Writings

  • The Big One The Big One

    The Big One

The Big One

Last year on this day I turned on my computer, swallowed my fear, and went back to work. It’s been a whole year. I made it. Yesterday we had a bit of a shitstorm and my boss said to me, “Carrie, I love you. I mean I f*cking love you. If you try to go somewhere and take a different job I will hunt you down, put you in handcuffs and drag you back to the office.” Some people might think that’s a little over the top, but not me. Instead of swallowing fear, today I swallowed a lump in my throat. It feels good to be appreciated, not just for what you can do but for who you are as a person. What a difference a year makes. Four years ago I could barely walk or string a sentence together. My brain was scrambled eggs. I slept a lot. I wondered if I’d ever work again, at least at the job I loved and had been so successful at for more than a decade. I tried not to think about it. I haven’t written very much here this year. All of my energy has gone into learning how to do my job again with a brain that is different than it once was, giving it everything it needs to rewire and recharge. It’s taken every bit of energy I have. Am I doing the right thing? The answer comes when I imagine myself without this hysterically productive thing that has given me such a sense of accomplishment, especially this year. For now, yes. I can’t even believe I’m doing it.

By |September 19th, 2017|Life, Writings|4 Comments
  • Postcards from hairstagram Postcards from hairstagram

    Postcards from hairstagram

Postcards from hairstagram

Last week I wasted spent 8 hours of my life playing musical chairs at the salon. Here is some of what I overheard/saw when I wasn’t a. watching my phone die or b. falling asleep with my head in the bowl. For anyone wondering what it’s like to be not famous living in LA. Model: I’m ordering sushi. Stylist: Ooooh that sounds good. Model: You can have it. I’m only eating a piece, they just required a minimum order. Stylist <to girl in chair next to me>: How are you? Girl: Good! I just sold my pilot. Me <to myself>: Oh fck shoot me. Stylist: You DID? <hint of disbelief> Girl: Yeah. I signed with an agent last week and everything. I guess they talked to a producer who’s already interested. Me <to her>: Congratulations. Seriously, that’s a big deal. Way to go. Her: Thank you! I’m going to start paying all the rent now and give my sister a break until she makes it seeing as it looks like I’m going to be making a lot more money now. Stylist <abandons my head>: So how about some highlights? I know you’re only scheduled for a cut but…. Girl: Nah, I think I’m good. Stylist: Carrie we’re just going to – Me: Put me over at the bowl? Stylist <grins>: Put you over at the bowl. <aka coerce this woman into highlights> Instagram star at bowl: How does it look? Colorist: Yep, it looks like the inside of a banana. Instastar: My grandpa used to say I was like a banana. Yellow on the outside, white on the inside. *Four hours into pulling my own hair out the appointment woman walks in off the street […]

  • Teen Mom 2 recap, exasperation, etc Teen Mom 2 recap, exasperation, etc

    Teen Mom 2 recap, exasperation, etc

Teen Mom 2 recap, exasperation, etc

As I said on twitter last night just as Teen Mom 2 was about to start: Jesus take our wheels. #Jesusbreaktheirwheels Who’s with me on that? Especially considering Chelsea’s driving a Range Rover and Kail a BMW SUV and neither of them have jobs. Okay Chelsea gives laser peels and hair removal, but don’t even try to tell me that paid for the Range. I know math. On to the episode at hand which I believe was entitled Cherries and Flowers. I made up my own name thanks to Leah, It’s Gonna Take a LOT More Than Love. More on that later. The scene opens to Jenelle bitching and moaning about her mom. Again. You know, that same mom who has had custody of Jenelle’s son, Jace, since Jenelle gave up parental rights seven years ago in order to be a crackhead. The mom who has provided for all his emotional and physical needs from her own finances while Jenelle has had not one but two other children, numerous boyfriends, more joints than we can count on all our fingers combined, not to mention many hits of heroine and cocaine. Kieeefah! Remember him? Whoa dude. So anyway, there’s Jenelle, pregnant again, child number three in the belly, wandering around the lawn rambling about how she hasn’t talked to Barbara since the last blowout in the parking lot, but there’s been a huge storm in the area so she might have to. But she doesn’t want to film with her, oh no, because Barbara is using Jace for money! God help me, this dimwit makes her living by having kids for MTV and she doesn’t want her Wal-Mart employee senior citizen mom getting even a tiny […]

