Music

Something about music

Not to be a complete asshole but…. My playlists are kind of legendary. Over the past 10 years I’ve had some friends tell me that they have kept mix cds I made them. It is something that is missing from our world today. We no longer exchange songs through mixes or even shared earbuds. I guess you could say that we’ve moved on to shared links. But can you really argue that it has the same effect as a perfectly curated set of 18 tracks with hand made album art?

Thats right you sure can’t.

I have a handful of beautiful mix cds a friend made me after I got my heart trampled. I’ve carried them with me over the years like a security blanket. I miss the physicality of music. I have a big stack of records but there is no utility in that. They exist for my comfortable consumption.  I wish we could travel back to the in between, were music was shared as a portable but physical object.

 

 

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About Me, Travel

Travellin’

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The first time I went to summer camp I was so excited. I read over every scrap of paper in the welcome package they sent (the first piece of mail I ever got). I packed my bag according to the checklist they included. I studied maps of each site and memorized the names for each age group of kids. I was ready… and this was before school had even finished. Camp wouldn’t begin for another 2 weeks.

I haven’t been excited like that for a very long time. After a certain age I think we all stop reaching that level. I don’t know why that is. Does it come from a place of apathy and laziness, do we become embarrassed to show true pure excitement?

Well, I am not embarrassed… I am going to Ontario for the first time in 2 years in 10 days and I am half way packed. In part because we’re going to a wedding and my fancy stuff stays in a garment bag, but the bigger part is that I am so dang happy to be going home.

Ontario is far from being my home anymore. I can’t ever really see myself living there again. My parents don’t live there anymore. Its no longer my home, but it’s my hometown. There is something so fun and nostalgic about being back there. Every time I go so much has changed, but a lot doesn’t. Its a world I can navigate without google maps.

I’m so excited , I may not be able to sleep the night before.

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Books

Why I wish I hadn’t read The Princess Diarist

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I’ve spoken before about my deep connection and life long relationship with Star Wars. I was eager to again dive deeply into Carrie Fisher’s brain.

I loved how vulnerable, honest and unfiltered Wishful Thinking and Shockaholic were. But her new work feels like more of the same, and because of that it feels like a money grab. Considering the timing, I worry that that is an accurate assumption.

There was still so much of that precocious and self conscious girl I had found on her other books… but but but something about reading her frank retelling of her time on the star wars set hit a sour note with me. Did she even want to tell this story?

Star Wars is one of those things that many of us feel BELONGS to us and any other narrative other than what of ourselves we put into it is unacceptable. It is such a beautiful and selfish way to love something. And its hella wrong of me to put that onto this book. SO, I am trying hard not to. Please note: This is a wholly personal opinion.  I feel that the content was perfunctory and slapped together for the sake of putting something out to coincide with the release of new films. Carrie partially admits this. It became very clear after re-reading passages from her previous books.

I am incredibly saddened that she has not lived to write something else. In the light of the rumors that circulate her passing, I am curious to know her mindset at the time of writing The Princess Diarist.

But no matter what, Carrie and Leia will hold a place of high esteem, love and respect in my heart. And her worlds will serve as lessons I take with me. Especially those she taught us as Rosemary on 30 Rock, “don’t sit around while your junk goes cold,” and  “never go with a hippy to a 2nd location.”

 

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Books

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

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I am a sucker for anything that cites Pat Highsmith* as an influence. Seriously, if there is a blurb on the back comparing a thriller to Strangers On A Train I. Am. There. For. It.

Books with this quality have successfully pulled me out of my last 2 book slumps. The first was Abroad by Katie Crouch which I read in a single sitting. But I want to talk about Unbecoming.

Not only does the book have a southern pastoral quality, but it also has this jet setting Oceans 11 thing going for it. A woman on the run from her past who has a gift with antiques. It really speaks to the artsy, preservationist, old lady in me.

You, as the reader are never sure of anyones true intentions/feeling as the narrator is not proven to be honest or reliable. I found myself questioning her recollections. I don’t know if that was the authors intention or my interpretation but there was something so unsettling about it that I could not stop reading.

To be honest, my rating system for books should be based on how sunburnt I get when reading outside.

White as a ghost = I watched netfix instead

More Beige = Constant re applications of sunscreen, getting up to find a sun hat, brush dogs, make nachos. Just basic distractedness due to a lack of interest.

Deep Glowing Tan =  Good enough that I spend a few hours in a lawn chair but not so good that I forget to rotate.

Lobster Girl = A book so good that I am red on the top and white on the bottom.

Unbecoming was a Lobster girl book. Wear SPF 110 if you intend to make this a beach read.

*Patricia Highsmith is one of my favourite writers and in general one of my favourite people. I am wildly fascinated by her work, private life and eccentricities.

 

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Books, Uncategorized

The Psychopath Test

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Howdy, its been a long dang time hasn’t it?

I’ve been doing a ton of reading and have not taken the time to write ANYTHING down.

