For The Love of Alden

I was out running.

I had forgotten to silence my cell.  The music and mind are not to be interrupted for that one workout hour. Every. Day. That’s the goal.

The text chimed loudly amidst Prince’s “Purple Rain”.  I stopped cold, annoyed at the interruption.  I checked the phone, attempting to just turn off all sound, I saw the alert message anyways.  It was from the East Coast.  Alden was in the hospital. He’d had a bike accident.

I skipped the rest of the text.

My heart sank.  This has happened to me before.  A text message and then, dread.  I felt my eyes well up. And I reminded myself to read the whole text first…stay calm and read the entire text.

Alden & Jame Startt, lead guitarist for the Parisian funk band, Urban Groove Unit; incomparable vlogger (Tour Talk); and the best photographer of cyling alive today (see Peloton Magazine).

Alden is this beautiful man who is a cross between Robert Redford, Anthony Bourdain and the best friend you could ever have – even if you’d just met him a minute ago, you’d feel it.  He’s intellectually brilliant, his voice is sexy and his energy perfection. I honestly think he’s maybe the hottest guy I’ve ever known – definitely the most beautiful man I’ve ever laughed with –  and I know if he were reading this right now, he’d be blushing, giggling.  He’d try real hard to be mad at me all at the same time humbled by my awe of him. His genuine humility, his authenticity, is probably the sexiest thing about him. And yeah, he’s easy on the eyes for sure.

Alden is a cyclist.  He travels the world and adventures for most of the year meeting the most amazing people, taking the most incredible pictures and just personifies to me – “enjoying life”.  He calls Vermont home, but I think Alden brings a sense of home to wherever he is and to whomever you are. He connects with everyone, from any background, anywhere.  You can’t help but be comfortable in his space – he just has that kind of energy. It’s a gift.  I honestly don’t know one person who has ever said a bad thing about him. But then again, no one would dare say a word to me – I’d kick their butt if they did.

I read the entire text.

Alden was reading my book while “recovering” — he broke his femur. “Call him, he would love to talk to you.”  I felt comforted by that line in the text.  Part of me laughed at the thought of him reading my book for any kind of recovery – but yes, my heart settled a bit. Tears had already rolled down one cheek, as I dialed.

The first words out of his mouth were “CARRRRRRRRRRMEN!” — and then, “Do NOT get on a plane to see me. Don’t do it!”  He was being sarcastic and yet, he wanted me to come – he knows that’s exactly what was about to happen.  I’d done it before when a mutual friend of ours was in the hospital. That time, there was no conversation about it, I just got on a plane and was there as soon as possible.

We talked for a while.  It was nice.  I had forgotten how much I loved talking to this beautiful soul.

In India hanging out with High Schoolers

He’s funny and endearing without even trying.  And whenever we chat it’s both a giggle fest and a learning moment.  Mostly for me, but I think for him too.  We shared our love of Anthony Bourdain and how much we missed him.  I kicked myself for not calling him when “Tony” died – but you know, I thought of Alden so much.  He truly is the most realistic version of a REAL Anthony Bourdain I know – minus the food and tats, add in the avid cyclist and skier.  But Alden is a story-teller, a lover of people, a traveler – an adventurous soul.  His natural good looks are nothing compared to his naturally pure gorgeous heart.  I am so lucky to have him in my life and so grateful that although his injuries are fierce and yes, he’ll be out of commission for a while, that it was nothing worse.   He’ll make a full recovery.  And that’s the thing about Alden – even while I’m tearing as he explains how bad the break was and how devastated he is knowing he’ll be in rehab for bit, he then expressed how in the big scheme of things, he was fine. He’s never a victim. And he’s always more concerned about others and their stories – he wanted to know more about my book and how it was going.  And he reassured me that even though he was still suffering from a concussion that he was excited to read it.  Hilarious!  But that’s who he is. It’s never about him, even when it completely should be.  He’s always curious about others – lovely, charming and so damn smart. I’m honored he’s my brother, my friend. And I’m so glad he’s okay.

Alden riding in West Marin County, CA in the spring.

