i left my heart in hicksville

Hello, friend…

You might have let out a chuckle when you spotted the title of tonight’s blog, and I can’t blame you really, but it’s a place. It’s in the state of New York. It’s the residence of someone I love a lot. I got some sad news today, news I knew I’d be receiving sooner than later (but hoping it would be MUCH MUCH later) but I received it during my shift at the bakery I work at. It wasn’t a place I could yell and punch a bag of flour, really (though ohmygod do I want to do that when I get asked some of the questions I get asked by customers)… and then I had to head off to a meeting for the board of directors for my apartment building (because I’m the Treasurer)… and THEN I had to go to a comedy show and do a bit about a douchebag I met online dating (because I am a single lady, with a plethora of such stories to tell).

And now I’m home, and I have a space to yell my lungs out… but I can’t. I am, however, crying as I write this. Though technically I can blame that on my mascara, which sometimes makes me tear up at the end of a long day. But truthfully, we can all call bullshit on that because the truth is my friend Ray is likely not long for this earth and that is why I am crying. I have written about Ray before and I likely will many more times. I have been listening to U2’s Everlasting Love a number of times tonight.Where life really flows / No One really knows…. His friendship is not one I’ve had for long, about a year really, but knowing where I am now in 2017 and knowing where we both were on September 11, 2001… that our paths crossed 15 years later? Wow. I’m a lucky lady.

So, if you’ll permit me… I just want to address one person in particular right now…

Ray, I tell you this now because I know you’re still here and hopefully Caryn or Taylor will be able to pass on what I told you when I last saw you in April… I love you deeply, and still shake my head at my good fortune that I met you. When we began filming No Responders Left Behind, I had no fucking clue it would lead me to the people I’ve met. One of whom, is you. I am so sorry we won’t have the film finished in time for you, but I know when we do bring it to festivals next year you will have a REALLY good seat at the premiere. We both share a belief that you have to keep telling your stories, if you can tell your story or the story of someone who has passed so their memory is kept alive it’s a good day. Your positive outlook will be on repeat in my head for the rest of my life. When I’m down about x, y or z… when someone asks me “What’s in a chocolate chip cookie?”, I will take a breath and mutter ‘Chocolate and cookie’ only to myself, as I tell them with a smile what’s in… (sigh)… a chocolate chip cookie…. THE POINT IS, Ray. I will miss you greatly. But I’m here to keep telling your story, and the stories of your fellow First Responders. I will do that, and promise you that. Thank you for helping me find my voice as a filmmaker and as a storyteller. xo, Kelly.

Because my journey for this documentary started by my watching The Daily Show, I’ll end things tonight with my Moment of Zen. It’s from when we wrapped our first block of filming in May 2016… Ray is the dude in the center… rocking the FDNY uniform.

xo.

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online dating is fun!

Hello, friend…

Not gonna lie, this GIF is a pretty accurate description of my feelings towards online dating these days:

 

 

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….. (clunk)

Oh. I’ll be fine. 🙂

xo.

for the benefit of mr. ray

Hello, friend…

I found as I woke up this morning not 100% certain of what happened the night before. It’s not that the previous night was a booze filled Saturday night, but rather… well. I’ll try to explain. As I’ve alluded to at times, I’m making a documentary (my first!) and about a year ago now we started filming (we being my amazing core team of Rob, Kristine, Jaime & Nic – and other awesome souls along the way). I’ve traveled with them over the year, as we follow this unbelievable man named John Feal (a 9/11 Responder and the president of the FealGood Foundation). In the course of getting to know John, we’ve gotten to know some phenomenal men & women, First Responders and their families. It has brought so much love into my life, this horrible horrible event has brought proverbial flowers growing through cracks in cement… I’ve gotten to know people who need more help now than you could possibly imagine because of what they did that day in September.

