My Murder Scene

black-coffee-2847957_1280This morning I woke up and in my groggy state I headed to the kitchen and clicked on the coffee maker.  Standard procedure.

As I waited, half-asleep, I noticed on the wall across from me a tiny figure slithering it’s way across the wall.  My eyes widened and somehow now fully awake, I walked on over, grabbing a napkin from the counter and snatched the tiny insect from the wall, killing it instantly.

I could hear the coffee peculating — it was almost done.  I grabbed under the kitchen sink counter for the “409” <– a spray “bleaching” cleanser of sorts (I have no idea why they call it “409” by the way, something I should look into at some point), and with yet another napkin, I sprayed the disinfectant  and wiped clean the murder scene.  It’ll be like it never happened.

The coffee was done.  I discarded the evidence, washed my hands and poured my coffee.  Cream, no sugar. My morning back to it’s normal routine and I started reading the paper.

At some point into the article I was reading,  I realized that before my morning had even really started, I had killed another living thing.  How horrible is that?

I sat back in the chair and remembered an acting class I took when I first started performing.  We had been asked, “How would you play a murderer?”  –  Everyone went into all the cliche answers of what they thought might motivate a murder. Novice actors thinking way too deeply about it and announcing how they’d have to do so much research because they themselves would just have “no idea” what it would be like (everyone making sure we all knew how “good” a person they were and how inconceivable it would be to have to play such a horrible person).  The conversation always fell way into that category of a mobster or hard core criminal  – cliche of course – but I remembered sitting there thinking:  If you’ve ever killed a mosquito, you can play a killer. The murder? That’s just the action –  knowing who the killer was, their childhood, what they do for a living, all of that is the character. To play any part, of any person, you need to KNOW who the character is, the background.

Of course, that’s exactly where the acting teacher was going.  The class seemed stunned to learn they’d all “killed” at some point in their lives.  In a lot of ways, it’s a horrible thought.  I started feeling bad about my little slithering morning guest who I killed and cleaned up after all before putting my first cup of coffee to my lips.

Morning Cofee

Truth is, I’m sure I’d do it again. I’m not a fan of insects of any kind IN MY HOUSE. I have no problem with them out in the world, I understand their value in the Eco-system of life, but just as I wouldn’t walk around intentionally in a Lion’s den, I expect slithering little insects to stay out of my “den”, no matter how inviting it may be… or suffer the consequences.

Yeah, I’m still half asleep. I need another cup of coffee.

Happy sweet day.

Carmen

The Kindness: An Award from Jessica

dare-tl-be-remarkableI wanted to give a shout out to Jessica Larsen who nominated me for a Versatile Blogger award.

Such a kind and lovely thing to do — to just let someone know, that you appreciate their work, their words, their time writing.  It really touched me something fierce.  It’s taken me a few days to get to this part of it — so please forgive me.  But, when you have a moment, please visit her lovely site:  https://www.jessicaelarsen.com/ — and yes, please follow her!  She’s fun, and writes about everything with a special gist on romance.  A very lovely site and an avid writer/blogger.

Let me also add this:  I know a lot of us take so much time to write and share our thoughts, pictures, moments — and I do visit a lot of sites that I follow on a regular basis. I don’t always comment.  I don’t know how so many of you so easily write blog posts daily — I’m so jealous!  But some times I just read and don’t comment because I never feel I have enough time to really say what I want to say.  Maybe I’m thinking too much on it?  Not sure.  Sometimes, I just think “Eeh, they’ll get how much I loved this by the pressing like.”

I want to be better about commenting more often. I know for me, when people take the time to comment and share their thoughts on my blog posts, it just brightens my day so much. Especially if it’s been a full day in solitary WORK WRITING mode — having this interaction is a blessing, even if people disagree or have a different point of view — so thank you for those that always take the time.

Well, check out Jessica’s blog when you have a sec, follow her and, as always, thanks for stopping by and have a sweet day!

Photo Shoot Fun Day

I had a photo shoot today and generally, I expect the worst — it’s just not my favorite thing to do as a performer. But I got hair and make-up done today professionally and just LOVED IT! The make-up artist, Penelope Vazquez (@penelopevazquezmua) worked her magic and just made me feel sooooooo goooooooood! It’s such a collaborative thing, the kind of ART that I do, that when it all works, it’s FABULOUS! As soon as I get the pics, I’ll upload, but for now — here’s “me” enjoying my damn-self, a little too much with a few selfies and vid!

Sorry. Not Sorry! 🙂

 

 

With My Morning Coffee

If you look at your social media feed when you first wake, please make sure you start your day with the possibility of joy.  I follow this beautiful soul on Twitter — and seriously, every morning, with my coffee, I find myself starting the day with a smile.  

 

If you don’t know who Lin-Manuel Miranda is… trust me, you should!

Hamilton.

(I only follow the beautiful ones….)

Please start your day with the possibility of joy.  It changes everything when you do.

Carmen

 

 

 

 

Support

Like many things in our lives, it’s so much easier when you have the right support to walk you through.

