take your broken heart, turn it into art

Before I begin my weekend recap, I want you all to know that Meryl Streep made me bawl. She’s had a hell of a career, which we’ve been lucky to watch. But at the Golden Globes last night, she gave her best performance. It was raw, real, and so important. Donald Trump’s presidential platform ran on bigotry, hate, and ignorance of anyone who is different than him, and thank everything, so many people are different than him. But so many people aren’t. Electing him president validates the heinous actions and words of trying to make other people feel lesser. Now we all get to suffer the consequences.

Meryl ended her speech on a bittersweet note, quoting the late and beloved “Princess Leia,” Carrie Fisher. She quoted, “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

Let’s make that the credo of these next four years.

Saturday morning began on a perfect note, pancakes, coffee, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. 

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After I digested my meal and hydrated, I headed to the gym for a killer upper body body strength workout. Lots of push-ups, tricep dips, and shoulder work on this one. For cardio, I ended up doing a lot of walking for the day.

My post-workout snack was my first ever green juice. Spinach, kale, and pineapple. Delicious! I almost hate myself for loving it, especially because I don’t want to adopt an expensive habit!

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My friend Sara and I headed into the heart of Hollywood to the Second City improv open house to take a class. I wasn’t sure what to think, considering I’ve never done improv and only dabbled in acting when I was in elementary school, but I had fun! And I wasn’t terrible. I’ve read a lot about improv in books by Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Rachel Dratch, so even though I’m by no means an expert, I’ve learned from the experts. Glad to realize that my childhood stage fright has diminished.

So inspired were we after class, we decided to see an actual improv show. Second City was sold out, so we walked over to UCB to find that they too were sold out. Bummer. Plans diverted, we opted for Chinese takeout, Friends reruns, and some wii games.

I set my alarm early for Sunday (and by early, I mean early for Caitlin on a Sunday), ate an omelet, toast, and fruit breakfast, and headed back out with my friend Sara to hike.

I’m like, kind of obsessed with nature, you guys. My advanced apologies to all those back east who suffered through a snowstorm and are house bound thanks to the cold. Los Angeles hit the seventies this weekend. I’m not that sorry.

I’ll allow you to live vicariously through me.

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I’m obsessed with open roads. Metaphors or something.

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Seriously, the clouds.

 

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I climbed a rock and made it my temporary home.

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After our adventure, we ate the best tacos I’ve ever had in my life, journeyed to Ikea (my first time), then went to Target so I could buy a blender. Laundry, cleaning, crying over Meryl Streep, and writing this post made up the rest of my Sunday. Happy Monday, live well!

 

 

 

 

A Great Disturbance in the Force

Like for most people, 2016 has been a shit year for me. Yes, much good has come from it, but I also suffered three significant losses. The year kicked off with the sudden and heartbreaking death of my cat, Bandit, whose illness was swift and crushing. A few months later, I lost one of my best friends, my Auntie Bea, whose loss is felt even more during this holiday season. And now, Carrie Fisher.


I am aware that she is a writer and actress that I never met. But her influence has inspired my life in surprising ways. When I was younger, Star Wars was re-released in theaters and Princess Leia was everything I ever wanted to be: a beautiful princess, a passionate fighter for what is right and good, and the girlfriend of hottie Han Solo. I used to dress up in my bathing suit and leap around my couches, escaping from Jabba’s clutches and bringing an end to enemy forces. (Please don’t analyze that). Princess Leia was the one action figure this girly girl desired (and okay, I also got Han Solo because one, hottie, and two, she needed her mate!)


As one does, especially at that age, I grew out of my Star Wars obsession and kind of forgot about it for awhile. But flash to junior year when my roommate and best friend, Stephanie and I discovered we were both past-Star Wars fans and decided to watch the movies again. Instant magic. Princess Leia was still the feminist icon I admired from my childhood and I grew even more enamored by her and her love story with Han Solo. I like to refer to Harrison Ford as my elder bae because at any age, he is still a hottie.


Watching those films again at an older age made me curious about the actors behind those roles. I’d seen Harrison Ford in a bunch of different things and certainly knew of Carrie Fisher by name, but I was surprised by what I learned about her. She was so much more than Princess Leia, but Princess, now General Leia, is still a bad ass chick in my book.


Carrie endured years of drug abuse and struggling with her addiction, as well as mental illness. She not only survived, but she flourished. No doubt some days were harder than others, but she persevered and lived a damned good life. Through it all, she laughed, because as she would say, if we didn’t laugh, it would just be sad. Humor in tragedy makes the inevitable need to move on that much easier. She was sassy, brilliant, charming, and vulnerable in her fearlessness. I discovered this from watching interviews and reading her books. Many will not know this, but Carrie helped me through my one hundred pound weight loss. At the time, she was being berated online and in the media about her aging and weight gain, and although she made a strong effort to lead a healthier life, she also spoke out about self-worth and self-love no matter one’s weight or age. No doubt, it could not have been easy to hear these comments, but she continued forward, and it was this confidence that inspired me to find my inner strength and be a healthier and happier person. I would not be the person I am without Carrie Fisher.

I got to see her perform her one woman show, Wishful Drinking, live in Baltimore with my sister a few years ago and it is a memory I will forever treasure. As will the autograph she was kind enough to send to me and Stephanie after we sent her an embarrassing fan letter, which, for whatever wonderful and quirky reason, she signed twice.

Another moment of her influence stands out. I’ve always been a decent writer, but I didn’t consider myself to be a writer until I read Carrie’s books. She made me want to continue taking creative writing courses, which ultimately led to my moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in writing. Carrie was one of the finest authors and script writers in Hollywood. Her characters, whether fictional or real, made me feel, made me vulnerable, and made me want to continue on with them throughout their journey.

I wish Carrie’s journey had not come to an abrupt end. I wish we had more books, more movies, more tweets, and more stage shows. I’ve never had one of my absolute favorite celebrities die before and I’m having a difficult time grasping the reality of it. There will be no closure, no making sense of this tragic loss. I will mourn and cry, but I will try to pay her back for all that she has unknowingly done for me. I’ll watch her movies and tv shows, I’ll read her books, I’ll remember the strength and the spark in which she she so bravely lived. I’ll remember her. And I’ll say it again, I am not the person I am today without Carrie Fisher. I wish I could have gotten the chance to tell her thank you.


I will end this devastating tribute the way she wanted:

Carrie Fisher drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra.