Tag Archives: writing

in view

Hello, friend…

Life has taken some really cool people from this earth recently… Tom Petty… and our national treasure, Gord Downie. Men I never met, but absolutely respected and adored. Solid musicians. Life never takes the arseholes, it seems… takes the good ones away more often than I’d like it to. I don’t know why that is, and I doubt I ever will. Though I do believe people leave when they’re meant to, they’ve taught and shared all they could and off they must go.

To infinity and beyond.

I was hoping to see a friend tonight, but ended up staying at home and catching a documentary called Long Time Running about the last year that Gord Downie’s band The Tragically Hip toured together. Gord had been diagnosed with brain cancer. This is how he chose to live his remaining days, sharing his heart with his fellow Canadians. I had learned he was not well when my own documentary, No Responders Left Behind, had started filming in May 2016. A friend I made on that journey, Ray, was to be diagnosed with brain cancer shortly after Gord. Both lived their remaining days with grace, not letting everyone in on how much pain they were in. The pain was there, yes. But the love emitting from us just gave them… something back.

I can only imagine when you get news as they did that, if you’re strong enough, you must sit back and go “okay- let’s enjoy every thing, every day, every one person who comes my way”. There’s a, I don’t know if peace is the right word, but I guess there’s a letting go that all the meditation I do still hasn’t given me. That ahhhhhhh…. you let go of the crap, and embrace the good.

But knowing what Ray experienced, and his family experienced, gave me the smallest glimpse into what Gord and his family must have gone through. Or my friend Ana-Alecia’s battle with cancer and how that affected those of us who loved her… man, I admired her strength. Man, I wish I could have made her cancer go away.

What I loved about the documentary I watched tonight is that it brought back memories with the songs I heard, and for those 90 minutes Gord was back. He was in my living room. He was here. Just like when I watch footage from my film, there Ray is. Talking. Present. There with me as I take notes and listen. I spent a good portion of my teen years thinking I’d become a music video director, the videos I saw by The Tragically Hip influenced me greatly… but then my life took me in a different direction and I forgot for a little while that I loved to tell stories and create. But I’m back where I am supposed to have been all along… telling stories… telling Ray’s story…

As much as I believe that people go when they’ve taught all they can teach, I don’t believe that people ever leave us. They’re there, on film, in photos, in song… ready for when we need them.

I’ll leave you with In View, one of many Hip songs I really dig. And it’s a video set in NYC. My worlds collide. 😉

 

xo.

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me, myself & I

Hello, friend…

Just a quick thought for the night. Earlier this evening, I went for a wardrobe makeover at a favourite Toronto shop (Fresh Collective). I took home a couple of things that I felt gorgeous in, and as people do these days, I shared a picture on the ol’ Instagram.

And I looked at it…

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Not to toot my own horn too much, but dude… I’m going to be 40 in April.

40.

It’s kind of weird!! Ha! But I looked at this picture and just smiled. I’m not wearing any foundation, just some colour in my brows (as I started losing my hair there of all places) and that hair colour on my head isn’t from a bottle- it’s all mine. (I dyed my hair for 20+ years. I love how going to my natural colour as I approach my 4th decade was considered a “bold” move. So what if there is some grey?! I earned that grey!!*)

But that’s me I stared at, and I like me! I don’t like me every day, but the good days outweigh the bad.

I am quite thrilled to have bid adieu to my 20s, to be honest. I have (mostly) adored my 30s. I’m a bit scared about 40, but more so- I love this river of calm that comes with it… being comfortable in my own skin. A quote on my fridge sums this post up best:

“But now I know the things I know,
And do the things I do;
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you!”

xo.

 

(* Honestly? I hardly have any grey hair. I have a couple strands. I love them dearly.)

uber and the single girl

Hello, friend…

On a good day it’s hard enough being a single gal in Toronto. Either I get crap on online dating sites or get questioned by friends I haven’t seen in a while why I haven’t met anyone yet. It’s not for a lack of trying, maybe sometimes I try too hard, but nonetheless I’m single and YOU can figure out how to deal with it. I’d absolutely LOVE to be in love and find a great guy to put down roots with, but for now, it doesn’t seem to be in the cards. And deep down, I really hate this, but… it’s okay. It is what it is.

But what I had to deal with going to work today (Friday, as I start writing this) just was NOT cool. It was my first really REALLY bad experience with Uber.

Got picked up at the assigned meeting place, and quickly found my driver to be chatty and kind of quirky. And then he asked me if I was married. Now, this isn’t the worst question in the world but it can be a dicey one if asked by your taxi driver. I proceed to tell him that I’m not, I’m single and he proceeded to tell me that I must be so lonely and sad because there was no man to love me. Because my life can’t possibly mean anything if there was no one in it.

are you screaming at your laptop yet?

I tried to keep my calm as my blood pressure was boiling over, and told him that I’m trying but I have really bad luck when it comes to finding love. And he starts going on about how “that’s not right” and MY PERSONAL FAVE…. “you must be doing something wrong, you need to do something different because you’re doing something wrong”. As much as I wanted to scream at him to fuck the fuck off, I calmly asked him to stop talking about this as he was upsetting me. And then told him that I have a really awesome life, and I’d love someone to join in on the fun but for now all was okay. To which he replied “yeah, right”.

