Tag Archives: life

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.

choose your own adventure

Hello, friend…

I want to put a thought out into the Universe. In reading Amy Poehler’s book Yes, Please ( a favourite and one I totally recommend) she has a list of things that I copied and put on my wall… “Find a nice boy who is nice to you.”

I am having a hard time with this one. Instead, recently, I found a “nice boy” who made lovely dinner plans with me and gave me his number and pursued me… only to cancel night of said plans and “switch it up” as the kids say, and suggest we go out for drinks with friends. And he spent the night canoodling with another gal and did so directly in front of me for the during of the glass of wine I was trying desperately to chug. I just have to wonder what the pay-off of this was.

Was he expecting a threesome?

Does the man have amnesia?

I really didn’t appreciate the live presentation of “The Better Person’s Guide to Flirting” that was happening right in front of me. So I left. And he was shocked. As a result, I subjected a very kind Uber driver to my weeping – which I tried to keep to a minimum so he didn’t give me a bad rating.

He messaged me endlessly today, wanting to circle back and have said dinner… are you fucking kidding… wait. Maybe he does have amnesia.

(bangs head against wall)

UGH. Okay. I will continue to look for a nice boy who is nice to me, but I’m getting older and tiring easily. Does this ever get easier?? There will be dumb boys, and poor wardrobe choices to impress them, until I come upon someone doesn’t care about that and wants me for me. I don’t know where he is right now, but I hope he’s out there.

xo.

tell your story.

Hello, friend…

I absolutely could not have imagined on Monday how this week would turn out. Maybe you’ve had a week like that recently, where by the time Sunday rolls around you’re not certain how x, y & z happened… but they did. And I mean this in the best way possible! I know utterly terrible things can pop out of nowhere, but in this case it’s all good. 🙂

If I’ve learned anything this week, it’s the power and the importance of telling your story. There is absolutely nothing better than speaking your truth, there is absolutely nothing more important. Because the thing is, you never know how your story can be a spark for someone else. And there have been some gorgeous sparks this week as the result of an article I wrote for Hello Giggles (well, hello…). From that article, I got a call from CBC Radio and a program of theirs called Fresh Air… they wanted to talk to me on air!!!! So many firsts have happened in these early days of 2017… I sold my first article, and I did my first Radio Interview.

Beautiful things can happen when we talk, when we share, when we listen. We don’t do enough of that. (This may make me sound old, but, it’s true… social media is quite the opposite of anything social. So after you finish here, please go make plans with a friend to have a coffee. Or walk in the park… unless it’s minus 20 outside. Then just stay inside with your coffees.)

A few folks have told me my career shift is inspiring to them, gave a dash of hope to a risk they thought of taking. That means more to me than I can tell you. I took a very risky turn stepping out of a role I had established myself in, but by taking that time away, I got to know myself again. I needed to get away from that life… I HAD to. I would love to run into my time machine, and go back 10 years to run to my 28 year old self with arms wide open and scream out “THINGS ARE GOING TO BE FIIIIIIINE! YOU’RE GOING TO BE MAKING A F**KING DOCUMENTARY IN 10 YEARS!!” as I hug her tightly.

Anyhoo…. Here is the link to my amazing adventure from this week, my very first radio interview:

img_0803

(with Eli Glasner at CBC Radio)

 

xo.

hoodwinked!

Hello, friend…

As I told my friend Paul tonight, I had a great date recently but he’s suddenly vanished from the site we met on and he’s not replied to my texts… therefore, I do believe that I’ve been hoodwinked. That’s right, hoodwinked! (Not enough people are using that word anymore, so I’m bringing it back.)

Call me old fashioned, but I’d like to have thought a date that went well would result in casual banter afterwards or better yet… another date! How novel would that have been!?! UUGGHHHH… how exactly does dating work anymore?! Am I to solve a limerick that unlocks a security code that sends me on a treasure hunt.. and THEN I get to see the guy again?

When did being honest jump the proverbial shark?! Clearly this guy isn’t keen on me, so maybe he’s just thinking actions speak louder than words. Which is true, they do… but…

Boo-urns to that!!

What on earth is wrong with telling someone how you feel? Why isn’t that a thing anymore?!

That does it. Along with the word Hoodwinked, I’m bringing back Honesty in 2017! I’ll start one of those online petitions…they seem rather effective…

xo.

in defence (or defense) of 2016

Hello, friend…

As the year comes to a close, 2016 hasn’t made many friends. I know it’s been a very very bad year for many reasons.

This time last year, I was trying to figure out a lot of stuff… wondering where puzzle pieces could go together… each year we feel that way, though don’t we? We see the new year with copious amounts of hope and optimism. We don’t always act on things we promise or challenge ourselves to, no… sometimes by the first week of January it’s pretty much dead in the water! But this year was different for me.

As 2016 took artists I loved dearly (Bowie, Cohen, etc etc) & took my first love (James, to Cancer in April), as 2016 caused a tremendous amount of pain… there was something to this year that pushed me towards what I wanted more than before. Things aligned in a way, possibly to counter the heartbreak & distract me. This was the year that I got up on that open mic stage and did stand-up, that I stopped wanting to get a tattoo and GOT tattooed.  2016 was a year of stop talking about doing the thing and DO THE THING.

I couldn’t have done a bigger thing than start the ball rolling on my 1st documentary, that was a big thing. That came from a tweet, which lead to an introduction, which set off a light-bulb. No Responders Left Behind is set to be completed in the spring of 2017 along with my friends Rob & Kristine providing me with a big, necessary producer safety blanket. This documentary has changed my life… 100%, full stop. I’ve made friends with men & women who ran into hell and did the unthinkable on 9/11… and that our paths crossed means the world to me. We have a big torch to carry, and I have to do them proud in 2017.

