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It's In My Blood




A few years ago, I used to be called weird and/or creepy because my hobby was researching crime scene photos. Now, it's just considered quirky, everyone and their plus one uses the line, "I love serial killers, it's like so edgy." Listen up, if this is recent development for you, you're not into murder, you're into attention. It's not something you learn to love, it's a curse you're born with.

During my early childhood, I would spend countless nights at my grandma's house while my mom went out and drank, I assumed. This was something I encouraged not only because my grandma would let me eat all of her Jenny Craig pre-portioned desserts, but also because she let me watch CSI. This ritual of climbing into her bed with my quarter sized serving of a flan and turning on the Investigation Discovery channel, may have been what started my debilitating fear of getting murdered. And maybe also my sweet tooth?

I moved to Los Angeles in June 2017 and it's not at all like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I may drive past where Dorit showcased Beverly Beach by Dorit, but I am not included in that narrative. Maybe I watch too much TV or have too high of expectations, but I really thought it would be a little more glamorous to live here. I haven't even been invited to one Botox Party!! I practiced walking in high heels for God's sake! Instead, I've been working a full time job and finding myself saying things like, "Let's do something fun, like go to Burger King" and "Excuse me, where's JCPenny?"


Instead of adjusting to this new normal person life, I decided to escape it. But, because I only have two weeks paid time off, I have to escape mentally. I started listening to podcasts, but like all the time. In the car, at work, in the shower, anywhere I can. It started with Serial, but then I finished that, then a few episodes of random true crime stories, then I fell in love with one podcast in particular. Has anyone here listened to My Favorite Murder? While the two hosts make me laugh out loud to myself while in public (one of my biggest annoyances when someone else does it, but not me though), they also have made my childhood fear of getting my throat slashed, shot in the face and then dumped in a river, a much more everyday concern.

"Keep walking past the car, I think he's following us." I say about anyone who has been walking behind me for more than one turn. I woke up in the middle of the night to what I thought were three distinctive gunshots but was actually someone throwing away three bags of trash in the dumpster behind our apartment. I have a detailed escape route of what to do in case of a home evasion and it involves an "every man for themselves" type of mentality. I even applied to be in FBI but withdrew my application when I learned there would be a physical assessment. I'm more suited to just read and listen about murder and maybe think I solved who killed Jonbenet Ramsey. It defiantly wasn't that guy who just confessed a few days ago.

While my crippling anxiety about the noises coming from the apartment next door were becoming more frequent, they were not new. My mom was convinced I was going to be kidnapped, which in turn made me convinced I was going to be. Why wouldn't I be? I was adorable and pocket sized. This fear wasn't something that went away when I became an adult. I'm now 23 and still haven't gotten kidnapped, so I'm pretty sure it will be happening anytime now. After learning that it was entirely possibly that I could be taken from the street or even from my very own bedroom, I decided for my own safety, that I would learn everything there is to know about horrific crimes and survival stories. The more you know, the more you'll know how to act in that situation. My mom was very proud of me for taking on this task and encouraged it because she too, was insane. Before I went to Italy for a high school trip, my mom gave me a homework assignment of her own. I was forced to watch Taken and not only take notes, but write a short essay on what I would have done differently. (Answer: not get in the car with a hot foreign stranger.)

One afternoon, as I was doing my daily check of my address of Megan's Law, it hit me, "Oh my god I am my mother." The rest of the day I spent convincing myself that I was at least the upgraded version of her. Sure we looked alike and had the same genes, but I was like the new and improved version of her, right? While we both may have thought that the man alone at the gas station was going to rape one or both of us, she was the one to call him out on it! I merely think these horrible thoughts, I don't let anyone know that I think they look like a pervert! Nor do I blog about it! Oh wait...

I used to not want to be associated with her. I hated that she made me hold her hand to cross the street up until I went away to college. The way that she greeted her friends "Wassup muthafuckaaaa" in the school parking lot. If anyone would say "Oh you two are so similar," I was the first to try to get them arrested for character assassination. But recently, I've began to think about it a little harder and realized, I would kill to be as cool as my mom was. Sure she was a huge bitch and never brushed her hair, but she had this undeniable extra factor that drew everyone in. She had this effortless way about her, everyone wanted to be her friend. Bombarded with "Is it ok if I come over?" texts, I was always jealous of my own mother's popularity. I just wanted to be one of her friends until I realized that it was so much better to be her daughter. Also she probably wouldn't be friends with me if she hadn't given birth to me.

This past weekend I had invited over a few friends to my apartment to play some board games and to also have some human interaction from the comfort of my own home. As soon as the plan was confirmed, I immediately got to scrubbing my bathtub, because if I noticed how dusty it was, someone else would too. "Why am I doing this!!" I asked myself mid 409 spray, but continued on. I marched on to the coffee table in the living room and reorganized the Assouline coffee table books to appeal to the crowd that was coming over, "They should appreciate this Valentino: At The Emperor's Table book." I quickly organized the fridge by region of origin, just in case someone opened it. I sat down on the couch and fluffed the pillows the way I was taught, a karate chop like motion through the center. "Why the fuck did I just do all that?" I asked myself while already knowing the real answer, I am Ellie. I got so mad when she copied my haircut, but little did I know I copy everything she has ever done. It has all been instilled in me since birth! I obsess over the little details of my home, I won't shut up about the Housewives franchise and I'm terrified of everyone! But, even post mortum, I try to make her proud. She's the Lisa Vanderpump and I'm the Kyle Richards, starving for her approval.

