Books, Uncategorized

The Psychopath Test

IMG_2535

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.

Advertisements
Standard
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.

 

Standard
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.

Standard
Books

Furiously Happy

furiously-happy

I loved this book. A lot.

It’s the first book in a very long time that made me laugh out loud. I went into it not having read Jenny Lawson’s first book, and with out knowing anything about it. All I knew was that the squirrel on the cover made me smile every time I passed it at work. Under that cover I found someone who struggles with a lot of the same things I do. It is full of frank discussions about depression and anxiety. But it is incredibly funny. As I come from a family that is always inappropriately laughing through life I felt so at home. Reading a book that makes you feel a little less alone in your struggle what ever that may be is like an hour of good therapy.  Furiously Happy isn’t a self-help book, but it got through to me better than any Brene Brown or Sarah Knight ever could.

 

 

Standard
Uncategorized

What it means to fall back in love…

IMG_2162

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.

 

Standard
Podcasts

Podcats….? No. Podcasts.

I do not drive. I have a learners permit which I have held for more then 5 years with out actually learning to drive. That doesn’t mean I don’t commute. I ride my bike or walk for about a hour a day… weather to work or running errands. And before you ask… yes I can read and walk. But I am still new to the area and do not trust myself to do so safely. So, I listen to a lot of podcasts.

The Vinyl Cafe & The Q

4264795330_2097988ee7.jpg

Both podcasts are presented by the CBC which served as my introduction to podcasts and to a lot of the Canadian music I love to this day. (I really miss Grant Lawrence’s Radio 3 podcasts. I’m still getting used to the Q without Shad.)

These were the podcasts that started it all. I remember listening on an iPod nano on the bus to high school.

No Such Thing As A Fish / Gilmore Guys

66319.jpg

The ones that brought it all back. I had stopped listening to podcasts for a long time But them Serial happened and they became good again.My now fiancee, then boyfriend and I were about to embark on an 8 hour road trip and since we don’t agree much on music, I sought out something else for our long car rides. No Such Thing was our something else. He is an ex pat who loves QI so we listened to ever available episode on our next 20 car rides.

Gilmore Guys was different. I live in a constant state of watching Gilmore Girls. I listened to the backlog of episodes and now listen every week, no matter how much Demi hates Bunheads.

True Crime Casts…. Mysteries – Lore, Unexplained, True Crime Garage, My Favorite Murder, Thinking Sideways, You Must Remember This

427.jpg

I have always loved a creepy story. It all stems from a life of too much A& E and national enquirer… and also being a blonde child in the 90’s I grew up with a sincere fear that I would be the next Jaycee Dougard, JonBenet Ramsay, or Elizabeth  Smart. I always keep one mystery/thriller in my reading rotation as I know these are the stories I devour easiest.

X-Files Files, Buffering The Vampire Slayer

I love feeling like someone else is as obsessed as I am. Max and I love X-Files… one of our dogs is named Scully. And I love Feminist fangirls talking all things Buffy.

 

 

 

 

Standard
Books, Wedding

Weddiculous by Jamie Lee

img_2079Many of you know that I’m getting married this year… I took my engagement as an invitation to dive deep in to the pinterest world and have allowed myself to get wrapped up in a lot of the minutiae Big Bridal tells me to worry about. Reading Jamie Lee’s book Weddiculous has been both grounding and hilarious.

Her honesty has really helped me refocus on what matters… My partner and our families. We are throwing an awesome party to celebrate our love and it really doesn’t matter to me if some one shows up in cargo shorts.

Jamie Lee will feel like a new friend and will become your honorary bridesmaid. She will also make you toss our all those $30 bridal magazines because her advice is just so much fucking better.

 

 

Standard