I was then informed of how much he missed his wife when she went away for two days and how easily he got her pregnant. I got out earlier than my scheduled stop as I was about to cry and/or punch this man in the face.

As I said, on a good day it’s hard enough being single in this city.

Uber heard from me today, you can trust me on that.

I’d like to think that if I need someone to drive me from Point A to Point B, I’m not going to get too much if ANY flack for my (lack of a) love life.

I’m off to bed now. Tomorrow morning I’m taking myself to breakfast, thankyouverymuch.

xo.

 

**UPDATE: Uber Customer Service has been incredibly kind and refunded the trip/lecture. I will give them credit for agreeing that I should never have experienced what I did today.

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.

 

graduation

Hello, friend…

This time tomorrow I’ll be in my new apartment. My stress level will be lower. Now, I’m someone who has moved A LOT but despite this, I cannot tell you how much I HATE moving. The process- the whole thing- it drives me insane. Up the wall, batty, insane. And I’m not only mad to be crowded in by boxes, I’m also mad that I have so much stuff.

Anyway. THAT being said. I’m looking forward to settling into my new space. I am! I’m hoping we will get along quite nicely.

Do I think places have feelings? Yes. I do. And I know it’s a strange thing to say, but when I moved in to where I am now… I had a feeling, in one part of the apartment in particular, that someone had been really sad in there once. I recall painting the walls and just feeling a heaviness. It was strange, but this turned out to be the one part of the apartment where my internet wasn’t great and a lamp frequently turned itself on.

So… mull on that for a bit.

I felt a lot of stress in here at first. But when I was 18 years old I moved out on my own for the first time, a few blocks away from where I am tonight. I only lived there for a year and I recall leaving that apartment, walking towards the subway, SO upset that I had to go. But I said to myself that I’d move back as soon as I could. It took 19 years, but I kept my promise to myself! I feel as though living here was needed, necessary to even out things from my past… does that make sense? I don’t know. Perhaps coming back to this area unearthed emotions I’d left deep inside. (My stomach was a wreck for the first little while of living here, for the second time.)

In two years of living here though, with my mom as my roomie – see my Hello Giggles piece on that here-

http://hellogiggles.com/love-sex/relationships/my-mom-is-my-roommate/

… in those two years, my life changed here. It changed. Big time. I learned I’d be an Aunt again here, I made a connection with someone on Twitter that led to my co-producing my first documentary, I made my TMZ Live debut here, I had lovely lovely romances here, I learned my neighbour Anne once worked with Charlie CHAPLIN!! SO much goodness came living within these walls. But it was not without a heaviness of heart, either. Where boxes are piled high right now, I stood and learned my James had died. In the bathroom was where I sat on the floor and cried with him weeks before, as we said our goodbyes on the phone.

Not every space we live in will do things for us, some experiences in places you’ll want to run so quickly from you won’t even hear the door slam behind you. But I’m truly grateful for whatever magic lived here. Or still lives here.

The air is different here, it’s lighter… I hope the family that moves in here Saturday will add more love and magic.

I feel tonight like I’m packing up, having finished college and am moving on to see what life has in store for me next. I’m ready! It’s time to see what is beyond these walls, yo. 😉

xo.

dating etiquette

Hello, friend…

It’s Saturday night and I’m sitting at home going  over a conversation I had with my friend Becky at dinner tonight: the fact that when it comes to dating these days, everything just seems so disposable. How we toss away things has now resulted in tossing away romantic possibilities left & right. We’re just swiping everything!

Great dates never to be heard from again!

Plans made to be broken at the 11th hour!

Guys who aren’t interested in dating but just want to “keep things casual and hang out!”

I’m starting to wonder… is there a blackhole filled with the men I’ve been on one date with? Did they just get sucked into some vacuum and tossed into space? And also… is it okay that I’m not keen on “just hanging out”? I’m 39 years old for Pete’s sake! So I decided to consult one of my etiquette books (‘Etiquette for Everybody’, copyright 1952) to gain some perspective and offer these tips below to incorporate into your daily routine. Maybe it’ll make our road to romance less rocky… maybe? Probably not, but it’s worth a go.

  • when a man is accompanying a woman, he should walk on the curb side (yes this was started to protect us ladies from being hit by random, run-away horse drawn carriages but I still love the idea)
  • a man should rise when a woman enters the room and remove his hat (got that, Tinder? Pants ON, hat OFF!)
  • a woman should be able to invite a man someplace without making him think she is pursuing him ( le sigh… god forbid we ask you to out and you think it’s code for “I want to get married”- it’s just a coffee, calm the f**k down)
  • a woman should not accept a valuable present from a man or an article of wearing apparel even from her fiance (… exhibit number one, Destiny’s Child “Independent Woman Pt. 1”)
  • when out, a couple should not talk loudly with their companion (given the advent of smartphones- this really isn’t a problem in 2017)

SO there you have it! Men… take off your hats and head to the curb! Ladies… do not accept that fancy present, you can buy it yourself! Basically, let’s try to bring some manners back, okay? Maybe it’ll help and get us really connecting once again.

Next week… how to properly announce your engagement is off! (Here’s a hint… it’s ALWAYS “by mutual consent.”)

xo.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Love you lots, Your Auntie Kelly.