Tag Archives: self-love

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/
  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.




Hello, friend…

What a day it’s been. You see, along with writing & stand-up & filmmaking… I also work in bakery. And today, man, you’d think at the first signs of winter here in Toronto folks were thinking they had to stock up for the next few months… we were slammed. Which is great! For any business, especially a small one, you want that much foot traffic. And for the most part, everyone was super to deal with today which is awesome. (Though I could really deal with less of watching couples making out in front of me. It’s like, cool… you’re in love… you are so stoked we have cinnamon buns that you feel the need to make a baby in front of me…. but please, just order something and then rip each other’s clothes off. Pleaseandthankyou.)

At the end of the night, as I closed up, I went to the washroom and I smiled at myself in the mirror. Sure, I felt as tired as hell, but I looked good! I’ve not worn much, if any, make-up for a month or so now… not for any empowerment reasons… I actually haven’t had the money to replenish stuff… ANYWAY. I just caught a smile in my eyes or something, mostly because my teenage self would NEVER have permitted herself to leave the house without LAYERS of make-up on. I had cystic acne as a teenager… my skin wasn’t soft, it was speed bump city.

And I wanted to hiiiiiiiide. And now… well, you better like me for me or you can leave. 🙂

It makes me laugh a little, just at how my teen years were spent in a fight between figuring out who I was and how to get as far away from her as possible. I wanted to be older, I wanted to live in Florida, I wanted to be SOMEBODY, anybody other than who I was. And that was LONG before I’d know what social media was. (And for that reason alone I want to hug every teen in the world right now, I do not know how you find peace amongst all that noise. I’d be a MESS if I was 16 nowadays.) Granted, I still judge myself more than I should… whenever those life markers pop up in my head and I compare myself to others. Who are married, have stable incomes, have families… I question at times why that isn’t me. And then I yell at myself “Because that’s not supposed to be you right now! Jeebsus!”

(Insert Cher slapping Nic Cage in Moonstruck here. Snap Out of It!!)

Being 39 these days, actually, being 39 and single these days isn’t easier either. Online dating is my Achilles heel. But last night, watching the good egg that is Nick Offerman at Shea’s in Buffalo, he said that when he met the woman who’d become his wife he was doing some work on a theatre they’d soon be performing in. He was in his element and whatever light that came from him, must have caught her eye. He championed NOT trying to find love online, but in doing what you love … that way you’ll really connect with someone.

The man’s got a point.

When I’m in my element… I can feel it, that glow.

Confidence is a good thing, ain’t it?

Hmm… maybe a Tinder break is needed. I just did “Sober October”, maybe I can make… um… “No-Online Dating- Vember” a thing. (I will work on that title.)



some people just can’t handle awesome.

Hello, friend…

I’m feeling a lot better after the shit-show that blew into my love life last week. Still holding onto some anger like I’m continually tucking into a tub of mint chocolate ice cream (my favourite), fully aware there’s a garlic bulb in the middle. (mental note… NEVER, EVER eat that. that sounds fucking disgusting.)

BUT! Yesterday, a co-worker gave it to me simply, she said “this stuff happens to the best of us- some people just can’t handle awesome”.



I could continue to stew on how this “Twat Waffle” (my beautiful, funny friend Monica gets credit for that one) hurt my feelings, but I’ve got a stand-up set tomorrow night that I need to plan for. I get to go tell jokes, and that is the coolest thing ever. I LOVE that I get a chance to make people laugh! I can use the crap I’ve been through to release my own stress and make people giggle. It’s such a privilege that I get to do this.

So, friend… as Valentine’s Day approaches, keep this in mind if you’re recently single or your road to love has a few more potholes than you’d like it to:

You, my dear ARE awesome.





time travel & fireworks & canada day

Hello, friend…

This fine country I live in, Canada, celebrated it’s 149th birthday today (as I write this it is still July 1st). And that means one thing… fireworks. Well, it means a ton of other things but I know I’ll be seeing fireworks and that just takes me to a happy place. I love fireworks. If I ever get married, I want to have fireworks at some point in the celebration. This is the only thing I know for sure about my possibly getting married one day… oh!… I am also totes down for a wedding a la City Hall as I want it to be small. Okay, so there are two things I know for sure about that.


