Tag Archives: life

48 – 40

Hello, friend…

This time tomorrow, I will be out of a job and 48 hours from turning 40. I’m not entirely sure how all my upcoming bills will get paid. I’m not entirely sure who keeps stamping my pass to continue on being “an adult”, because I still don’t feel like an adult. Some days I feel like I’m still in the sandbox and playing and just enjoying what a day brings. And then I’m shaken from my castle making shenanigans when I get a call from Visa telling me a credit card bill is past due.

But strangely… I’m not all that concerned. Should I be? Should I be concerned that I’m not concerned? It’s not that I’m not focused, it’s not that I don’t have goals… I’m very ambitious, I’ve definitely got some lady-balls because hell, I walked from a rather lucrative TV career to waitress in my mid-30s! And doing that taught me the value of happiness. I wasn’t happy in what I was doing, so I changed that. I discovered that I was a storyteller- I knew it all along, really but I actually forgot that truth about myself somewhere along the way.

My 30 year old self couldn’t have foreseen my doing stand up. I think my 17 year old self could have predicted it, but then I got a job and I bought my first home at a young age and I was doing the things a young adult should do… and…. AAUUUGGHHH. Why does life do that?? Why did I have to become what people thought I should be, and not who I wanted to be? ANYWAY.  I’m making my wee little mark as a stand up, though… lots of shows coming in April, and I want to get down to the States this year to try my hand at some open mics.

I dunno. For whatever the reason, I knew in my bones it was time to make a change again. Tomorrow I’m making a change. I listened to my gut. And so… (deep breath) off I go. I’ll send updates from the field…

 

xo.

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only me.

Hello, friend…

I’m in Montreal for the weekend, back in my hometown, telling jokes and dining on the BEST eats with family (pro tip: when dining out, make sure one of your family members is a chef and knows the chef of where you’re eating- because… ohmylord, I’m being treated like a Queen!!).

Anyway. So last night, at a gig I had, this nice looking guy offers me a drink and we talked a little, and he got me another drink and it was really lovely! He asked what my plans were while I was in town, I told him about my other show, he invited me to a party… amazing, right? Right. So he takes my number, calls me so I have his number and we part ways. I am on cloud nine. (Literally- there was a lot of pot being smoked at this gig.)

And I get in the car. And I check my phone to add his number. And my heart sinks.

He clearly hung up when calling me too quickly because I NEVER GOT HIS PHONE NUMBER. My phone had no missed calls. Why didn’t I check it as he called me and not simply assume all was well??!!!

NEVER ASSUME, FRIENDS. NEVER.

It just makes an ass out of u and me.

seinfeld-saying-newman-meme-1432838940

 

xo.

My Top 5 Amazing Women of 2017

Hello, friends…

A lot of lists float around this time of year and I will happily add to the pile if you don’t mind. 😉

I know SO MANY AMAZING women and this is stupidly hard to chop down to only 5 to mention but… these are ladies you should know about & follow on the social media. Because they are awesome and I don’t know how I got so lucky to know them.

 

My Top 5 Amazing Women of 2017

  1. My niece, Charlotte … she’s kicking butt in the kitchens of Montreal and growing up into the coolest lady.  aaauuuggghh….  I AM SO PROUD OF HER!!!!! 
  2. Ashley Wittig…  co-owner of Bunner’s, teacher at Misfit Studio,  and just all around really really awesome lady (who I don’t see enough of really- must change that in 2018…). Follow her on Instagram @ashleyhalston
  3. The ladies of Baroness von Sketch… if you’ve not seen this show for some reason, please change that NOW.  I am blown away by what they’ve done and insanely proud of how my friends Jennifer Whalen & Aurora Browne have grown since I first met them many moons ago. Follow them on Twitter @BaronessShow
  4. Through making my documentary No Responders Left Behind, I have gotten to know some PHENOMENAL women… widows of 9/11 responders, sisters, wives of responders and responders themselves. So to ladies like Caryn, Taylor, Jennifer, Rebecca, Wendi, Marzena…. I marvel at you. And adore you. I won’t share each of their social media handles, but I will ask that you check out organizations that mean a lot to them:http://www.johnnymacfoundation.org/
    https://www.theraypfeiferfoundation.org/
    http://fealgoodfoundation.com/
  5. I have to give a LOT of love and thanks and gratitude to my editor at Hello GigglesRachel Sanoff because she is just the best. 🙂 Thanks to her, you get to read my essays and I get to share my stories with so many people. She is the best. And you should go check out Hello Giggles because it’s a great space to learn and share…  follow us on Twitter @hellogiggles