So, I’m not jumping on a plane today to visit Alden. Though I did look at flights and I will be out in August for sure.  In the meantime, I put together a care package for him – I took a pic of a recent mural of Anthony Bourdain by Jonas Never at the Gramercy here in Los Angeles. I added in some other little funny-isms and sent that out yesterday after our talk.

Today, I thought about writing this blog post knowing that he’d hate me sharing his pictures from his private facebook page – knowing that he’d hate all the accolades and love I send his way.  I gush too much I’m sure.  But then I thought – I don’t care.  If I had LOST him, if my boy had died in that bike accident, I’d be writing this and sharing about him because I waited too long.  It would be a miserable thing.  And sad.  And you know what?  I don’t want to make that mistake.  I want to praise him while he’s here.  I never want to take for granted ever again the people I love the most.  Priorities.  He can be mad all he wants. I welcome his wrath.  I’ll be grateful for it actually.

Reach out to your loved ones today.  Seriously. Take this as a sign.

With love, Carmen





And They Call Themselves Christians…Disgusting!


This is my response to a Tweet and Facebook post and I HAD to share it here (original Tweet below):

43. Ain’t that sad? And we’re being encouraged to call. Lord help us. You’d think it’d be all Senators without question. Especially the “religious” ones. The Republican party — you know, faith and family and all that crap. I’m heartbroken by children being damaged by this senseless act — I’m just as heartbroken by all the adults who are standing by, using Biblical passages to justify their wrong-doing, their racism. Is there any question if these were little White blue-eyed children this would be happening? Not. One. Question. At. All. I am NOT trying to sell my book at all — I’ll give it to anyone who wants it, but THIS is exactly what my story is about — PEOPLE DOING THE RIGHT THING when a child was in need. Adults, stepping in and making sure a little brown Latin kid from the streets didn’t fall through the cracks and all of them — not knowing each other and not at the same time — just doing the RIGHT thing and BEING A GOOD AND DECENT PERSON. I’m so sorry, I’m so friggin’ angry about this… it’s killing me. This administration is killing all of us slowly.



Read my book if you need a reminder of HOW important WE ALL ARE to a child — to each other!



My First Book Published! Yes!

My First Book CANELA has finally been published!  I’m so excited. 

Yesterday was an AMAZING day. My book has finally been published and it’s available now on as an e-book and as a paperback.

(For an excerpt visit:

I wanted to share that with everyone!

I’m not some great writer.  I’m not even the most brilliant storyteller – but my story is interesting, and probably not so much the norm.  My point in writing these true stories, is to remind us that who we are in the world and how we treat each other, mattersWe matter to each other.  And sometimes we don’t even realize it.  

Every person I talk about in the book is someone who changed the way in which my life manifested after I lost my only parent.  I ended up in some interesting, dangerous predicaments as a child and yet, I can say that I had the best childhood.  I should’ve been a statistic – in a bad way – and instead I had a really great life and became “successful” because of these amazing people I met along the way. We need to be reminded that who we are matters — not just to ourselves and our families, but to each other. Every day. With everyone we interact with.  When we do something, when we say something —  when we are our best selves, we can change a persons life for the better.  That’s what happened to me.

I hope you’ll read the book. Let me know what you think.  Please don’t be too harsh!   Either way, I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog –  “my creative space” and that you’ll consider wandering over here again some time soon.

Thank you for stopping by.





It’s easy to be fun, brilliant, cool, loving, etc., when things are good. But who are you when things are hard? Who are you when things don’t go your way?  That’s when I can see your true shine…




Blabbering About Time


As I re-read this journal entry, I kind of laugh.  Clearly, sometimes I should just put down the pen and drink my coffee.  I try and pick the “best” of what I’ve written in a week to scan and post…  Well, this goes off the rails a bit, but the point is Time is something I’ve been thinking a lot about – still am thinking about.


The Perfect Man

The Perfect Man  (an email exchange to Rache) 

———- message ———-
From: Carmen
Date: Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 10:56 PM
Subject: Dinner stuffage
To: Rachel


I love you, I really do. I love that you’re so worried about me. But honestly, I think this is more about you than it is about me.

