On Marriage, Year One: Teamwork, Dirty Socks, and a Magic Phrase…

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A few minutes before our wedding ceremony (one year and two weeks ago), Joe called his brother Nick, who had married his partner Caroline a couple months earlier, and asked if he had any last-minute advice.

“Marry the right girl,” Nick said, “and it’s easy.”

I imagine that people who have been married for decades, or even just a few years (versus a couple of months) would perhaps chuckle to themselves at the thought of anything making marriage “easy”. Our culture is bursting with reasons to believe that staying committed to—and happy with—one person is hard: movies, books, and TV shows that show couples arguing or barely communicating, complaining about each other to their friends, and/or growing apart; articles offering advice to “save” your relationship; bleak statistics in both the US and Canada revealing that 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. (Surprisingly, the divorce rate is higher in second and third marriages—60-73% in the US—than in first ones. So much for learning from our mistakes!)

My own parents divorced when I was two, and while that didn’t oppose me to the notion of getting married myself, it did make me realistic about the challenges a long-term relationship (married or not) can present, and wary of going down that path unless I felt very, very sure that the person I committed to shared the same values and vision for the future. (And, above all, was able to communicate effectively.)

Joe and I celebrated our one-year anniversary on Sept. 28th, and in the days surrounding the milestone I have reflected on what, so far, is helping keep us genuinely happy, communicating, and in love. Continue reading

Q+A: Musician Adam Kittredge On His New Band Thieves, the Challenges of Artistic Collaboration, + What He Would Tell His 16 Year-Old Self

Two years ago, after 15 years, the Juno-nominated, Victoria, B.C.-based band Jets Overhead quietly stopped playing together. My friend Adam Kittredge, the band’s former frontman, has since started Thieves, a new musical project with an EP slated to be released in the coming months.

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Earlier this summer, I asked Adam if he would be open to talking with me about his music career up to this point. Last week, we sat down for our phone chat, and, as in many of the conversations we’ve shared since our early twenties, covered a lot of ground.

Whether you know Adam personally, are a fan of Jets Overhead or Thieves, or are simply intrigued by the process, struggles, and insights of another creative human, I hope you’ll settle in with something to sip on, and enjoy the read. I sure enjoyed the chat. xx ~C.

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When Your Husband Meets Your Friends (Going Home, Part 3)

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Joe and I have been together for almost four years, but because we met in South Korea, the first two years of our relationship took place in Asia. We refer to this time as ‘the Korea bubble’ because we felt like we were in our own world. The early months of a relationship typically include meeting each other’s friends and family, but aside from hanging out with my dad and sister, who happened to visit me in Korea while I was dating Joe, we didn’t have that opportunity. Our move to Portland and an immigration process that restricted how many times I could re-enter the US made it difficult for us to visit Canada, so until last May, Joe had only been to Victoria once, to meet my mom.

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When Robin Williams Won the Oscar, and Thoughts on Depression

Last night before we went to sleep Joe and I watched a few clips of Robin Williams, in interviews with Johnny Carson and Craig Ferguson, and performing his hysterical stand-up routines. This morning I wanted to share one of them, but was torn on which one. In the end I decided this joyous moment of when he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “Good Will Hunting” felt right.

Hearing of anyone living with depression always hits home for me. It’s an illness present in my own family, and I have seen and felt its impact personally. It’s hard to know how to help someone you love who is suffering from the effects of depression, but certainly talking about it—what it is, how it feels, and what resources are available—more openly amongst ourselves is an essential part of creating a culture that supports and encourages those who feel depressed, as well as their friends and family members, to reach out.

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Camping on the Coast (with 10 of us!)

 

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This is what happens when 5 guys and 5 girls from seven different states and 1 Canadian province all end up living in Portland…

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and decide to go camping together.

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On “Boyhood”

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You’ve probably heard about the excellent reviews that “Boyhood”, the new film by Richard Linklater, is getting. It’s scoring 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, and, in the words of the critics:

“An extraordinarily intimate portrait of a life unfolding and an exceptional, unconventional film.” (Los Angeles Times)

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Going Home: Part 2 (The Vortex + Senanus Swim)

Going home always starts with a visit to my mom’s, and is almost always followed by hanging out with Adam and Antonia.

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For those of you reading who don’t know them, they are my super talented musician friends, currently expressing their melodic awesomeness with their band Thieves. I could go on, but I’ll save the details for my upcoming interview with Adam. We’re gonna chat about music, life, transitions, the future…the sort of ground we’ve been covering in our lengthy conversations over the last 15 years or so, but shared here, on the blog. This is an interview I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and I’m really stoked we’re making it happen.

So a couple days after we returned to Victoria from Salt Spring, Joe and I drove out to Adam’s mom’s house for a BBQ. Tucked away off a narrow road in Saanichton, about 30 minutes from Victoria, this house is the stuff dreams are made of. (I rarely use clichés, but in this case, totally necessary.) Once you arrive, you never want to leave. We call it The Vortex.

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