Tag Archives: Family

to my nephew on his 1st birthday

Hello, friend…

If you’ll permit me, let me share a birthday greeting to my 1 yr. old nephew, Cohen.


Dear Cohen,

It’s been a whole year since you came into the world. I hope you like it here, because it’s certainly a cooler and better place with you in it. I was absolutely speechless when I first saw you, I think my heart grew ten sizes… you were the most precious little person I’d ever seen. You probably won’t remember my telling you that I was glad you were here & that I’d try to make the world a great place for you to grow up in, but I did whisper that to you. And I still stand by that. The world is kind of a nutty place right now, but it’s a pretty cool place and there’s SO many adventures you’re yet to go on…  I think everything will be just fine. After all, you’re here! You have the potential to go anywhere and be anyone.


There is a Winnie the Pooh poem that I love (well, I love a number of them as you’ll come to know)… but the line ‘When I Was One, I Had Just Begun’ rings especially true today. You are ONE! What a cool thing. Soon you will be two… soon I will be 40, but this isn’t about me so let’s not remind ourselves of that… A 1st birthday is pretty darn awesome, if you ask me.


As long as I am able, I’ll write you a birthday letter every year. Because when I’m WAY old, and you’re coming to meet me on my space pod for our weekly lunch (because I’m convinced I’ll be in a space pod one day- I don’t know why really) we can read through these and laugh.

I am so excited to hear you talk and watch you figure out all the things. I think we will get along very well. We already do! You like books, I am a writer… You love food, I love food… yes, Cohen… I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship. Happy 1st birthday, little Zemnickis.




Love you lots, Your Auntie Kelly.

sand in my shoes

Hello, friend…

I’m just back from a little vacation to Miami. I can’t immediately think of when I was last in Miami, perhaps it was 2010 but I do recall it involved my travelling to Florida to meet my friend Laura to see an NKOTB concert (oh, what fun it was telling that to the border guard asking me about the purpose of my trip). ANYHOOOZIES. This trip didn’t involve anything more than my wanting to see my brother (who lives in Miami) & take a bit of time for myself (which I don’t do a whole lot of , to be honest).

And from top to bottom, it was a fantastic vacation. I almost didn’t go because my trusty Weather Network app told me the weather was going to be shit* the entire time I was to be away. (* not the exact words used) But it barely rained, the sun won out and I am now sporting something called “a tan”. So I’m now thinking maybe I need to get out of my co-dependent relationship with the Weather Network app… but I’ll leave that for another blog. The point is, my flight down had me sitting next to a very very cute guy & for reasons I still do not know, that flight down showered upon me anything I wanted. It was weird. Pizza! LOTS of wine! An iPad to use for my flight! The cutie beside me was able to benefit on this, too merely by seat assignment, and I learned a very very important lesson… when a handsome man is offered hot nuts there is no appropriate way to ask how his nuts are. BUT it all lead to us having a fantastic conversation and plans for a date while I was in Miami. So, thanks for all that Air Canada Rouge! Hot nuts all around!! 😉

What meant the most to me though, really, was seeing my brother whom I don’t see very often. For no real good reason, either… granted, I’m not very keen on flying but I’m getting better at jetting around (thanks to the documentary I’m co-producing)… no, it’s just a fact that Robert & I don’t see each all that much. We are the single siblings amongst the 4 Zemnickis kiddos, so it was nice to commiserate over the men we spotted on Tinder and such… and how our love lives are in general. There was such hope and joy over my date with the Hot Nuts Guy! And I’m glad my brother was there when HNG messaged me later that night (after our awesome date) to tell me he didn’t feel enough to see me again while I was in town. We sat in that hot Miami night in the courtyard & agreed that tomorrow was indeed another day. Small stuff, but important… mainly because it’s tiny moments like that that help us bond. It’s just not logistical for me to “pop over” for dinner or for him to see if I’m free for a Sunday brunch and have stuff like that happen.

Sure, Robert thinks I’m 39 going on 65 because I say things like “she looks fetching!” or because I mumble “Crumbs!” when I’m annoyed… but it’s nice to be teased like that. Primarily because we’re in the same room when it happens, which is rare.


A night out with my brother (and a friend).

