid, a gargoyle (my dad made me wings and…well, that’s another story) and a myriad of other things. For a while, I was pretty sure I was going to be a wizard for a career.  But one that I hold near to dear as a coming of age tale, is when I went through the stage of wanting to be a vampire bunny named Bunnicula.

It all started at the tender age of five, when my Dad brought home a book for me called Bunnicula. If you haven’t read it, DO IT. Even though it’s a kid’s book, it’s amazing. Even the movie is amazing, even if it deviates from the book. Just… love it.

I remember be rapt at the story, thinking how neat it would be to be such a sly, scary creature.

And so what 5-year-old wants to be their boring old 5-year-old self? I sure didn’t! And the more I wanted to be a vampire bunny, the more it seemed possible. Why, I loved scaring people! Until one day….

(Let’s just put aside the fact that I was a human and obviously not a bunny.)

Other creatures were afraid of Bunnicula because they feared his vampire-ous rage. I needed a new angle. Forget the veggies, I needed something more.

After no victims and no other success, I found my niche. A coffin!

(To be fair, I had snuck down to the party when my parents weren’t looking and hid in the box until the party moved to the room I was in. This was exciting for me. And I giggled the entire time watching stuff go on. Until that d-word drunkenly picked me up.)

Now, if only I could find a cardboard box big enough…