You’re right – he was/is perfect.  Quite the gentleman, a lawyer – beyond successful. Good looking – in that crazy way we all dream about. And gurl, he picked me up in the Tesla – you were right (and uhem, I’m clear it’s one of several cars he owns).  He checked every box.  Tall, hot, them teeth – Lord help me, I almost lost it right there.  Great lips and a beautiful smile is my “Achilles heel” every time.  And most importantly, he surprised me with the tickets. Dinner and a Play? The brotha was working his magic for sure!  So old school and then, not-so-much. Truly perfect.

You’re right. He is the perfect guy.

Here’s the thing:  I’ve met several “perfect” guys. You know I have. I know what you mean by “perfect” so I’m not going to sit here and tell you the cliché thing that he’s just not perfect for me.  That somehow we were missing chemistry and all that good stuff because trust me, we had plenty of “CHEMISTRY” – he kisses lightly by the way, sweetly and kindly and…well, chemistry is not the problem, is all I’m saying…

What is the problem is that what makes my heart skip a beat is a much higher bar.  First, you know I’m not a fan of marriage.  I mean, I AM and I WOULD, but I wouldn’t trade my single life for your married life for a $1 Million dollars!  90% of my married friends are in miserable marriages.  Marriage has never been and is not my goal.  It is completely Mr. Tesla’s for sure.  To me, marriage would be beside the point. It’d be icing on a fantastic cake.  It could be a financial decision we make… I mean, I could care less about getting married, it’s never been my thing – more important to me…

You know what? I’mma lay it out. And if you have one of these “brotha’s” on your Facebook page, cool.  Hook me up again.  I’m game.  But THIS is what I think is the perfect man:

  • He’s not showy or flamboyant about his success, his intellect, his looks, his anything. There’s just an “IS-ness” about him.
  • He’s not a victim of his circumstances, instead, he’s empowered by it.
  • He’s crazy smart, genius level would be better. I need someone who can teach me something I don’t already know.
  • He’s socially comfortable in a crowd, but relaxed with one-on-one most days.
  • He’s confident and strong, except when he’s not – and completely okay with that part of himself.
  • A man who does not whine and complain for more than a minute before he gets to dealing with whatever’s not working.
  • A man who would never intentionally use his words to hurt another. Clearly never physically hurt another either.
  • Someone who understands what he has right in front of him – limited time – and he makes the best use of it.
  • I want a man who needs to be taken care of, who wants to be taken care of and more importantly can take care of me too. And any man who confuses that with financial or material needs, is clearly out of his league when it comes to me.
  • I want a man who is beautiful in the way that I mean it: a commitment to being better than he used to be and regardless of any mistakes, learns from them and shines anyways.  It’s an inner thing.
  • A man who isn’t conceited by his gifts, but instead consistently working on his “lesser skills”.
  • Extra credit or bonus points would be a man who doesn’t need to see me every day, but maybe wants too, treasures quality over quantity but respects what and who we are to each other.

And all that is just to start. For the record, those are all the same things I require for my friends.  Change the above from “man” to “friend” and read it again and you’ll get my meaning.  

Physically he’d have to be that which is pleasing to my senses. I no longer ascribe to a “type” because clearly I’ve been wrong so many times. Older or younger?  Honestly I don’t know.  There are pros and cons to both in my experience, but him NOT being afraid of ME would be a great thing. I know that sounds cra-cra even as I write it – but it’s not ME they’re afraid of — actually, it’s LOVE or the possibility of it… (that’s my perspective anyways). Cuz, you know, when I love, I love for reals.  It’s a little too much for most.  I get that.  I do.  But I ain’t changin’.  I love who I am.

And there it is:  the most important thing about LOVE and a partner to me today is this:  I don’t want to have to change. I shouldn’t have too. And I would NEVER want to change someone I fell in love with. I mean, that seems strange to me.  If I met you THIS WAY, why would I want you to be something else?  There are just some things I know for sure:  you can never change someone. You just can’t.  So, I want someone to accept me the way that I am – all of it: good, bad and the ugly.  And the beautiful.  And I’ll do the same.  I think what happens in any relationship over time, is, as you get to know someone you find ways to compromise those things that don’t work for each other. That’s not CHANGE – that’s just a natural course that happens when you love someone – when someone matters to you.  When someone is a priority to you in your life, you find a way to make things work because they’re important to you.  It’s a beautiful thing when it happens – but it’s never an overt or painful change – it’s just what’s next.