I’m back in Toronto and even more grateful for the proximity I have to my one sibling who lives in Toronto, too. But I’m also home with determination to not let it be SO long to go between visits to Miami (to see Robert) or Montreal (to see Debbie). Because as nice as it is to connect electronically, there’s something to sharing space at the dinner table together or staying in to watch a documentary together. My older siblings and I still have a lot to learn about each other, our connection somewhat fractured because we share a dad but have different mothers… but they are a part of me. It felt like a small weight off my shoulders to confess to Robert the other night that I’ve always carried a guilt that I grew up with dad around but he didn’t. And he assured me that it wasn’t a guilt I needed to carry, but he understood where I was coming from.

Miami was good for my skin (did I mention I have a tan? I did? Okay, cool)… but it was good for the soul, too. Really, my Uber driver’s choice of song when I got in the car summed up my trip perfectly… I indeed had the time of my life. 😉


… with love from South Beach! xo




p.s. I’m seeing NKOTB next week. But in Toronto this time. With my sister in law.

i heard the news today…

Hello, friend…

The news of the world right now, from the U.S. specifically, has just broken my heart to pieces. I’m sad, I’m scared for friends and strangers. That I’m having conversations with my parents about the possibility of a 3rd world war starting… I just can’t even go there now. But we’re having these conversations. My parents are immigrants to Canada, as were their parents. My mom and dad came from England and Latvia, respectively, with their families as WWII had made it unsafe to live in their homelands. My dad came to Canada without his mom and sister, as my Aunt Aija took ill before their boarding of a ship to bring them to Halifax, and traveled to a new land with his dad and step-mom. My mom, Aunt Ruth & late Nanny, Lillian were granted a spot on a ship they weren’t supposed to be on. My parents were very lucky, they arrived in a new land safely and in time, made their mark. I just find tonight, I think of these moments, and my breath gets heavy and I’m terrified to think of what this year will bring.

I don’t mean to be so heavy tonight, but I’m someone who is very sponge like… I absorb (sometimes maybe too much of ) the world around me.

So, in an effort to calm my anxieties of the day, I’m going to share with you my gratitude list. A list of 10 things I am grateful for, no matter how big or how small. Because it helps my heart, to be reminded of the good that I know is always around me.

Kelly’s Gratitude List for 1-29-17

  1. My family
  2. Snowfall
  3. Running into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while on the streetcar
  4. “Sorry” by Justin Beiber (or is it Bieber… I don’t know….)
  5. I get paid to write & I get paid to work in a bakery… #winning
  6. THIS speech (also, my crush on this man just grew 10 times bigger):
  7. Coffee
  8. A VERY cute guy gave me his phone number this week
  9. The conditioner I bought
  10. Slipper Socks

I know this may seem a bit trivial, but, it helps my heart. I send you a big hug wherever you are.




wp_20130818_006 (My mom, seated front row, Montreal – undated.)

to my nephew (who has yet to come into this world)…

Hello, you.

I know it will be a while before words make sense, and that we will all be making noises and giggles as means of communication for the next little bit … but that is okay by me. I am much older than you, and there are many adults who really can’t do much more than that when I engage them in conversation. So don’t worry, you’re in good company.

But I am writing you this letter anyway, and will read it to you anyway, and pretend that you can understand what I am saying. Again, as an adult… I have lots of experiences with this at places called “bars” (which no, are not the bars we will swing on at the park, but you have many years until you figure that out).

To be honest, I kind of feel like I am waiting at an airport right now. You don’t know what an airport is, but when you’re being fed food someone might make “zooooom” noises at some point to get food in your mouth and well… they’re trying to be airplanes. When you get older, I would personally recommend avoiding airplane food, but maybe in a few years that aspect of life will have improved. Anyway.  I know you are set to arrive soon, and when you do, I hope I will be dressed appropriately and say the right things. There will be crying. Someone might faint (likely me- I’m the “sensitive one” of your Zemnickis side). You don’t have any luggage so thankfully we won’t have to wait for that to show up, because that can take a while, as you’ll figure out as you get older.

I am excited to meet you, learn your name and your habits and see if you too can belch on cue. (I think it’s a “talent”, most of everyone we’re related to does not.) I will likely say words in your presence that I shouldn’t.  I apologize for that now. But you have two really, really great people who are your mom and dad… and they will likely forgive me for telling you about dates I have had recently, thinking you don’t really know what I’m talking about but are being patient enough to listen and I appreciate it.

Life is pretty cool, though. There are lots of things to see and touch and feel and taste.

There are mean people, but most I’ve met are kind. I’d like to think there are more kind people than mean one, at least that’s my hope.