  • Wage wars Wage wars

    Wage wars

Wage wars

1988: A posting goes up in my high school for summer jobs with the county. Four people will be chosen from all the students who apply. I’m small and petite in build. I want one of those manual labor jobs. I’ve been accepted into University and have to pay my own way. That job pays $7/hr. SEVEN DOLLARS AN HOUR. More than I’d make at any other job. I fill out an application and get on the interview list. I’m halfway there. My mom looks at me a little worried, she knows I have my heart set. “Carrie, you know they work those kids hard, right? It will be cutting grass all over the county and probably not on riding mowers. You’ll have to paint classrooms and refinish hardwood floors in the gyms. That means hauling all the furniture out, too. It will be long days.” Translation: Girl, you are 85lbs soaking wet. They’re going to pick bigger kids. I’ve already thought about that. I go to the interview in dark jeans and a sweatshirt that hides how tiny I am. Unbeknownst to me, very shy, I’m good in interviews (look for the signs people, they’re always pointing the way: today I’m an executive recruiter). I walk out feeling pretty good. My mom looks at me like I’m delusional when I tell her I think I got the job. Interviews go on for several days and then a sign goes up in the hallway at school announcing the successful applicants. My name is at the top of the list. Of the four selected, there are two girls and two boys. I later learn the girls will be paid $7/hr and the boys $7.50/hr because they […]

  • It rose from the ashes It rose from the ashes

    It rose from the ashes

It rose from the ashes

I swore I would never do television recaps again, but after last night’s Teen Mom 2 have reconsidered. I’ve found my people again. And to be clear I do not mean the cast of Teen Mom 2. I cannot believe Kail took a walk down ho alley and tried to make Javi seem like the unstable one.  And yes I did just out myself for watching Teen Mom 2. #noshameinmygame To the people who have emailed me re: the Bachelor recaps: a. Thank you. b. Do you watch Teen Mom 2? At least there is an element of real life to it even though after you watch you are unable to sleep because you want to go raging off into that good night, and by that I mean stay on twitter until your eyes are slits and your cat has scratched your ankle off trying to let you know it chewed a hole in the Temptations bag and threw up on the kitchen floor. Next: I started using my tumblr account (link here) after 7 years and post stuff there usually daily. Even though it’s only been a week (lolz) I love how simple and fun it is to share quick thoughts and images. I’m not giving up writing here. I have a year end recap STILL rolling around in my brain but last year was an exceptionally weird, difficult, high highs and low lows year for me. I feel like I turned a corner in my life that I can’t go back on and it’s been hard to articulate. I guess I may never fully explain it, but that essay will appear here before the end of 2017 along with some other stuff. Heck, […]

  • deck the halls with a bunch of stuff i bought for myself deck the halls with a bunch of stuff i bought for myself

    deck the halls with a bunch of stuff i bought for myself

deck the halls with a bunch of stuff i bought for myself

Christmas. That time of year when mini-lights and tree lots and little seedless oranges abound. When you try not to eat everything but end up ordering Domino’s Pizza anyway because all those coupons hooked to the door handle just.won’t.stop. Baking cookies sounds like a dream, but the Pie Bar is down the street and what the heck, one more piece of peppermint mocha can’t hurt. IT’S THE HOLIDAYS! Someone sends a bottle of champlagne and a candle? Don’t mind if I do. Everything in stores and online looks so tempting. Coupons and promo codes flood your inbox. What to get for this person or that? Then you remember you actually have to see your family on Christmas day and are like, “Oh hell no I need to buy something for MYSELF.” #anesthetize The UPS guy recognizes you in public three cities away while you’re eating lunch…not together, that’s Christmas. Wading through boxes on your doorstep looking for gifts you are sure you bought, but oddly enough can only find pink velvet wallabee’s, a striped turtleneck, two puzzles, a coloring book, a pair of disco boots and another striped turtleneck? Did someone steal my credit card? You go to the tree lot and find the perfect tree after wandering around for two hours aka making sure they don’t pull any better ones from that big white tent at the back just as you pull out of the driveway. As soon as you get home you are amped to decorate that tree! There’s a knock at the door while you’re taking a “rest break” and you faintly overhear the neighbor ask, “Just wondering when Carrie’s going to put up her Christmas display? Everyone in the neighborhood is talking about it after Halloween.” Nap […]

By |December 16th, 2016|Writings|4 Comments
  • On life and death On life and death

    On life and death

On life and death

My mom grew up in a three room house on the prairies in Canada. She had seven brothers and sisters. They did not have running water and my grandmother cooked on a coal stove. One of my favorite memories is the time I slept over at my grandma and grandpa’s with my cousin Shelley. I woke up wrapped in one of my grandma’s homemade quilts in their soft, comfy bed, light shining brightly through the bedroom windows. My grandparents stood in the doorway with grins on their faces, “Are you sleepyheads ready to get up?!” My tiny grandma laughing her big, hearty laugh. It never donned on me to ask where they had slept since Shelley and I slept in the bed. Later I asked my mom and she only said, “Well, where do you think they slept?” I gave her a blank stare. She responded, “They slept in the same place they slept when me and Aunty Betty and all of the rest of us lived at home – on the floor or the couch in the living room, so we could have the bed and be rested up for school.” I remember thinking about my aunts and uncles, wondering how they all squished into that one bed. I had a lot of questions for my mom that day. She told me stories about the little ones sleeping horizontally in the bed, as many as they could fit. The bigger kids slept in the living room with my grandma and grandpa, all spread out like a big sleepover – every night until they started leaving home one by one. When I was growing up, I never thought of my grandparents as poor. I thought of […]

