Tag Archives: friendships

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.

fried-day…

Hello, friend…

It’s been an interesting week. I’ve started on a new project, that will take me through the winter months, and it’s not without its challenges. Starting something new never is without its challenges! I’m hoping I will be able to navigate the waters, but this Friday night had me leaving work and crying as soon as the company of the people on my subway had dispersed. Text messages were sent to my brother and a friend, telling them I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and maybe I’ll quit. While I can’t get into what exactly I’m working on, needless to say I’m in a spot where I’m taking what I know (writing, being funny, being organized)…and pushing my boundaries.

It’s growing pains, right?

Now, it didn’t help that I had a panic attack yesterday. And there was too much talk about an old flame of mine. And I forgot my hat at home. You know what, yesterday felt like the first time I really bombed while doing stand-up, I lost control off the top of the day (forgetting my hat)… and by the end, I was crying in the bathroom. Wondering what I didn’t get into a “stable” career path.

For someone, such as myself, it’s funny though how much I don’t like stability. I have anxiety, I panic at the drop of (pardon the call-back), a hat. And yet, I use it to my advantage and use it to prove myself wrong… well, I try to. Some days you just gotta ride the inner roller-coaster and accept that using powdered coconut milk in your pancakes for breakfast REALLY was not a good call, Zemnickis. (It really was not. But I now know better for tomorrow’s breakfast.)

ANYWAY. What I’m not doing a great job of today is getting to my point. A simple one.

Last night, friend’s hosted a board games night and I’m blissfully glad I splashed some cool water on my face and headed out the door. I almost turned back home when I got to the subway as I felt my anxiety tap me on the shoulder, but I continued on. Laughter, veggies & dip, and the company of people I adore brought me back to what REALLY mattered that day: My friends. Sharing stories. Kindness.

And then I got a text from a strange man online, asking if we could go for brunch & then have sex! No, strange man, we cannot… but thank you for making me laugh very hard when I needed it.

xo.

 

new!

Hello, friend…

Happy New Year! How did you close out 2016? I was at the ROM with my friends Sara & Chris and a handful of their cool pals… it was such a great night. We all looked HAWT and we were in a museum drinking wine, there were snacks and plenty of mingling with the dinosaurs. There was FREE food in tiny Chinese food take-away boxes! ADORABLE! Canadians only see those boxes in American sitcoms, we don’t get those when we order in Chinese food. Man! Those boxes are the cutest. ANYHOO. While drunk boy & drunk girl were making out at the table near me, I was feeling like the true winner as I scooped a tiny box of mac n’ cheese and headed up to a room filled with gem stones with my squad.*

(* Mental note, stop saying “my squad”. You’re almost 39 and you are not Taylor Swift. Probably just spell HAWT as Hot, too.)

I had free food. I had access to booze. And I was staring at diamonds. This is not a bad way to end a year and start a new one, folks.

Did I have a date for NYE? Nooooope. Did I have amazing people around me, felt good and was happy? Yuuuuuuup. I mean, I was wearing my favourite Calvin Klein dress that I bought WHEN I WAS TWENTY-NINE!!! I STILL FIT IN IT!!! Sure, there was no Midnight Kiss for me, but I bought that dress TEN YEARS AGO AND IT STILL FITS. Yeah, okay, it would have been awesome if a cute fella swooped me for a kiss. That would have been very very nice. But no, no instead I had a guy earlier that day confess that his Top Three interests are “Smoking weed, singing and masturbating”. Hashtag: win! 😦

I felt like a gem last night, though. A new year, I looked good, I had a tiny box of food and could have easily taken 20 more tiny boxes of food had I brought a bigger purse. That’s a fun problem to have! Not a fun problem to have? Dealing with a boyfriend who had left his previous girlfriend when he found out she was pregnant and now had a new girlfriend who was trying hard to get along with his family who still love his old girlfriend who happens to be offering out ultimatums to his new girlfriend because she feels she needs to suffer too. OMG!!!!!! This was told to me by someone I didn’t know at the MALL. Clearly, this young lady needed to vent and my heart sank for her. (She was my make-up artist at the store I was in. I really had no escape route.) Relationships can be so complicated, but that sounds like walking into a trap. Daily. Even if you know where the traps are.