I think you will be brave, adventurous and funny.

Guaranteed you will be equally as confused and stunned as your mom and dad are, so cut them some slack. (I know you don’t know what this means, so I apologize for the reference.) Basically, they’ve never done this before, you’ve just arrived and somewhere your Grandpa Zemnickis will be asking if anyone needs a drink. I think your mom should get the first one, as she hasn’t had booze in a while and she REALLY deserves WHATEVER she wants right now.

So. That’s pretty much how things are going to go for a while. And lots of people will stare and try to tickle you, you will be the center of attention and deservedly so! So lap it up!!

But this will be fun… and scary… and awesome.  You’re going to do just fine here. Absolutely everyone is excited to meet you, and if someone thought ahead, there should be a cake arriving at about the same time too. You’ll get one on the same day every year. It’s pretty remarkable.


a single girl’s holiday letter

Dear family & friends,

Happy Christmas! As I write this, the apartment is busy with prep for tomorrow… my parents are arguing over where the presents should go…

Anyhoozies. Yes! I’m still single. No plus one for me at the dinner table this year. Just like last year… But let’s be honest about things, show of hands… who is THAT surprised? Anyone? Anyone? Yeah… I thought so. 😉 It’s not for a lack of trying, though. And the year isn’t 0ver yet! Santa might bring me an E-Harmony membership if my brother Kevin or my newly formed “work mates” at TMZ have anything to do with it.

(Watch this clip for an explanation, I’m around the 3:15 mark… listen to what Charles says at the end of my segment: http://m.tmz.com/#video/0_c2hzrt7w/
And people told me that Star Wars Pop-up book was silly to keep… pffft.)

That is one thing about this year,though… Yes, Cupid continued to give me the finger in 2015 (really loved the guy who, while we planned to have drinks, tried to invite himself over by saying “I can’t drive home because of my recent DUI arrest”)… BUT! I cashed in on my 15 seconds of fame and then some. Much to the amazement and confusion of all (including myself), I’m now a regular on TMZ Live. The publishing gods blessed me with not one, but THREE columns in The Toronto Star’s Life section. I learned of being published the first time while I was in NYC, after meeting a Supermodel on Broadway  and having lunch with my friend Laurie. #bestdayever

AND!! As I write this, a theatre company in Vermont is looking over my plays to possibly include in their new season.

Kelly’s Writing Career- 5
Kelly’s Love Life- 0

How are my finances you ask? Oh, please don’t. It’s another venture up shit’s creek… I know they say do what you love and the money will follow. But at this point, it feels like my money may of had its passport denied at the border. BUT here’s the thing… I’m happier. I have much less financially than I have ever had, but my level of happiness is higher. True, you wouldn’t know this when I sob uncontrollably when rent is due, but… it feels like I’m zoning in on where I should be headed.

Kelly’s Happy Factor- 7
Kelly’s Bank Account- not available at this time

This year has been overloaded with terrible news and events, so many people have lost their lives. It’s been hard to digest all the news of shootings and stabbings. I want to scream off my balcony “What the hell is wrong with everyone???” With all the bad though, there is always good… the yin and yang continues on… I’ve resolved to be kinder, to be more mindful, I’m hitting the gym 6 days a week and now have something called “abs”…

In mulling over some big questions with my mom the other day, she commented that maybe one day I’ll adopt. Which would be awesome, but let’s be honest… I can’t qualify for a mortgage right now. Who is going to give me a human to raise? Though stranger things have happened… after all, did you know until 10 years ago (which was 2005) you could marry your FIRST cousin if you lived in Texas? Your FIRST cousin. Jeeeeebsus.

So. Predictions for 2016? I have none. Though I do hope when my passport is renewed in the spring, I’ll take a better photo. My last one was taken with the “bloated European who just knocked off a liquor store and killed her ex husband” filter. I wish that my first attempt at doing stand up comedy (which I’ll be doing next month!) will not suck as badly as that passport photo I just alluded to. And I pray to whoever is listening that James kicks Cancer in the fucking nutsack.

As Louis Prima sings ‘Just A Gigolo’ on the radio as I write this, and the BBQ gets turned on as it’s way too flipping warm for December 24th… I have to laugh. This year has been ridiculous, painful, blissful and it’s been awful.

At some moments more so than usual.