 

In truth, I could list 50 women on this… but it’s a small, amazing drop of the amazing people I know. My mom is up there, my sister and sister-in-law, my friend Jenny who’s starting her own wedding organization business, the wonderful women who run amazing comedy rooms in Toronto and invite me on… I cannot wait to see where we take things in 2018.

xo

the power of 2017

Hello, friend…

Winter is officially here. Christmas is a few sleeps away. 2017 is slowly coming to an end.

Before I head off to a stand-up gig tonight, a few thoughts on this year. Now, at the start of the year with Trump being sworn in and the gong show that has continued on since… at the start of the year my overall impression of what I thought 2017 would have been like wasn’t a pleasant picture. I’m still devastated he’s in charge in the States, but what the past few months have given me is waaaaaay more hope than sadness.  And that has surprised me, to be honest.

But just the power of people coming together for common good has been good for the soul. I’m still concerned where things will go on this planet, I worry what the world will be like when my nephews and niece are my age BUT… for now… for now, I look back at this year and I’m happy.

Did I fall in love? Um, no. No, I still really suck at establishing a solid relationship.

BUT. Before you think “well, what else matters, really?” First off, shut up… secondly…

This year I became a contributor at Hello Giggles. My first story with them (insert shameless plug here)…

https://hellogiggles.com/lifestyle/money-career/left-entertainment-industry-became-a-waitress/

… well, that landed me an interview on CBC’s Radio’s Fresh Air program.

I started doing stand up in ANOTHER PROVINCE. The fact that my first gig outside of Toronto was in Gatineau, Quebec still bewilders me. That in January 2018 I’ll celebrate my 2 year standup-versary bewilders me. My stand-up career started at the tender age of 38. Amazing. 😉

My nephew turned 1 this July. The tiniest Zemnickis is just beginning his adventure and I marvel at simply watching him watch the world. This is all new to him. Hummus is new to him and the little man really loves hummus and making silly faces. I think he if he can hang onto that as he grows up, he’ll be set.

My documentary, No Responders Left Behind, my FIRST documentary with my friends Rob, Kristine & Jaime completed filming and was sent off to the Tribeca Film Festival for consideration for 2018. I am going to crap my pants if we get in.

I know, I know… I didn’t find love in 2017 but… the year isn’t over yet and truth be told… there was a LOT of love around me this year. On the good side, my friends Heather & Jeremy got married and invited me to their wedding. My friend Zane married his love, Willa. And people I loved so much, Ana-Alecia and Ray, well they lost their battle with Cancer but they left behind SO much love and light I hope their magic stays with me for always and always.

And the MeToo movement. MY god. What a beautiful thing that has been, because those of us who have been silent and hiding our scars… We can SPEAK UP and SPEAK UP and SPEAK UP. I just… I love it. Because those scars are heavy. And they need to gooooooooooo. And even if you can speak up, you know that you’re not alone and you’re loved and BELIEVED that it’s not and never was your fault.

Power is a good word for this year. Some have taken it in a bad direction, but I think the power of good is winning out. And we will Care Bear Stare the pants out of it as 2017 ends and 2018 begins.

 

 

xo.