Truth be told, it was a moment where I breathed a sigh of relief that I am single. I don’t go out of my way to celebrate the fact that I am without a boyfriend, but in my head I high-fived myself as she spoke.

Have I mentioned a guy told me one of his top interests was masturbating? I have? Okay. Cool beans.

I left my night at the museum with a light buzz from the champagne, laughing with my friends and oozing gratitude that one year ended and a new one started amongst beautiful things and shiny, happy people.

I don’t know if 2017 will yield any museum worthy pieces, but time will tell. What I do know that there is beauty in the smallest of things and those moments are worth celebrating any day of the year.

xo.

signed, sealed, delivered…

Hello, friend…

A parcel arrived in the mail the other day from my dear friend, Shanna. It was a gorgeous tie-dyed tee that reminded me of a similar shirt I had as a kid and wore as often as I could. There was no note to explain why she sent me a shirt, but I knew why she had sent it. Last month, we celebrated our 21st anniversary. Well, to be specific, our “friendaversary”.

21 years ago, I got a letter from a girl named Shanna in Virginia. I remember opening it on the floor of my family’s cottage in Malone, NY (Lake Placid, basically). She had gotten my name from a “friendship book” you would pass around in those days of being Pen Pals (you filled your name on a blank page, gave the details of what you were looking for in a pen pal and sent it off with another letter). Shanna thought she’d write me. I liked her instantly, and wrote her back… but not having an envelope on hand I remember grabbing a magazine, finding a cool ad and making an envelope from that. (A tradition we’d continue to do over the years.) I sent a reply back…

Back in those days, I wrote to people from all over the world. I loved getting a letter and learning something new about someone far away, the anticipation of what their news was, it was just fantastic. You shared things you couldn’t share with your classmates or siblings. As the years went on, Shanna moved across the Ocean for school but came back eventually… we talked about meeting up numerous times, but it just never worked out. But we continued to write, maybe the odd phone call, but we never stopped talking. And then one day I got an invitation… to her wedding close to her home in Texas. This was not a time to find an excuse as to why we couldn’t meet up. I HAD to go.

The photo below is the first photo we ever took together. At the end of a day where we got to hug for the very first time. This is the only photo from that trip where my hair didn’t expand 89 inches because Texas weather did odd things to my hair.

Port Aransas TX 058

We have experienced heartbreak over the years, loss so painful they still hurt years later. We have experienced breathtakingly beautiful moments. We have our differences, but we love each other a ton regardless. And it’s all chronicled in our letters which I still have. Which I will always have. They chronicle our lives in a way that can’t be replicated, they chronicle moments we forgot about, they contain seashells from when Adam proposed to her on their vacation. Shanna and her hubby Adam are the parents now of two adorable children, whom I cannot wait to meet. Well, I kind of met Josalyn …. she’s the one in the baby bump Shanna sported in the photo below, when we were in New Orleans for my birthday. (My bump is attributed to those deeeeeelish beignets.)

DSCF0688

Shanna is atop of a list of the wonderful, creative, strong and fierce women I know. I have a small group of close friends and I am so lucky Shanna is one of them. Shanna is my cheerleader from afar. Annnnd… now I am crying so I’m going to go get a tissue, and you can be thankful you’re not witnessing how much I am crying now because I’m an ugly, ugly crying mess.

Shanna, I don’t know if paper and pens will exist when we become senior citizens, but I’m certain we will find some way to write each other be it on a moon rock or space debris. I LOVE YOU, LADY!!!

xo.

 

the sweater

Hello, friend…

Dinner with friends from high school tonight lead to great conversations, the drinking of good wine and my friend Ria bringing up a classic tune from our younger days…. The Sweater.

Monday, wear the sweater to school
Be calm, look cute
Don’t tell him about the dream you had
about the place the two of you would share
when you get older
Just be yourself
The best, cutest, quietest version of yourself
Definitely wear lip gloss

If you remember it, or if you’ve never heard of it…. either way, you’re welcome.

xo.