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  • Inspiration: Evan Ross Inspiration: Evan Ross

    Inspiration: Evan Ross

Inspiration: Evan Ross

If you’re looking for a way to burn two hours and have it feel like two seconds, fall down a hole on Instagram. That’s what happened last night. I went from Wicked City to Evan Ross’s IG account to midnight in the blink of an eye. First impressions of Wicked City: warped, demented, some chick stabbed to death in the back of a trunk while blood splattered all over the camera lens? Count me in for next week Ed Westwick, you twisted sister. Throughout: who’s this guy who kinda sounds like Michael Jackson? Google, google…google, google…Evan Ross —>IG —> over and out. In between IG and over and out I took a detour back to the ‘nets and Evan took me back to grade 9. Hi crotch droopers, leather jacket and ivory tencel safari vest (religiously worn with the droopers and a grey t-shirt) that my mom probably snuck out of the house in a garbage bag when I wasn’t looking! Like, when I moved out and forgot it at the age of 17. Thank you, Evan. For reminding me about the plaid pants I gave away (burn!), reinforcing my love for the drop crotch and getting me off the fence as to whether or not to reinvest in the brogues. Swore I’d never return to those lace-up little devils after burning the soles out of the ones in grades 9 through 12, but that’s what I get for saying never. Evan Ross, people. Feast your eyes. I swear he’s getting some of his own wardrobe inspiration from his mom’s late pal, Michael Jackson. Current closet contains variations of all these pieces – his and hers, btw. Day to night droop = versatility for the win. Hat on fleek. Unfortch I’d probably have to wear at least a […]

  • Just a little more Just a little more

    Just a little more

Just a little more

I knew I was back in the land of the living (or is that the dead), when I rolled into Taco Bell in San Luis Obispo and the kid behind the counter asked me if I was ready to think outside the bun. Bun, what bun? Not catching on at first, I gave him a deadpan stare. ‘Are you living más today?’ My senses were on overload. The fluorescent lights, the glaring food board, this kid’s quips hammering away at my now seven days quiet brain. When I didn’t answer he looked confused, ‘Maybe just poquito?,’ he asked. Yeah buddy, two hours ago I was más and now I’m re-entering the world of poquito trying to mentally maintain más. You with me? That’s what it’s like when I leave Big Sur. It’s more than the standard vacation’s over flatline. It’s like coming down from a massive trip; a completely disconnected, utterly peaceful yet internally conflicted state of being. You can’t get away from yourself up there. It holds no distractions. Try as you may to lose yourself in the sea or the sky, the trees or that neverending horizon, inevitably all that echoes back is who you are. All your demons come to the surface leaving no choice but to acknowledge and deal with them which, if you’re open, can be a very cleansing albeit sobering thing. I think you could go mad there, but I guess what I’m saying is I’m willing to find out. Six months away and one week back only reinforced it.

  • Peace out 2014 Peace out 2014

    Peace out 2014

Peace out 2014

What can I say? I don’t usually do these year end wrap-up things but was going through a bunch of pictures last night, trying to avoid the chocolate peanut butter balls my friend made me for Christmas, and started feeling nostalgic. Seriously, I could have bit it in September. When I started looking back over 2014, here’s what came to mind: In January I started blogging again after more than a year away. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand I like having a record of what I’m thinking/doing, especially since I had another stroke. On the other hand, I want to get rid of 90% of those old outfit posts and slap myself. One positive is I feel like more of my voice has emerged and that’s what I’m after, authenticity and a level of transparency without being a douche. In February (don’t worry I’m not doing this month-by-month) I visited Big Sur for the first time. Why in the hell did I not listen to my inner voice for the ten years prior when it begged and pleaded to go to Big Sur? Oh that’s right, I was too busy buying into fear that searches would tank without me if I took a few days off. Glass half full: I made it this year when the time was just right and saved a kid from jumping off the Bixby. Truthfully, he kind of saved me from myself. In a state of shock shortly thereafter, we drank beer in a local tavern and talked about how significant and insignificant our lives really are. It was an amazing, life-changing trip. I cried multiple times coming to grips with just […]