 

a dash of perspective

Hello, friend…

The other day I went to my optometrist. I go every year, which might sound unusual to some, but a while back (during an emergency appointment- for something I can’t recall completely) it was discovered that on my right eyeball sits a mole. Like a mole you’d have your doctor check on your skin. You can get something similar  on your eyeball. So every year, as I head in to see my lovely optometrist with my stomach in absolute knots, I tell myself “if it’s Cancer, we’ll be okay”.

And (knock on wood), I’m absolutely fine. It’s not changed shape. It’s just sitting there, just as it looked last year. Phew.  Though I asked her this year, if it ever becomes the Big C, would I lose my vision? I’m told not completely. But it’s nothing to concern myself with. I’m okay. Vision is still perfect. My stomach unwinds as I leave.

I’m lucky, I’m so very lucky. Cancer has run its way through my family like a pinball in a pinball game. My dad is a two-time Cancer survivor. Today he celebrated his 83rd birthday.

But I can see. I don’t take that for granted.

Nor do I take for granted the fact that I can type and hold a coffee cup or keep my head straight. You see, I have something called Essential Tremor. Which is the DUMBEST name EVER… but it mimics symptoms of Parkinson’s. Except that you notice my tremor when I am doing… holding a wine glass (I always hold it with two hands), holding a box… It affects my arms as it has for over 20 years now. But it may decide to travel upwards and grab hold of my neck and my vocal chords and my head.

But it has not decided to do that, for which I am so grateful. I still decide what my body can and should do, and I deal with jerks who say “Oh do I make you nervous?” when they hand me a drink and I can’t hold it steady. I share this tremor with the late, great Katherine Hepburn… so perhaps one day I too will have an Academy Award and a New England accent and a longtime love who is… um… still married to someone else. ANYWAY.

I can (for the most part) control my body. I don’t take that for granted.

SO TELL ME THEN… when I can take joy in the smallest things… how a guy breaking a date with me because my answer to his question of “Do you own a garter belt?” was “No” upset me as much as it did.  WHO MAKES THAT THEIR DEAL BREAKER?!?! And why does this bother me that this was his deal breaker??? 

I can’t seem to control my heart and my hopes. There they float… when a guy makes my heart beat fast…

I kind of hate that but… I can see he was NOT someone to pursue. And as long as I’m still in control of my movements, I will punch him in the face if we ever do run into each other.

xo.

the listener

Hello, friend…

The rain in Toronto has stopped for the night (or so it seems) and I’ve got my tea and am in my favourite chair. A busy day has ended rather peacefully. My life seems to be settling down, though – blissfully- because with moving and transcripts and writing and documentary life and bakery I have been feeling as though I’ve not had time to breathe. Calmness has been a really cool idea, just not practical. But! As I say, I’m finding my balance again.

I had a moment at the bakery today though, which knocked me a bit. It was a private moment, nothing that happened with a customer, which in a way made it harder to deal with because no one around me would have understood. I’ve talked before about how I have this odd connection to the song “I Want You” by Savage Garden – it’s a song that would play whenever I was about to see my love James. When James passed, it’s now become a song I hear whenever I think about him or feel he’s around.

I feel pretty in-tune with myself, I listen closely and observe… I feel energies in rooms and around objects. I don’t think it’s all that unusual, really – but perhaps my willingness to talk about it is. So when I hear “our song” (I find it utterly ridiculous it’s a song by Savage Garden, but who am I to judge?!), I know that it’s James letting me know that yep, he’s there. He can’t speak to me directly, so I have to listen closely. I can still hear his voice, I remember his hands and how they felt holding mine… how he’d look at me. I get these reminders in this dumb pop song that I love SO much.

Didn’t hear that song today, but I did have a moment of knowing that James was there. And this is only something you can relate to if you’ve lost someone particularly close to you. This feeling that that person is there. You’re not sure where, but they’re there. I can equate it to a magnetic pull; I was there in the back, washing dishes and thought “James is here”. I felt it so strongly in my gut. So as I do, I just opened up and listened. Watched for a sign. Something.