Back to Canada Day and the anticipated fireworks. As I get older, I am less and less a fan of crowds. So I tend to watch fireworks from a fair distance away, preferably my rooftop or window. Living in the city allows for this, multiple angles and space to view the gorgeous collection of lights and colours. This year, my friend suggested we go see some fireworks and I suggested we hit a park in my neighbourhood… I saw on Twitter that the community group was holding an event. Perfecto!

And you know what? It was absolutely perfect. We grabbed a few moments on the swings before the children discovered adults were on there reliving their youth… we warmed up with some coffee… and joined the line for free glow sticks & sparklers. There we were, in the midtown of Toronto, near a splash pad and a community ballpark  with children dancing to hits of our youth (i.e Glass Tiger, anyone?!) in a style of dance we lovingly described as ” the I’m being swarmed by bees dance”. Kids are the best that way, they just DO. Judgement comes later… when they’re like 18 years old.

But to a music playlist that took me back to when I was younger and carefree, the whole shebang took me back to when my parents would take my brother & I to the park down the street to watch the fireworks. It wasn’t anything super fancy, but it was done with such love. The dads set up the stuff and we all got to watch this awesome show of colours and sparkles. It was like I was 10 years old again, when I sat beside Todd in Grade 5 and dreamed of being famous. I loved, loved loooooved Todd. Todd would break my heart, multiple times… boys still break my heart… that hasn’t changed a whole lot. But for few moments tonight, something reminded me that magic is still possible. The sparkles and colours of fireworks continue to dazzle me! I looked up and cheered and applauded with everyone, and thought to myself of all the cool things I get to do. Because I get to do some pretty cool shit! Not everything in my life is where I’d like it to be, there are a lot of bumps, but I haven’t lost my sense of wonder. I like that. 10 year old me would approve of that. 🙂

So, here is some Glass Tiger to take you into the wee hours… go dance the bees away.



Hello, friend…

I should be getting ready for a dinner date right now (I have a date!! Yahoo!), but to calm the nerves I’m here for a quick chat. 🙂 I’ve been talking to this guy for a couple of weeks & we’re finally able to meet… thank goodness. We’re going for dinner at a favourite Italian spot of mine, and with my admission that I’m not drinking this month he joked that he was going to “actually have to be charming” in the absence of booze. 😉

So. I’m feeling good. Yes, I’ll soon be feeling like I’ve eaten too much pasta but for now the belly is calm.

There has been a lightness in the air today though, with holiday shopping in full swing and twinkle lights everywhere… and in the exhibit I saw today with my friend Paula at the AGO. We caught the JMW Turner exhibit:


I knew next to nothing about the painter going in, but standing there and looking at pieces from the 1800’s I was struck by this guy’s use of light. It is unbelievable. And it got me to thinking… this fellow painted these works 200 years ago or so, right? He has this amazing legacy and he continues on as people come upon his work for the first time. His metaphorical light keeps going through his work. I don’t know if my name is one people will remember long after I’m gone. Maybe 100 years from now someone will still be wondering if my brother Robert was the one who directed Forrest Gump.(This is a question I really do get! I have a brother named Robert… Zemnickis. Robert Zemeckis is not my brother- though he is the guy who directed Forrest Gump.)

There are a few things I don’t know. Well, truthfully there are a NUMBER of things but we don’t have that kind of time, people!

I don’t know if I will ever have children of my own, but I do regard my plays as my children. And I’ve got four, all of whom I love equally… with a fifth on the way! (There was a first reading this past September, which is probably the closest I’ll ever get to a Baby Shower.) I don’t know if I am destined to become a writer the world will know about, I’ve got a small career (though one I am very proud of)… . I don’t know if people will see my plays or watch a movie I wrote 200 years from now in whatever form people will do those things 200 years from now. (Likely through a TV chip implanted in their palms.)