Look, we had a great time. Tesla man was lovely. And after all these years being “friends” on Facebook because of you — it really was brilliant to finally meet.  He’s absolutely stunning looks-wise and a I’m certain a wonderful man.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t attracted to him and thought of him a bit after he dropped me off. I considered the possibilities for sure – but he called me in the morning.  And I would never string him along – but goodness, he talked about marriage on our first date Rache! And that didn’t even bother me so much, but it was constantly talking about “the future”.  We hadn’t even gotten our appetizers yet!  Wow!  I was honest with him.  And he was sweet about it.  I would never play with his heart – you know it’s not my style and it’s just cruel. All the money in the world couldn’t make me be that girl, ever. So I told him the truth – I just didn’t see this going any further.

And lastly, because you know how much I love writing long-ass emails to you  – I don’t think I should have to try.  You wrote in your email that you didn’t think I was “trying”.  My friendship with you wasn’t something I had to “try” and figure out when we first met.  We just met and we knew we’d be friends!  It was easy.  We’ve had our fights over the years (because most days you’re so wrong, but whatevs – ha!), but we always find our center again.  It’s okay to argue and disagree – our friendship is solid so I expect that we’ll have our ups and downs – but never, not once, have I ever felt I needed to “TRY” and be your friend.  At the very least, the man I someday “marry” —  ‘cuz I know that’s your goal for me – has to be my friend.  Solid.  I need to feel safe that we can fight, argue, laugh, cry, shout, scream, laugh, be complete fools and still be solid.  And that, has nothing to do with trying.  It does have everything to do with trust.  I don’t want to TRY and be somebody’s friend. I want to TRUST that I already am.

So, there it is.  I love you with all my heart and soul.  And I love that you worry about me. But don’t.  I’m happy. If I wasn’t, you know I’d do something about it!  I’m an optimist. I can’t live in negativity for too long. But, I’m good.  I need YOU to stop focusing on me and my love-life and maybe start considering why you’re so obsessed with my relationship status so much.  Gurl, you know I say this with all the love in my heart;  what’s going on with you?  Call me. I’m still up.


On Apr 18, 2018, at 9:04 PM, Rachel wrote:

Seriously, WTF? He’s the perfect man. I don’t get it. I just don’t. I don’t think you’re really trying.







Strength Eludes Me

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”

~ Hermann Hesse, Poet, Novelist, Painter, Nobel Prize winner for Literature

SM Beach 2018

Cried for Days – DNA Results

Have you considered getting your DNA tested from 23andMe or


We. Are. Better. Than. This.


The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.  ~MLK, Jr.

Lately I’ve had a short temper.

I’ve lashed out, been easily provoked, and have found myself angry more times than I can remember.

I’m not sure if it’s partially this political climate in the United States (and around the world for that matter) that’s influencing my inner tranquility, or if social media has made me less tolerant or patient, or maybe it’s something else or a combination of things…  Either way, I know I’m better than this.

And it’s not just me, everyone seems to be on edge.  People I admire who I know can handle most anything are crumbling at any controversy, whining at every moment, angry at everything… no one seems to have time for the simple things anymore…like joy.

I realized it the other day talking to a friend – his negativity was palpable.  Every word out of his mouth seemed to grate on me.  I pride myself on being an optimist.  It’s my strength.  And his negativity was like sandpaper to my soul.  It made me so sad for him, for me.

I believe the true test of one’s character is shown when life is not easy, when things are hard.  When things are not going perfectly, that’s when our real SHINE comes through.  We expose parts of who we really are in times of tragedy and pain and if we’re strong enough, if we can SEE clearly, even in the worst of times, we can reveal our true selves; hopefully our best selves.

Martin Luther King, Jr.  said it best:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Yeah, he was so right.  I am so much better than this.

We. Are. Better. Than. This. 

I got this much needed reminder on my headset this morning as I ran on the beach:

What A Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong …. Yes, yes it is!