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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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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What it means to fall back in love…

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Depression is a reality for me. When I was younger it was hard to get people to understand. The reoccurring argument went “Why can’t you just make yourself go to School?” “Because I can’t” isn’t an explanation that anyone can understand. But that is what depression is. It’s not being able to explain why you suddenly cannot stop watching Angel reruns and get out of bed, or why you got on the bus to go to school but ended up sleeping all day on your grandmas couch. It is having the best intentions but being betrayed by your brain.  I am not medicated, and the one time I was I got so anxious and low that I couldn’t function. So I have found other coping mechanisms that work for me. A big inspiration for me even writing this comes from a friend of mine who has a mental health issue and asked how I manage my depression. I went through my brain and made a list of what I do to try to stop it before it happens or how to live through the dark to get to the light… I work hard to fill my home with things that I love, and that make me happy. I have walls of books and movies, posters of art that I love, photos of friends and family. My fiancee is a big part of that. He is the thing in my house that makes me that happiest. But to be honest, the thing that really helps is my pets. They need me to take care of them. And having someone who is dependant on me for their well being has been what has kept me away from the darkest corners of my emotions for a very long time.

But something that I haven’t been leaning on for a very long time is music… I stopped exploring new things or seeking comfort in old favourites. I feel out of love. My phone is filled with podcasts, not playlists. I used to be the girl who made playlists for every occasion and every person in my life. I have had people tell me they still have cds I made them. And that friend I mentioned earlier told me how helpful the cds I gave her have been. She asked for another playlist to help with difficult time in her life…. at first I was hesitant to agree. Because I didn’t immediately have a list of songs to rattle off like I used to.

I don’t want to get to hippy dippy, but it has been an amazing journey of rediscovery. I forgot just how much a song can affect me. I also forgot just how deeply it goes… how a piece of music can become a part of my identity. Some things just feel stitched into my soul. Suddenly only being able to pick 5 songs for the dj to play at my wedding became a huge problem. I have more to say about the happiest day of my life than 5 songs Mr DJ-With-A-Light-Show-Guy. Having everyone I love in one place requires so much more joy than that.

 

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Working towards a deadline….

I’m applying to a creative writing workshop so I have not, and likely will not blog much leading up to my application submission date. I find that writing on a deadline that is not just imposed by my self has been one of the best things to break my procrastination. It is also helping me overcome some of my writing anxiety. Hooray for submission deadlines!!

 

 

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Movies, Uncategorized

La La Land

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My current career crisis has lead to a lot of introspection… I’ve been looking back on my life and on the things that make me truly happy. Some are obvious. Like my fiancee, my pets, and books. Others have been a complete surprise. Like cooking. Some are hard to cop to and even harder to do *cough* writing *cough*.  But some are things I’ve lost track of or have loved a little less deeply in the last few years. Like musicals.

My grandmothers favorite movies were the musicals of her childhood. Together we watched Funny Face, Easter Parade, Meet Me In St Louis, White Christmas, My Fair Lady, Singing in The Rain, but we watched Wizard of Oz the most. I was obsessed. At age 4 I could would do the Tin Man dance in the kitchen with a funnel on my head.

There is something so vivid about the musicals of the 50’s and 60’s. Colour was new. The worlds on the screen became so beautifully saturated with it. It is something we so rarely see outside of Wes Anderson movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some darkness. But the newer movies that I really truly love are able to capture some of that particular type of nostalgia, and make me feel some of the wonderment I felt as a kid watching Judy Garland spin around in a pretty dress before a painted skyline.

La La Land checked all of those boxes for me. The love for those films is even part of the narrative of the film. I was enraptured, the only thing that pulled me out was Miss Patty’s being featured multiple times… The costuming and sets are so wildly hypnotic. Musically speaking, I do believe that this film will continue the work of Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley and make Jazz cool again.

Diving down this rabbit hole has been a welcome distraction from my job hunt. If you are ever stressed or worn out, go to your local library, borrow some DVDs and let your self get wrapped up in the warm blanket that is Judy Garland –  THE EARLY YEARS, not the Valley of The Dolls years. Although that is an amazing story in all its forms.

 

 

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Health…

With the new year dawning on us, I know that the popular resolution is weight loss.

I would just like to remind everyone that Pizza is totally a well balanced meal according to the food pyramid I learned in elementary school. A point which I argued with my gym/health teacher, who was a failed CFL football player and told us we should replace the milk in our cereal with water.

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You have your grains in the crust, fruit & vegetables in the sauce, cheese is dairy, and then you get your meat with the ham.

Just saying. Keep your resolutions real. #weddingdressdiet #justkidding #mychosendressisbarelyfitted

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