Today, I ran to the beach and back – in total it’s about a 6 mile run.  I ran fiercely today – it wasn’t a struggle at all.  I took no breaks. I felt like the music carried me easily through to finish back home in fairly record time. This may seem silly to those athletic friends of mine who do a 6 mile run at lunch on a regular basis, but for me, this was finally finding my stride.  My comfort zone.

It’s taken me a long time to get back here.

I met a great work-out group via MeetUp a couple of years ago —  Sabertooth Fitness —  and I continue to participate in those classes regularly.  I train with Pete Neumann privately, once a week and I’ve started taking a yoga class at Goorus.  Yoga is something I’ve NEVER been interested in at all, since I’m NOT a fan of the practice.  But I found this YIN class that works for me and it has added a whole other level of mind and body care that I hadn’t even considered.

One of the best things I joined,  which is free, was Kasey’s Walking Group which is just a facebook page of people committed to walking or running every day during the summer months and posting a picture or any update of your “moving” that day.  You go for a walk or a run, post a selfie, and watch others post their pics as well. It’s like a great big support group across the country motivating you to just go for a 10 minute walk if it’s all you can do that day.

This morning, on my way back from my run I stopped and while taking my selfie to post, I realized all this support, all this encouraging, has walked me through a very difficult time in my life. Since February 2018 life has pretty much been a bitch!  It really has!  So many things have happened – some real good: like my book being published — but mostly a lot of bad stuff.  Truth be told, all of them stressful, anxiety driven and very disappointing.

And yet, I’ve stayed on point working out, walking, running and have found myself dealing with each situation with calm and even joy (I know, it sounds weird, but I swear it!).  Today it hit me:  all these groups and “new” friends I’ve met where our common goals have been to stay fit – all that support and encouragement – has helped me get through so many obstacles these past few months unscathed. It’s been incredible.  And today I realized it – lightbulb moment!

For some people I think it may be hard to ask for help.  But for me, I didn’t even realize I needed help.  All this time, as I walked through some minefields these past months, I’d been supported by the camaraderie of friends in a class, or getting to a work-out, or meeting my trainer or just having to post on the group page.  All of these interactions motivated me to get out of the “minefield” situation I was in – take a break, maybe talk about it or not, but return with a fresh new perspective. And today, that just all came together and made so much sense, I had to share it!

My point is we should find ways to put the right people around us so we’re always in a nurturing supportive environment.  I know that sounds easy.  And yes, it seems logical.  But when we’re “in” a bad situation, the last thing we want to do is join a work-out group or post something on a page.  But, if you can push yourself  to join a group on Facebook or Meetup —  to just get out of your head for a bit – it really could help you get through things easier.  If only to give you a break from dealing with whatever “IT” is.  You may also be helping others by possibly being that “support” for someone else, even if you don’t realize it.  And yes, depending on the support environment you choose to create, you could also enjoy the side benefit of having that bikini beach body you’ve always wanted!  🙂

Clearly, today, was a good day for me.

 

 

First Day in Shorts…Sun Damage…

First day running in shorts!  Oh, California I’m so glad we’ve had so much rain, but I loved today so much.  Not too hot, not too cold, finally no rain — sunny and gorgeous.  Beautiful day and a perfect run!   But looking at these pics, I noticed something on my skin I wanted to share…wait for it…

1) My bruised knees from a fall over two months ago — doesn’t look like the scars are going away any time soon!  😦

bruised-knees

2)  Mid Cam Pic.  I was hoping to record my squats, but uhm, nope.

laughing-mid-cam-03-03-17

3)  My favorite part:  Resting. Done.

resting

See those “white” dots/discoloration on my legs?  Sun-damage.  Yup.  And I don’t even lay in the sun.  So, please wear your sunscreen always peeps!  On lighter tones you may not even notice what too much of the wonderful sun can do to your skin.

Be smart and take care of you!

Happy sweet weekend to you!

Carmen

Can You List Ten Things You Like About Yourself?

Ten Things I LikeI was watching a show on CNN about addiction when one of the people being interviewed mentioned she had been struggling for days working on an exercise that could help her in her recovery.  The exercise she was struggling with was listing ten things she liked about herself.

I didn’t think much about it.  But later in the day, I wondered, can I do that? List ten things I like about myself?  And I added another caveat;  can I do it as quickly as I could write ten things I hate about myself? Because I’ll be honest, I could spit out 20 things in 20 seconds of all the things I hate about myself pretty easily…  sad but true!

So, I tried it.  I sat down, with the timer on my cell and listed ten things that I liked about myself. I stayed away from physical attributes (only list one if you must)  and then, when I was done, I went back and listed why I liked or loved these things about myself.

I have to tell you – a very interesting little learning moment for me.  And, it was…well, enlightening to say that least, and kind of fun.