But my work is work that I am proud of, even if it’s just making a very very very tiny dent in the universe at present.

I think what matters most is that I’m making my art.

Whatever your medium is, you’ve got to speak your truth. Right?? You’ve got to shine your own light. And I’m not the most self-confident gal on the planet, I’m riddled with self-doubt but I do know this… There is absolutely no point in doing things to impress others that depress you in the process.

… and with that boost of self-confidence, I’ve got a date to get ready for!




(eye) spy….


Hello, friend…

So it’s Saturday night, and after a great day of seeing friends and discovering a fantastic new bakery (#winning)(… are people still doing that?? anyhoo.) I thought to indulge in some homemade fish tacos. And plopped Win A Date with Tad Hamilton! into the DVD player. It came out in 2004 and is your classic tale of a boy who loves a girl but can’t seem to tell her how he really feels… and then goes bananas when she falls for a handsome Hollywood star, who might (?) actually feel something for her too. Totally common scenario. But in a way it is… minus the celebrity bit… We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt something for someone and can’t bring ourselves to admit it to them. Or maybe we do and it blows up in our face. But the situation is relate-able… and it did get me to thinking about what we see and what we choose to see.

In my line of work, I’ve been very fortunate to meet celebrities now and then. Most times nothing happens worth noting, but sometimes, if fate is being kind we form a bond… *cough* Brendan Fraser *cough*. I’ve been asked to dinner, only to have the cute male tv presenter never call me to follow up, and I’ve been given so many excuses as to why “he can’t meet me for drinks ’cause he has to fly to [insert city here] in a few hours” that I have to give US Weekly props… “celebs are just like us”. Indeed. 😉

Or maybe you’ve been with someone who simply isn’t a match, but you need to make it work for whatever the reason… Nathan Lane’s character tells Tad (Josh Duhamel) as he’s getting to know his love interest (while rehabilitating his career) “You have different values… she HAS them!” But. Romance and love are amazing, splendid things. Don’t get me wrong. But I think too often you want what you see in someone to become reality, you think if you hunker down and hang in then all the bumps and hiccups you’re used to will flatten out. My goodness, finding love shouldn’t equate to a spin class you’re trying to power through! Granted, nothing is ever perfect. It can’t be.

The other night I got to talking to a friend who’s marriage has ended, which took me completely by surprise. If I were to guess how things were via his social media photos, I saw happy kids and fun things and family time… but that wasn’t the whole story. But I saw what I wanted to see. As I took another look at the same page the next day, the puzzle pieces clicked. I spotted the gaps, I saw what wasn’t there. And we got talking about the relationship I untangled myself from last year… we remember the five year guy, yes? For simplicity sake, I will refer to him as “S”. As I talk to friends now about “S” and what we went through, it’s crystal clear to me how unhealthy that relationship was. Everyone seems to say, after I finish my tale, how fortunate I am to be free of that. But for a long time I thought that’s what I deserved in a relationship. I really thought I deserved nothing. Instead of a full piece of cake, I got a sampler bite.

“Like how this tastes? Well, this is all we can offer you. But! We’ll have more samples next week…. or month. Whenever we feel like it, really.” 

I still see “S” in my dreams sometimes. I wake up so sad and angry. Who let him back in there?! Aauugghhh!!! But we knew each other for so many years, he offered me sample and after sample… I basically had the whole cake, really. Or maybe that’s what I chose to see. ANYWAY. We need not speak of him further. He’s a jerk and I deserve better!!!

I see that now. It took the better part of a year, it took a lot of soul searching, but I see that crystal clear now. I DO deserve better, damnit! I’m far from perfect, but I’m pretty darn cool… and I’m getting to know a great guy who made me a lovely lunch the other day and who makes up silly songs for me, and who’s happy to sport some of my lipstick on his cheek. So! Things are looking up!!

Yikes-a-bee*. 😉


(* a line from the move. I’m not sure how it’s spelled. but it has to do with being super exited about something and your willingness to go ahead and do it. Not that you’ve just spotted a bee.)