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The Authenticity Experiment, the Whistling Man Edition.  For the record, I didn’t tell him he was making me insane.  As in bat shit crazy.  That his relatively tuneless whistling was impeding my work, affecting my friendships, pulling at the edges of my already frayed knot.  I just said, “Hey, I’m Kate.  I’m a writer who lives down the block.  Will you talk to me about your whistling?” He set down his pipe full of pot—after I shook my head when he offered it to me—and asked right away if I liked the whistling.  I lied a little.  “Well, I certainly…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the make America great again edition?  That’s right, a question mark.  Because I wonder what America we’re trying to make great again.  Is it the America where the trains still ran and coal provided good jobs for people? Is it the America where one generation could succeed, economically-speaking, better than the one before? (Because, really, that one typically only happened for white people.) Is it the America that’s been sold to us by Madison Avenue? The one where the sun shines, coffee is always plentiful (and cheap), jobs pay well, and amber waves of grain move us…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the bird edition. Last year in February, a few days after my birthday, I saw Stupid F#*@ing Bird at Portland Center Stage. I knew nothing about the play and expected a riff on Portlandia, but the play was a deconstruction and reimagining of Chekhov’s, “The Seagull.” I thought the play did such a fine job of capturing the complexity of human relationships and the mystery of the human heart, and the other confoundments we face in loving who we love. As I sat in the dark theater and tried to stay present with the 8 characters on…

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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…

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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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