The Authenticity Experiment Posts

Buy a pre-sale copy of The Authenticity Experiment: Lessons From the Best & Worst Year of My Life and send me a copy of the receipt to kate at katecarrolldegutes dot com and I’ll send you one of the new chapters as a thank you gift. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. ∞ The Authenticity Experiment, the dead people’s mail edition.  The thing about dead people is that they still receive mail—lots and lots of mail.  Not simply catalogs and magazines, although Stef and my mother both still get a catalog called, “Modern Woman” which sells polyester pants and camp…

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Here’s an infomercial before the post. The Authenticity Experiment: Lessons From the Best & Worst Year of My Life is available for pre-sale.  It helps me if you order early and order often.  The book launches September 12th.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. ∞ The Authenticity Experiment, the trust edition.  I am in a straw bale house on the edge of a canyon at the end of a road.  Literally on the edge of a canyon.  Look at my view.  I’m sequestered away here to write a book proposal for the next book—what we in my “family” dreadfully and…

Read More The Trust Edition

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The Authenticity Experiment, the other edition.  You probably are too young to remember it.  Or maybe you didn’t live in Portland then.  Or maybe I am just making assumptions about who you are, how old you are, how long you’ve been in Portland (where the young go to retire).  But there was a bad time here.  I mean, afraid to walk to your black Ford Ranger pickup in the dark bad time.  I mean, triple check the door locks bad time.  I mean, can we afford an alarm service bad time.  I mean, spit on and called “dyke” right on…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the Western Weekend Edition.  As a kid, I went to Western Weekend in rural Marin County, in a town without a stoplight or a sit-down McDonald’s.  I didn’t ride the Ferris Wheel because the swinging cars gave me crawl up and a fear that I’d flip out—literally and figuratively—and plummet to my death. Strangely, though, I did ride the Zipper, me alone in a car.  A blue one, I think, but that could just be an artifact of my imagination because now blue is my favorite color.  Two of my other friends rode along, each of us…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the what is wrong with the world edition.  I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to hit the first bespoke-suited 50-something white man I see.  And I’ve been crying and ranting consistently, ever since I read that the Trump administration wants to cut funding to Meals on Wheels.  The paltry $3 million that the organization receives each year to feed 2.4 million senior citizens. I know that $3 million sounds like a lot of money relative to our salaries and mortgages.  But do you know how little money that is in the grand scheme of…

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The Authenticity Experiment: the coal shovel edition. A giant United Moving van took my mother’s furniture, clothes, dishes, and memorabilia to Portland.  Part of the load was destined for California for my sisters too.  Still, we barely filled a third of the truck, but because the bid was based on estimated weight, we weren’t allowed to add anything extra to the manifest.  And by we, I mean me.  My mom was sitting on the dove grey leather couch in her family room alternating between catatonic and Napoleonic, sleeping in a delirium of denial that this day had finally come or…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the City edition.  Last week, I spent the night San Francisco—“the City,” as everyone in the Bay Area calls it.  The City—as if there is no other city in the world.  But I’ll tell you, on a morning when the tide is out and the fog is burning off, and you step onto O’Farrell Street and cut up and over to Union Square, the impatient honk of cars startling your small town self (and don’t kid yourself, Portland is a small town compared to any other city on the West Coast), the smell of Chinese restaurant grease…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the lifetime grieving edition.  The Alaskan Poet said to me, “I’m beginning to think that grieving is a lifetime process. AND I also think that it’s possible to be at peace with that and just realize that you can grieve and move forward.”  And, I think she’s right. It’s no surprise to find grief here—thoughts about it, stories about it, rants and rages about it.  But there’s a particular grief I’ve been thinking about.  Last week, two of my oldest, dearest friends—sisters—lost their child and nephew. Yeah, a 25 year-old kid. The Opera Singer used to say,…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the unexpected angels edition.  I hate the idea of angels.  Really.  Those damn cherubs painted by Raphael that hung in every 1980s house, regardless of whether the owner had been to Dresden (where the angels were relocated in 1754) to see them in person.  But the thing is, I think that angels—or, rather, guides, as I like to think of them—exist.  I’ve seen evidence time and again in my life—turn here, talk to this person, hand this woman your book, call this person now, tell that girl you love her.  So, well.  Judge me.  It’s new age-y…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the ornament edition.  It’s funny what hurts you, what makes you start to cry like a little kid.  Tonight, it was that I couldn’t remember—actually never asked how—my mom made this chandelier decoration of velvet ribbon and red, green, and gold ball ornaments.  It hung every year in our dining room in the house I grew up in.  I decided it would look good in my house, over the table that belonged to my parents. I’m decorating this year—for solstice—getting out all the boxes.  The lights, the yule log, the decorative hand towels.  You know, because what’s…

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