But, I have been lucky with bursts of good things this year. And I wish us all the same for 2016. LET’S DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😉



Hello, friend…

As we took time on Nov. 11th to remember our veterans and give gratitude to those who fought & are fighting, I couldn’t help but wonder about a relative I never knew. True, I did not get to meet my great-grandfathers who fought in WWI and I gave them a great deal of thought… I did. But my grandmother, Lillian (“nanny”) was one of seven or eight children and one of her siblings was a sister, named Alice.

It was only recently I learned that Alice, during WWII, fell in love with a soldier. Nothing too crazy there, I’m sure this happened many many times during the wars. But this man in particular was German. And Alice was British. And falling in love during the second world war, when one was British and the other German likely wasn’t going to fly particularly well at the family dinner table. And with her family (my relatives) it didn’t. At all. From what I know, Alice was pretty much kicked to the proverbial curb because she fell for who she fell for.

I completely understand the family’s reservations about her new beau, but I also understand why she followed her heart. I do it a lot, many times to a dead end but… 😉

If I could crawl into my time machine and have a tea with her, I would. I’d love to know if the relationship lasted, if fences were ever mended, if she had any regrets. If she was really, truly happy.

So! I’m going to try and learn more about Alice… and if I learn she’s still alive (most of nanny’s siblings have passed, but thankfully, two remain that I know of)… if I learn Alice is still here, or if she ever had children, I’d love to extend a hand if I could. I’m so very anxious to know her story.



Hello, friend…

I’m pretty positive I’m not the only one here in Canada who has PVR’d The Walking Dead tonight to listen or watch the Jays baseball game… so. No WD spoilers, please and thank you. I will watch it come the morning when I am less afraid of zombies and such. You see, unlike some of my fellow Canucks I did not celebrate Thanksgiving today with my family… we will gather for a feast tomorrow… but! I did have a date.

There is an aspect to dating that can feel like going on a job interview of sorts… and as I get back into the dating world, I was feeling nervous this afternoon and hoping there wasn’t a stain on my shirt that I missed. But, I met this guy knowing that I have seen (almost) it all… I have dated all kinds… I have experience!… record scratch, internal monologue kicks in… “okay, now you’re sounding like you’ve “been around”, Kelly. Just smile and be yourself. This man does not need to know what your number is.” But.. it was lovely. It had everything a good 1st date in Autumn could ask for: lovely weather, delicious coffee, good conversation and… a visit to a chocolate shop. All it was missing really was a peppy musical score and my running into a cute puppy dog as I walked through the park on my way to the subway station.

So, I am grateful for that. And I give thanks that this fellow did not stand me up or “casually mention” during the date that he was married. (These are both things that have happened.)

As I think about things that I am grateful for this Thanksgiving, for the most part I am grateful that so much in recent years has not gone anything as I had planned. It’s not that I’m not meeting my goals, but in certain parts of my life I feel like I keep racking up the proverbial “good job” ribbons. I’m falling short of knowing where I could be. Which is when my internal Amy Poehler kicks in and I hear ” stopcomplainingstopcomplainingstopcomplaining”. Because the truth is, I’m now a published writer (got a story in a major newspaper!). I have a new play in the works. I am employed. I passed my latest eye exam with flying colours. I have MET Amy Poehler!! And I have new goals… big ones… which I will work like hell to achieve as we head into a new year.

When I was a lot younger the Barenaked Ladies ‘Gordon’ album came out, and a song called What a Good Boy was on that LP. I didn’t feel like I fit in in school and that song was like a hug. The lyric “…But it won’t take much for me to show them my life ain’t over yet.”  was my internal battle cry. Though I am much older, that song still goes through my brain on occasion. However, I like that I feel a bit out of place sometimes. After all, I know I’m capable of anything and know that I’ll be fine if it shouldn’t work out. Because more often than not it won’t! BUT…if you had told me this time last year that I’d soon be making regular appearances on TMZ Live, for example, I’d have laughed and told you to shut up.

Anyhooo, the best thing of all is that I have my parents and family close by to celebrate Thanksgiving with tomorrow. I am MOST grateful for that. Not all of my family will be there, thanks to tricky things like “geography”, but I am happy nonetheless. We will joke of how my “imaginary boyfriend” is pretty quiet at the dinner table and isn’t eating all that much. There will be food, there will be family and I know that moments like these are worth their weight in gold. Then I will head home with a belly full of turkey and veg to a peppy musical score, and hopefully a cute puppy dog on my way home.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.