It is rare that I want to discuss a book before I finish reading it, but this book is an exception in that it is a very episodic approach to the world of psychopaths. Now I don’t want people to get excited and think “holy cow, its going to be all Ted Bundy and famous serial killers” because it is not. The Psychopath Test at 100 pages in is a mystery about a cryptic “found” manuscript, experiments done in the 60’s and 70’s which involved marathon nude therapy, LSD, violent electrical shocks and also dives into Scientology’s war on the mental health profession.

Quite a lot of what I’ve read so far happened in Canadian prisons, and mental institutions. So…Happy Canada Day.

I cannot wait to see the next turn this book takes and I can’t help but wonder if it will all become interconnected and lead back to the initial discovery of a strange manuscript. To be honest though, I don’t care if it does. As I am so enraptured by all the roads that have lead to our current understanding of psychopaths.

As an avid reader who is frequent slumps that leave me searching for the next book that I can’t put down, I am so grateful to podcasts like Teen Creeps and My Favorite Murder! They constantly recommend awesome content for me to devour.

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Uncategorized

Hello Again…

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Blame it on a string of crappy books.

I haven’t picked up a book that grips me or that I truly love, or one that really moved me in nearly 2 months.

But it finally happened. I hit a streak. I have read on book after another and I want to rave about them all!

First I read Abroad by Katie Crouch. It was a fast paced super fictionalized version of the events of the Amanda Knox story. But it was told from the post humous perspective of her roomate. The author claims only to be inspired by the story of Foxy Knoxy, but it really feels like she put a narrative to one of the many theories that surround the death of Meredith Kercher. It was enthralling. So obviously I requested every other book by Katie Crouch that my local library had.

This leads to my next book. The Magnolia League, also by Katie Crouch. It a YA book about a dreadlocked California girl who gets shipped off to her affluent southern belle grandmother. Southern traditions, and hoodoo abound.

And then came Lily and the Octopus. And boy did it destroy me. I try not to read too much about animals… I have 2 dogs and a cat and I am manage a local shelter part time. So I get enough animal related joy and sadness outside of my reading. But damn. I do not regret reading this book. It fully conveyed what I feel for my dogs. The loyalty, love, friendship and fierce need to protect them. I weeped through pretty much all of it.

 

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Uncategorized

Love Of Self

 

IMG_2272.JPGI have recently begun going to the gym. It brings me joy and that should be the gist. But its not.

I was working out at home and riding by bicycle to work everyday. But now I do that cycling in the gym. I’ve really been enjoying it, but I am sick of people noticing the ring on my finger. They wink and say I’m sweating for the wedding. I tell them NO. Im sweating so that the steady incline route to my bus stop no longer causes me physical and emotional strain. I recently found myself becoming breathless going up hill. And I was tired with out doing ANY physical activity.

So I now spend an hour on the stationary bike a day. Im doing 50-100 floors on the stair master. And I am taking a hot yoga class. And yes I am getting married in October and my fitness goal is interlinked with that, but its because I want to take my retired scout master grandfather on hikes while he visits the West Coast for my wedding and I WANT TO KEEP UP. It has nothing to do with dress size.

I know people only mean well but I am trying to re-establish a self care routine that for the first time incorporates exercise, and not just my diet, skin care or pop culture induldgement…

I never realized how much simple changes in diet and exercise can affect my demeanour. I struggle with depression and anxiety on the daily, but I am now realizing how important it is to put self care first.

On an airplane they say you cannot help others with the oxygen mask before helping yourself… I was raised by two Beautiful and compassionate care givers who would give all of themselves to help others even if it meant a personal loss. And I have learned in the last few years that you cant fulfill others if your own cup is empty.

I can only hope that people who view themselves as care takers can begin to understand that you need to help you first before you can help others.

The gist of what I am trying to accomplish with this post is to say… I am working towards a better Karlee. I have realized that I can show up more when I have more energy, which I can gain from being more physically active and eating less cookies.

I appreciate your involvement and I understand that it comes from a place of support and camaraderie. And I apologize to the women in my women’s only gym for not acknowledging you support, but for a new comer, it can feel like judgement. And it can be intimidating as hell…. I am talking specifically to the lady who is always on the treadmill in front of me and does ballerina esque jumping jacks in between 5k’s.

I feel both run down, incompetent and INSPIRED to do better everytime I come out of the locker room. Its a strange tightrope to tread. I can only hope to continue, with out becoming some absurdest fitness wacko.

I can now say the #1 cure for my depression is a self care routine that includes dogs, cats, cycling, stairmasters, books & vitamin d (skin cancer can kiss my ass. Even in SPF 50 SUNSHINE MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE)  and knowing my commitment limitations. Routine & Partnership is key to conquering long term depression for me. Everyones struggle is different. MY routine keeps me from “the hole” and when I am down there my partnership fills my space.

Humans are a constantly changing machine. We all need maintenance, from both internal and external forces. If you cannot mange one, the other or both…. find help. It doesn’t need to be professional, but maybe should be. Make your own family…. with the blood and bonded connections you have. Build your support until earthquakes can’t shake it. The value of becoming vulnerable far out weighs the risk of opening up and showing your scars.

I now need a hippy poncho and will run of into the dessert with some long haired freaky people. I know it all sounds hippy dippy, but there is a lot to be said for “doing you” first, and then doing others.

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