And then “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey came on.

Here’s the thing about that song. And James. And I.

Grief is the funniest damned thing. It comes in waves. Crashing over you when you least expect it… ANYWAY…

When James was in the hospital, and things weren’t looking good at all, I summoned a couple friends to lip-sync and film themselves doing so to that song “Don’t Stop Believing”. I did it myself. And the plan was to edit them together and get it to James. But I had trouble contacting the lady who was taking care of him, and at this point James wasn’t able to speak and had limited social media time. And then we got word James had passed… he never saw the video. I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive myself for not getting it to him in time.

So I’m there in the bakery, knowing I feel his presence, and I hear this Journey song start and I froze.

But what did Jung call it? Synchronicity. A meaningful coincidence.

James promised me years earlier to always protect me. Always be there to guide me, and that I’m present enough to feel our connection despite his being gone… I’m so grateful to that but I also kind of hate that I’m connecting to someone who is no longer here. My friend Natasha mentioned twin flames tonight and it resonated with me… perhaps he really was my other half. And we talked tonight about how we connect so little with each other nowadays, really connect… we’re in our bubble and filter out what we don’t want to hear or see. It’s all customized.

Random conversations or random moments are rare. Being present is hard when it truly shouldn’t be!! I read once of how the singer Glen Hansard likes leaving his headphones off when roaming city streets so he can listen to those sounds.

I met James before email was a thing. When I got myself online I went by IrishLager as an inside joke to the night we went for Guinness and that lovely beverage hit me a bit too hard that night. I love that we met as we did, in the green room at Second City and got to know each other by phone calls and walks to the subway.

I’m still listening to him and learning.

I still see him at the College subway station.

He’s still adding music to my life.

xo.

 

eeyore is my spirit animal

Hello, friend…

Despite all that is going on in my life these days, and there is a fair bit to keep me busy, as I said to a friend tonight- I’ve been feeling like Eeyore has been my spirit animal of late.

I’ve been feeling a bit sad, a bit stuck and I can’t really pin point why this has been so. It just has been.

As I occasionally do my terrible check list in my head of things I haven’t done yet (i.e Get Married! Establish a diverse banking portfolio! Learn to like Apple Cider Vinegar!), I put aside what I have done and AM doing and focus on things that haven’t come my way for one reason or another. I’ve also been blue because I’m moving soon, and with leaving this place I’m leaving an apartment where I learned I was going to become an aunt again & where I’d have my final conversation ever with my late James. And it’s like I’m losing him all over again, which is just a very heavy feeling. But good memories or not-so-good memories aside, I do know that moving won’t change that these things happened.  I guess I’m simply aware that I feel a bit out of sorts, and am trying not to judge myself too much for that.

Yes, there are a lot of good things in my life right now and yes, my heart feels heavy. And there’s been a part of myself that has been super-judgey of this paradox. How can you feel down? You have no reason to feel down!! So today when my boss asked if I was feeling okay, I told her that I’ve not been feeling like myself actually… and by admitting that out loud allowed a small weight to float off my shoulder. At a BBQ tonight, I confessed to a few more friends that I’ve been a bit stuck… and another weight floated upwards.

No one told me I was crazy or an idiot for feeling down, if anything there was compassion offered and permission given to let me vent. It silenced my inner critic enough that when I got home, it wasn’t there to bark at me that I’m not doing good enough at being an adult. Likely because I acknowledged it… I found it hiding and called out “tag, you’re it!”

The truth is, I may not ever know if I’m doing this right. Finding balance can take a lot of time.

And that’s okay.

I think the more I look to improve my balance, and like ALL the parts of myself (not just the ones that do stand up & write, but the ones that can admit to thinking that Bee Gee’s song More Than A Woman was called Four Letter Woman)… then it’ll just help me ride out the bumps.

After all, I do wear a tattoo that reminds me daily that I am braver than I believe, and stronger than I seem and am smarter than I think.

xo.