And on Saturday I found myself at a pub in a part of Long Island I’d never been to before, amongst more people than you could count, celebrating the sunshine that is a beloved 9/11 First Responder named Ray Pfeifer. For the first time, I was there without my core crew but with a new friend, my camera guy Jimmy… and we just soaked in all this love. Ray has Cancer, he’s been kicking its ass since 2009 when he (& a lot of 9/11 Responders, actually) learned of their diagnosis and it’s relation to Sept. 11th. But as I say, this is my first documentary and I came into it so very accidentally (watching the Daily Show & sending a Tweet). I began following John because I was astounded to learn of what he’s been doing and continues to do for his fellow Responders. And little by little, trust was granted and given, and they have welcomed us into their community.

As photos flashed all through the venue, it struck me that we have been woven into the fabric with our little documentary that could. I saw pictures of myself, our director Rob, Jaime… I saw us flashing amongst these photos of years previous as the guys lobbied in Washington… and amongst all of their history was us.

Short of what I was wearing on 9/11, I remember almost everything about that day. I remember how scared I was as I watched the TV with co-workers at the CBC in Toronto. There is no way on Earth I could have foreseen myself crossing paths with people like John and Ray. But it’s an example of the good that has come out of the horrors they experienced, and I witnessed. There has been so much bad, but there has been so much good too. But it’s come at a cost, and I’m aware of that.

With our little film, I’m trying to throw as much good as I can into the world. The world needs it, stories of good hope and people doing the right thing simply because the right thing needs to be done. For as hard of a time as I’m having with finding love, for the mess I’m making of that (though yes, I know it makes for “good material for my stand-up”)… the event yesterday reminded me that I’m helping to tell stories that need to be told. And that is a good thing.

I wish so much I could make Ray’s Cancer go away.  I wish I could bring back my dear James & my friend Ana-Alecia who lost their fights to Cancer, but I cannot. But I can help by telling stories.

I don’t know what I’m really trying to say here tonight. What point it was to post this, except that … well… we all have stories to tell. YOU have a story to tell. So you should go tell it. Because by speaking up, it could help someone. Jon Stewart spoke up on The Daily Show, and it moved me to speak up on social media and offer help to strangers. Who are now my friends.

xo.

sugar & spice

Hello, friend…

I am hours into my 39th year. I am amazed that my 30s have gone by as quickly as they have. 10 years ago, I fretted about turning 30 and worried that I wasn’t where I should be in life and I should be more of an adult (even though at the time I was a homeowner) etc etc etc.

Last night I did an open mic at a long-established open mic in the city, sitting with my joke book and slice of pie (I didn’t bring pie with me- it was being offered to the comics) and catching up with an old friend who couldn’t quite figure out what happened to me. “When I saw you last you were quiet, and working at CBC TV…” he recalled, “and now you’re here telling jokes?!” My friend was happy to see me, don’t get me wrong, but he was also kind of confused. And I get it, the Kelly he knew before would NEVER have done stand-up. She NEVER would have had tattoos.

So here I am, 10 years later, seeing 40 on the horizon. I’m more certain of myself than ever before. I 100% never could have told jokes to strangers when I was 29. As much as I’ve always wanted tattoos, I was prevented from getting them sooner because it didn’t fit the image people had of me.

It’s taken time to find my footing. I’m still off-balance, but I have perfected my fall! I get up quickly. I dust myself off.

While yes, I’m more aware of time than ever before… and yes, I have days where I feel like I knew more then than I do now… I’m also aware now more than ever that things will happen when they are meant to.  My life is filled with things I NEVER DREAMED COULD  ACTUALLY HAPPEN. It’s kind of nuts.

So… my unsolicited advice? Live each day to the absolute fullest because there are SO many places to go. Trust that you’ll be okay. You’ll make mistakes because you’re supposed to make mistakes.

 

xo.

‪+1 (416) 839-8810‬ 20150131_172313 (That’s me waiting to take your call, 1979/1980)

 

 

 

can i get you a beer..?

Hello, friend…

What a day it’s been… I have learned that there is a… wait for it… GIRL GUIDE COOKIE BEER!!!

http://www.eater.com/2017/3/22/15012608/girl-scout-cookie-flavored-beer-is-an-actual-thing

But in all seriousness, today my latest essay for Hello Giggles was published and the feedback I’ve been getting on it fills my heart with SUCH joy. I took a risk with this essay, or at least I think I did, in admitting that I don’t want children. I’m days away from my 39th birthday. I’ve been fielding the “do you think about having children?” questions for YEARS now and I think the only thing I’ve perfected is how I deflect the question. But owning the fact that I am okay with not having the title of Mom, owning that I am HAPPY in my life and BLESSED that I get to do what I do… that is something to celebrate. I’m happy.  That is a good thing!