  • Fight or flight? Flight Fight or flight? Flight

    Fight or flight? Flight

Fight or flight? Flight

Yesterday a guy I’ve done some search work with called to thank me for referring a nice chunk of business to him. We hadn’t spoken in about 6 months so it turned into a catch-up session, semi-overdone on his part based on sheer gratitude. You can always hear that mix of hysteria/appreciation when you’re on the receiving end, not that it makes the sentiment any less sincere, and I felt bad for not letting him know how much I think of him sooner. In the course of conversation I gently broke the news – because I will still take a project here and there with people I like and he’s one of them – that I’m not working right now. The silence on the end of the line was deafening. Here he’d just finished telling me how great it was to sit outside on his rooftop deck, in Harlem on Sunday, for the first nice weather of the year, how he wished he could figure out a way to live in Southern California based on mild temps and year-round biking alone, and how he realized he just had to come to grips with the fact he’d built his business in NYC and now there was no way out. I don’t think he knew what to say. I didn’t know what more to say either. He launched into a heartfelt speech turned quasi diatribe about how good I am at what I do, how much I’ve achieved, “Really Carrie, think about it. You’re a Canadian who came here without any prior business contacts and look what you’ve built?!”, and how lucky I am to live where I live. What more could I want? While trying to […]

  • Play it again Sam Play it again Sam

    Play it again Sam

Play it again Sam

Yesterday I opened a gmail account I rarely use and found an email from my high school boyfriend <all the pins drop>. Nothing major just a checking in/hey how are you doing kinda thing, but it struck me as odd because he’s crossed my mind a few times since we saw The Fault In Our Stars on Sunday. I mean this guy was basically the non-cancer version of Augustus Waters back in the day, and I don’t think I’ve checked that email account in more than 3 months. While I was weeding out the spam I found another email from my dear, old friend Susan. Old as in the friendship, not the person. Strangely enough we’ve been re-pinning each other’s stuff on Pinterest, and when she clicked through to my site realized it was me. Crazy awesome sauce, right?! We’ve been friends for 20 years and lost touch, but now I guess we’re back in touch. Woot! I don’t keep up with astrology or read much into it even if I come across my horoscope except if it were to tell me I was going to win the lottery in which case you would find me. But today when I was sitting in bed, room spinning from yet another anxiety attack, I remembered overhearing the other day that Mercury was going into Retrograde. This lady at the grocery store was in a major flap about it making me wonder if she might hole up under her bed for the duration. Mercury? Retrograde? Wha? = basically my response. So while I was in the horizontal I looked that biz up on the nets and here’s some of the stuff it said: Mercury Retrograde is when the […]

  • Think on these things Think on these things

    Think on these things

Think on these things

A couple weeks ago some broccoli fell on my head at Whole Foods. Not one bunch, but like all the bunches rolled off the shelf in a torrential downpour of broccoli. I could feel everyone stop and turn around, and the guy next to me graciously broke the ice saying, ‘Whoa. Are you okay? That broccoli tried to take you out.’ I was laughing so hard while I scrambled to put it all back that I could hardly respond. The guy looked relieved to see I wasn’t crying. I mean, it was a lot of broccoli. When I walked away I thought: I cannot believe I did not throw a shit fit. I actually don’t even care! If this had happened a couple years ago, I very well may have flipped a nut and lost it. Instead I felt happy, able to laugh at myself. To me this is progress. Within days of my stroke, I began to learn about the disabling power of negativity. Initially it happened in a pretty bizarre way when I tried watching reality TV: my brain just shut down. I know I keep saying it, but it was such a defining moment. That garbage made my already aching brain throb in my skull. At first I thought it was the chaos, because mentally I could handle approximately zero chaos, but it was more than that. What I didn’t realize at the time is I was having a physical reaction to the sheer emptiness of the lifestyles being portrayed on TV. Why hadn’t I noticed it before? Wanting to fill the few waking hours I had each day with something I loved, I switched to trying to read books. Not sure […]