I thought I found paths to new romances this year, but they were dead-ends. But this year had bigger things to focus on, bigger fish to fry… like being able to look at myself in the mirror and say with complete confidence that I like me. A lot. Is that because I’m almost 40? Probably. (I’d hate to be almost 40 and not feel that way.) BUT my heart did find love in a way that I couldn’t have predicted, well, I knew I’d feel a lot but… seeing my nephew Cohen for the first time?! DAMN. I didn’t think you could feel that much love for ANYTHING. So here is to Cohen for bringing sheer BLISS to our family, and in return little dude, we will do our best to make sure the planet is safe for when you’re my age… 🙂

So. 2017 is almost here… it will be my last full year in my 30s & I am both sad and amused by this (where the fuck did my 30s go?!?!)… it will be a year that I keep doing the thing. Because I know I am capable. 2017 will be a year where I’ll never again let fear stop me from doing the things I love. James believed in me when we met, and now that he’s gone, he’s still sending me love. And I share that with you, friend.

I’m on a roll, baby!

Let’s dance.

xo.

 

 

giving of the thanks

Hello, friend…

I have had a bit of a day today… primarily due to a massive banking “snafu”. And those I was at dinner with tonight seemed to have experienced a similar day. High stress. Something felt off. So we went for an Italian dinner and I cursed that I picked the wrong year to stop drinking… today would  have been a perfect day for a cocktail. Possibly two.

BUT. It’s all a bit “first world problem” of me. I know this.

BUT… if you will allow me…

For all the things in my life I am grateful for  (a pot to brew coffee in the morning! getting a giant bottle of bath bubbles for $12 bucks! the news that Martha & Snoop’s potluck dinner party has been renewed for a 2nd season!) and for all the things I am lucky to experience (I am an aunt again! I have a part-time job at a bakery! I am making a documentary about a phenomenal 9/11 activist & first responder!)…. FOR ALL OF THIS AND TONS OF THINGS I’VE NOT MENTIONED… I am having a day where I have to wonder when things will even out. When the lack of income will balance with my increased level of happiness. When all the love in my heart will make it’s way to someone who wants it just as much as I want him to have it.

I am having a day where I feel like I am trapped under something heavy. Does that ever go away? WAS Oprah right in preaching if you do what you love the money will follow, or does my money have a shitty sense of direction and that terrible Apple Maps app?

And when am I supposed to feel like an adult, exactly?!?!?!?!

(screams into a pillow)

What I have in my life, I am very thankful for. I am. I like who I am a whole lot, and I say that with a confidence now I didn’t EVER have before. That is something you can’t put a price on! And while I’d love to have Kanye West’s income because it would clear the credit card debit I’ve built up in the past 4 years, the truth is I would not want his mental health troubles. (I have panic attacks and I’m good to just leave it at that.)

Anyway.

YES… I know that nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. I’d just love for whoever is in charge to cut me a bit of slack! Because this being an adult stuff is hard today. :/

So on that note… Some Alanis as we head off to dreamland tonight… tomorrow is a new day. Maybe things will make a bit more sense come sunrise.

xo.

timing

Hello, friend…

I had a thought tonight as I left a comedy writing workshop tonight, and went to get a boneless chicken roti from one of my favourite spots in the city… I was thinking of how lucky I am. Here I was, at 9pm at night, walking up Bathurst with a roti in hand and feeling good about some new jokes I tried out tonight. Kelly from a year ago was anxious to put her toes in the stand-up comedy waters but it would take three months to get the lady-balls to actually do it.

Okay, talking about myself in the third person is weird. I’ll stop.

But yeah, in January of this year, I convinced friends to put me in their show and with my brother and a couple of friends in the audience up I went. 37 years old and no-longer a stand-up comedy virgin!! Huzzah! (Though I’d never been so convinced I could possibly pass-out in front of people as I was that night, oh my god was I scared.) Now, I’m not someone who feels like I’m an adult most of the time; I’m 38 but I think I’m still 23. But I know that I’m older than a good lot of the comics I’ve come across so far, and I had a moment tonight where I thought “Why the hell didn’t I start doing this 10 years ago? I CAN do this damnit! Why didn’t I know I could do this when I was younger??!! AAUUUGGHH!”

The thing is, I wasn’t ready to do this at 28. The timing wasn’t right.

Yes, I spent countless nights as a teen watching An Evening at the Improv on A & E, or sneaking in a late night David Letterman episode on a school night. But there was no thought that EVER came into my head that said “You should try stand-up comedy!” I did tech for improv and sketch troupes, though and THEN I got on stage myself and it was fun but it never felt… right. I was trying to fit into a pair of pants that fit but… if I sat down I couldn’t breathe. And I don’t know about you, but I like to be able to breathe in any position I’m in. It’s, as the French say, really fucking important. (Read that last bit in a French accent for the full effect.)

I morphed into background stuff, and I still love background stuff … but when I was 24 I started writing again and that became my first play. I think that’s when the proverbial penny dropped, and slooooowly I found my confidence. And then fast forward to tonight, I am 38 and I’m heading home with a roti that I should NOT be eating at 9pm at my age but fuck it. I’m heading home having told some jokes that made some cool people laugh and I’ll do it again in a night or two.  As I ride the TTC and listen to my music, I daydream about submitting a package to Late Night with Seth Meyers of my material… because, why not try?!  I can try that! What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s all about timing. It’s all about the timing when I’m up on stage with that mic and a spotlight on me, thinking to myself why  I didn’t try this sooner.

I wasn’t ready to do the thing. But now… I am doing the thing.

Cue late night dance part to work off late night roti!!!!

xo.