Carmen’s List 

  • I love that I have great instincts. I’m hardly ever wrong when I go with my gut. This has to do with people or moments.  Most people I read within 30 seconds and I’m rarely wrong about them and although moments may surprise me or scare me, I’m never so thrown I can’t function.
  • I love that I’m extremely logical. I bring logic to a lot of things I do – whether it’s in explaining something, building something, creating something. I enjoy learning the order in the chaos of things. The patterns.  It intrigues me and really is the best way I function.
  • I love that I like to learn. With that comes the fact that once I learn something I don’t forget it if I care about it. Nine times out of ten, if I learned it, I care about it. But being a sponge for anything new is another great quality I love about myself.
  • I love that I don’t talk about what I don’t know. Rarely will anyone ever catch me discussing something I know nothing about. I love this about myself because I notice how many people constantly talk about something they don’t know.  It happens most often with movies.  People will trash a movie and if you ask them if they’d seen it, they’ll say “no”.  If it were just movies, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but people do it with politics, economics, worldly events, family issues, medical issues… hey, here’s a free bit of wisdom:  An easy way to seem like you’re really smart, is to admit when you don’t know something.  Seriously!  I’m not any smarter than anyone else, but I don’t talk about what I don’t know. Period. And when I don’t know something, I ask something.  Easy.
  • I love that I am able to sit with anyone of any race, age, color, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, celebrity, politician, Republican, Democrat, friend of foe… and fit right in. I am comfortable around people and have an innate ability to understand them, talk to them. There is something very “chameleon” about it. But not in a negative way. It’s not that I change who I am EVER.  But, that who I am is malleable to the circumstance.  I know myself so well, that I can find a way to connect with anyone.  It has to do with empathy. Finding a way to connect with another soul on the planet.
  • I love that I’m a very optimistic person. It’s not blind optimism, but it’s always being able to find the light in a dark circumstance. When things are bad, I find myself living in hope. Finding that source that will lead me to the next step.  Truly optimistic.
  • I love that I held onto my “Latina-ness” even though I lost my mom at such an early age and had to force myself to learn more of what it means to be Latina on my own. I know that’s a weird one, because I am Latina, but knowing my back story and how easily it would have been not to learn Spanish, not to understand and fit in with my mother’s culture, would have been an easy thing for this American to do.  And sadly, so many of us lose our culture along the way  – but what makes America so beautiful is the mix that everyone brings to the table. If I had been born to Scottish parents and lost them at a young age, I would have done the same thing.  Clearly it was my way of holding onto a piece of my past, my mom, but it also has other benefits as well.
  • Physically, without a doubt, I love my skin color. “..you were kissed by the sun…” my mother used to tell me.  And I remember that phrase after the all these years.  And even though my hands are older, I have some wrinkles showing, some cellulite here and there, some changes in tone and elasticity… I still see all the beauty that is my cinnamon colored skin.  Sometimes I do feel bad about it.  I mean, honestly, I was born with it, it’s not like I did anything to have it, but I have to acknowledge it just the same.  Loving who WE are, skin color and all, clearly is and was an important part of my strength growing up.
  • I love that I’m still a kid most days. This may seem strange or may seem like I’m in denial of some sort, but I’m not. I think one of the worst things I hear from people who are older than me is this “giving up” sentiment. Like somehow turning 40 was Hogwarts Teethe end of life as they knew it.  I’ve had people say to me, “We’re different now, we’re so much older now” and “It’s for the new generation.”  WTF?  Hello!  I’m in my 40’s, I’m not dead!  Jeez! I hope if I’m blessed to live till I’m 90+ that I’m still walking around workin’ my magic and still dreaming of all the new possibilities!  And I think that’s the essence of being like a kid most days. I don’t mean not keeping to your responsibilities, but I mean, keeping in a state of awe, freshness and aliveness. Again, it goes to being a very optimistic person.  Being kid-like really just means always living in the moment, in the right here and right now and having the energy to play in it!
  • I love that I love people. I do. Even when the worst of us seems to burst through more painfully than I feel need be, I still love that eventually the human spirit figures it out.  I love all types of humans — even the ones I don’t understand.  Individually, I may hate a few – and I do, and yes, I use the word “hate” purposely. But as a collective, as a species, I am fascinated by how we all function.  Wow, I’ve never admitted that out loud (or on paper), but it is true. I love that I love people and always look for the best in us, even when we are showing the worst of who we are.

Hmm… that was kinda fun.  And interesting.

Have a sweet day!

Carmen

 

 

 

A Few of my Favorite Things

I was interviewed yesterday by a very up and coming young reporter for a project they’re doing and I was asked to name a few of my favorite things and I thought I’d share just a sample:

What is your favorite book, that you would take if stuck on a deserted island where there was no internet?  

There are three books I have read over and over again for many years. And if I was stuck on a deserted island, I’d pick these to have with me:

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, The Alchemist by Paul Coelho and Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

IMG_1224

 

And what is your favorite thing to wear?

Well, if I had a my choice always a pair of Jimmy Choos or Pucci’s. But, since most days I don’t need to wear heals, the truth is you can pretty much find me in a pair of the ever so classic Converse.

080514 003

Just for fun, what would be your choice on a deserted island to read?  And for no reason at all, what’s your favorite thing to wear?  I guess it’s odd to always pick my shoes first, but I do and then decide what to wear clothes-wise.  Funny, I never thought of that before. I love learning new things about myself!  Ha!

Have a brilliant rest of the week!