  • Get up offa that thing Get up offa that thing

    Get up offa that thing

Get up offa that thing

At some point I’ll start talking about getting out of the hole (beats a dead horse), but not yet. First I’m going to take a moment to feel like crap. On Sunday we went to see Maleficent (friggin A was it good). When we parked the car outside the theater I felt the rumblings of a panic attack. Ever have one of those? They suck. One minute I’m completely fine and the next it’s like an earthquake goes off in my head. Everything starts shaking, I get super dizzy and nauseous, and then – if it’s exceptionally bad – feel like my airways are closing. That’s fun. They show up out of nowhere and dismantle me for days at a time. I guess in some ways it really is like the aftermath of an earthquake, only inside the body. The one on Sunday came after eating lunch at a place I’ve eaten at before and then shopping at a place I’ve shopped before. Nothing foreign, new or – you’d think – scary, but it landed me in bed, shaking, by ten o’clock. The one yesterday came after visiting the Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica where I had a great time. On the way back I noticed I felt a little woozy and tried to shake it off, but by the time I got home was ripping off my jewelry (absolutely cannot be constricted when these things hit) and crawling under the covers. Honestly, it ruined the day. Not because I let it, but because it just did. I used to be someone who could do a lot of things at once. Multi-tasking was my game and I was an A-player. Now I sometimes get overwhelmed […]

  • You don’t own me You don’t own me

    You don’t own me

You don’t own me

Today has been a real battle of the wills. My old will vs what I’d like to believe is my new, emerging will. Around 9 o’clock this morning there was a huge bang and the windows rattled. While I was making sure another one of the neighbors hadn’t accidentally blown up their meth lab (like last month), another massive crash came from downstairs. Well, duh! Obviously the landlord had sent his guy over to demo the bathroom of the not-even-12-hours-cold-from-the-last-tenant unit, and hadn’t bothered to give me any notice. I’m not going to lie, I could feel the rage building. Every second that passed with another major BOOM coming from below my bedroom made me angrier and angrier. It’s not like I haven’t lived here for 9 years. It’s not like the guy doesn’t know I’m (technically) self-employed. It’s not like the courteous and perhaps legal thing wouldn’t be to give a tenant notice. And what about the rad sauce tile The Counting Crows had put in when they owned it back in the day?? All that art deco goodness going down the drain for no reason made me so pissed mad. And then the victim thinking started creeping in: WHY ME? WHY CAN’T THIS B*TCH RESPECT ME (and the tile)? HOW DOES EVERYONE ELSE WHO MAKES LESS MONEY THAN ME SEEM TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO BUY A HOUSE? And then I shut that voice off. I got up from where I had crawled back into bed to feel sorry for myself, took a deep breath and texted my landlord to tell him I would have really appreciated some notice. Believe me, I would have preferred to call but he has a real […]

  • Find a happy place Find a happy place

    Find a happy place

Find a happy place

Journal entry from June 5, 2013: I wish I could be a happy person. I don’t even remember what that is. I spent the majority of winter 2013 laid up on the couch recovering from a stroke. As a busy person who’s not used to a lot of downtime, it was weird. And difficult. I wanted things to go back to the way they were before I got sick: busy, busy, busy without so much as a care in the world. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about things, it was my life was so filled up with deadlines and demanding people that I didn’t have time to care about anything else. In fact, the only time I realized something non-work related was really bothering me was right before I was about to drift off to sleep. But then when I woke up in the morning I’d have forgotten all about it. Being incapacitated leaves you with a lot of time to yourself. I couldn’t scroll on the computer, iPad or phone, so that distraction was out. An interesting thing happened when I tried to watch television: most of the trash programs I used to watch (The Bachelorette, Real Housewives, Bravo in general) made me sick. I don’t mean a little queasy, I mean my brain would literally start to ache and I’d have to shut it off. That caught my attention. Those shows seemed pretty harmless, but I guess not? So there I was, lying in quiet, alone. Slowly but surely, I came face-to-face with myself and it was pretty off-putting. Most of my thoughts were not all that positive. In fact, I’d go so far as to say they were pretty negative. For […]