By |November 22nd, 2016|Writings|12 Comments
  • Know yourself Know yourself

    Know yourself

Know yourself

All week long I’ve tried to think about particularly insightful things to say here. I’m not sure I have any. Here goes: I went back to work. I was not planning on doing this, at all. It just kind of happened. I hate when people say things just kind of happen, but as it turns out they do. Summer rolled around and all I could think about was how bored I was. “Ride your bike,” I said to myself.  Twenty minutes after I was done I was bored again. I tried cleaning out the closet and and organizing the refrigerator (ha who am I kidding that last one never happened), but wound up lying on the couch. I was in a slump. Midway through the season something shifted. I decided to embrace the quiet instead of thinking of it as monotony. I went to the bookstore and got some books. I disconnected from social media. I turned inside and got very still. Maybe a season of rest is just that: a time to take advantage of being given time to rest.  I stopped thinking about what was going to happen next and focused only on each day. I REDISCOVERED SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM. I decided to visit my mom and dad. That is not my mom and dad. While I was in Canada I got a couple of calls from Santa Monica. I sent them to voicemail. While Chris and I were hiking in the Rockies my phone rang out in the middle of the wilderness. “I hope the bears can’t hear that,” I whispered, gripping the bear spray. Later while we were sprinting back to the car in the pouring rain he mentioned it was another call from Santa Monica, “You must’ve won a […]

  • Like a turtle, or maybe a cactus: The Growth Chronicles, Part I Like a turtle, or maybe a cactus: The Growth Chronicles, Part I

    Like a turtle, or maybe a cactus: The Growth Chronicles, Part I

Like a turtle, or maybe a cactus: The Growth Chronicles, Part I

I’ve heard it said that a turtle can only grow to the size of its enclosure. I guess I could hit up google for verification, but I’m tired of googling for answers I think I should already have. Kind of how I felt in the ER a few weeks ago. Over it. Carrie, how are you doing? I think I’m okay. Great, this next scan will take 5 minutes. It’s been three years since my first stroke. Three years. Sometimes it feels like a long time. And like nothing has drastically changed since then only everything has changed since then. Me, mostly. Everything about me. Seems like yesterday I woke up with my head pounding in a pillow unable to remember how to dial into a conference call I stumbled in the hallway trying to get to.  A number I’d dialed a hundred times. What’s my boss’s number then? I can’t remember. Panic. Everything will be okay. You’re fine. You just need rest. Why is my lip numb? Carrie, are you okay? How much longer am I gonna be in this thing? You’re almost done. Ten more minutes. You’re doing great. Okay, let’s do it.  This next scan will be three minutes. Try not to move. Try not to move. The irony is not lost given that’s all I tried to do last year before having to move. To a much larger enclosure. A space that, for the first time in my adult life, I cannot figure out what to do with. Is this a brain thing, another side effect no one warned me about? Moving to this new place meant having to get rid of most of my furniture, things I worked hard and saved for, things I loved. […]

  • The Growth Chronicles, Part II The Growth Chronicles, Part II

    The Growth Chronicles, Part II

The Growth Chronicles, Part II

I just came in from watering the lawn, a harrowing task in the California drought. Is it a watering day? How much is enough vs too much? Will a neighbor water shame me? When we considered moving into this house one of the first questions I asked was, why is this guy planting grass in the backyard on the heels of one of the driest summers on record? (see here). His response? It’s drought tolerant grass. And he had envisioned a family with children moving in; children who would love to run and play on the grass. Okay, point taken. Cut to scene and there is a big patch of grass that is…brown. It appears to be spreading so, in the interests of not staring at a sea of dead grass all summer, I have taken matters into my own hands. The past two evenings have found me in the yard on hands and knees clearing away dead grass with a hand rake. My neighbor has been “keeping me company”/charting my progress from his balcony next door, “You’re wasting your time, it’s dead.” Me (mumbling profanity): Actually that’s not true. I grew up on a farm- Him interrupting: ME TOO! I’M FROM WISCONSIN. Me: Well then, as I was saying, this is how you keep grass alive. Every summer when I was a kid my dad would have me rake the dead grass off our lawn so the new stuff could come through. Most of the times it worked, but you have to keep at it. There was a lot more talk about Wisconsin and wearing coats and moving and not wearing coats and so on and so forth, but as he went inside he said, “Good luck […]