Hearing today from women who have offered thanks for putting into words what they could not, for giving them permission to feel as they do for not wanting to become a parent… all of this just shows how important it is to tell YOUR story. I shared mine and gave comfort and confidence to women I’ve never met. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

So here is the article… grab a cookie beer and settle in. I offer a cheers to YOU, friend.

http://hellogiggles.com/why-i-dont-need-motherhood-to-be-a-fulfilled-woman/

 

xo.

glasses

Hello, friend…

I am feeling the sting tonight of having met someone recently, but learning he has a lady after that feeling of “OOH! I like you!!” got settled into my belly rather nicely. In the words of one Charlie Brown, “good grief”. Once again, like Charlie, I’ve missed the football and landed on my back in pain. (The ego taking the brunt of the bruising.) But the GOOD part of it all is that I have made an awesome new friend and I truly mean that! I’m sad he’s not single, but I’m definitely glad we’ve met. He’s the coolest guy.

So! Here I am back to that game of trying to figure out which box is covering the baseball. (Occasionally, a drunk homeless guy is under one of the boxes but he tells me I’m pretty & that gives me enough pep in my step to keep looking.)

This weekend, as I sat in the waiting room of a tattoo shop in Toronto, across from me sat a guy and a girl who I thought were a couple given the body language but it soon became clear he was there to be a good friend and support her as she got tattoo number one. I was trying not to listen too closely to their conversation, but at one point she talked about her boyfriend and how “he challenged her”, but “in a good way, it’s good stress”. I wanted to ask her, “Do you really want that, though?” And I also thought of “SO WHY ISN’T HE HERE INSTEAD OF THAT GUY SITTING NEXT TO YOU WHO CLEARLY IS INTO YOU!?”

I’m guilty of it, not seeing something that was CLEARLY there, until it was too late. Or telling myself “it’s not SO bad with him” when really, I deserved better. My proverbial glasses weren’t on or, I was wearing those damn rose-coloured ones. (long sigh) ANYWAY. I hope that girl survived her first tattoo, and I keep hoping that one day I’ll finally kick that damn football.

xo.

KAZ

 

 

… a little bit of magic

Hello, friend…

I’m just home from a really great night. I did some stand-up at a venue I’d never been at before and the place was packed and friends were there… and there was some super fun karaoke times afterwards. The simple fact that I get to go and tell jokes is something I beam over. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE stand-up. I feel my nerves go up to a level I cannot describe as I’m being introduced and then I get to the mic, and I feel like I’m home.

I feel at home on stage, just me with a mic, telling jokes.

I don’t think I could have predicted EVER saying that 20 years ago, when I was at the bar next door to the venue I was at tonight.

20 years ago, I headed over to Toronto’s famed McVeigh’s for the first time with my dear James for a pint. I’d never had Guinness before, but James didn’t need to know that. But that night was magic… we talked about EVERYTHING, we confessed having feelings for each other. We kissed for the first time in a corner of the basement. That night I fell in love with James, and Guinness and Van Morrison.

As you know, if you follow my stories, James has been gone for just about a year now. Tonight, as I left the club, after a girl power inspired of No Scrubs with my friends- I was smiling as I do and looked at McVeigh’s and saw James and I that night 21 years ago saying our good-nights. Or trying to. 😉 I kept walking and then completely caught my breath… because…

When James was getting really, really sick we talked. And I decided with my love being so sick, he couldn’t do all he wanted to do so… since I had been thinking about doing stand-up for a good year at that point, I decided to jump and I asked friends if I could do a set at their show. They said Yes.

Something I now love to do SO MUCH came from my pain of knowing he wasn’t well. So James… thank you for pushing me. You always knew I could do things I never thought I could do. Thank you so fucking much.

I’m home and it’s 2am and I’m eating McDonald’s and my throat hurts from laughing and singing off-key and I’m so happy.

xo.