This year, I'm going to embrace being my mother's daughter. I'm going to continue being on high alert for rapists and murderers. I'm going to be as generous. I'm going to always look on the bright side and believe anything is possible. I'm going to remember to take my birth control and have a green juice every day. And then I thought this sounded like a whole lotta work and got cute bangs instead!!!
Right after my haircut

Happy New Year! I'm working on the book and trying to loose 10 pounds before I go to Paris next month, so I can eat said pounds back in their French equivalents. I don't want to ask everyone's new years resolutions because most of us have dropped those by now. So, is there a podcast anyone can recommend that might be more soothing than my preferred current choice?

Thank you and bye bye - Gracie

48 comments:

  1. So good to hear from Ellie, like you said, after all, you are her. I followed your mom's blog years before she passed and checking it for updates was one of my favorite things to do. You are right, even though I obviously never met her, you could tell that she had a je ne sais quoi that drew people in. You must have it to!!! Happy New Year!!! I listen to podcasts but of a different nature jaja Tim Ferris is my favorite.

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  2. Teachers Pet. Its addictive though, consider yourself warned.

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  3. Oh I love this! I laughed so hard my kids rushed to my room to see if there was something wrong with me!!! I too I’m obsessed with being killed or kidnapped, but to be fair, I am Colombian and I live in The Bronx, NY! So it’s kind of a given! I spend countless hours watching Forensic files not only because it’s addicting but because I’m always trying to learn new ways to leave my dna behind or that of my murder! Also I tell my husband whatever happens check have the corener check the contents of my stomach because I’m pretty sure I’ll make it my business to bite and swallow a pice of my killer before I die so you can ID and nail his ass! Any way, I live this blog Gracie, keep them coming! They are so much fun! Until next time!!

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  4. You are your mother’s daughter, your writing is superb, we loved her and love you.

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  5. You’re like your mom in all the best ways.

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  6. You have a style all your own with a few similarities to your Mom's. I am so behind I'm not quite sure what a podcast is and how it works, so no help there. I wish we could help fill the void left by your Mom but we can't do anything but be here and listen. I enjoy your posts, keep writing.

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  7. Love hearing your voice Gracie. Looking forward to more.

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  8. Oh gosh, this was so entertaining to read. You aren't alone in always assessing the situations wondering if you are going to be murdered or kidnapped. There are a whole bunch of crazies out there thinking the same thing as you and your mom did. Keep writing! We all love to hear your voice.

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  9. Hi eeeee!! So glad to hear from you.I've often wondered if you were still in Paris and still yearning for American fast food. Ive thought about how you're sweet 'Dad' was getting along. I hope you've both been uplifted by all the many friends. Regarding your blog, what ever you do dont watch Ray Donavan.it will freak you out! Hope all is well Thanks for sharing...

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  10. Loved reading your blog! I laughed out loud in places. Thank you for this. I recommend the podcast about Joshua Powell. Listening to it makes my skin crawl...but very good.

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  11. So happy to see you on this blog again. I binged your mom’s writings in the months leading up to her passing and was so sad when she left. Looking forward to reading your thoughts. Podcast props: Somebody Knows Something, Dr. Death, definitely Teacher’s Pet... and always SSDGM...

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  12. Your writing is wonderful! I don't have any recommendations for podcasts, but I do have a request. In your mom's final blog post, she wrote that in her next few blogs she would tell us why she left France and moved back to Santa Barbara. Unfortunately, she never got to write those posts. If it is not too personal or painful, and you have some insight, would you mind sharing with us? I always wondered what she was going to say. Thank you, Anne

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  13. So good to hear your voice. You've been in my thoughts. Happy that you are embracing life. xoxo Mary

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  14. Happy new year! You could have background frequency vibrational meditation music while listening to your podcasts :)

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  15. You would love the TV series, The Fall.

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  16. Gracie, you are delightful-- both your Mom's daughter and your own original self! While reading this post I kept thinking: "I hope Gracie takes her writing to the stage and does a one woman show --it would be amazing!"
    XOXO Sabrina

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  17. Gracie,

    Hearing from you is like hearing from a long lost daughter. You did inherit the gift of writing and we all at one point in our lives realize just how much we are like our Moms. No matter how hard you try she is going to surface in so many of your actions. I especially like that her sense of humor has been passed on to you. Please send us a blog from France. Surely there is something there blog worthy! Just remember not to accept a ride from a suave Frenchman!

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  18. Dermatologist appointment this am--need to leave in a few minutes. Surely time to make a cup of tea and check email. HAVE SOME DECORUM!!!!! MUST READ!!!! Read, laughed, identified. Hope you sent posts from Paris. Who the hell cares if I'm late to my appointment. Keep them coming, Gracie.

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  19. Nothing soothing to recommend - as paranoid as you are! Funny to read though, just don’t read any Stephen King books and all will be well! Just remember that your Mum celebrated all of you, not just the parts that came from her or that she approved of! Her love for you was apparent in every word she wrote about you. Even when she made you sound like a PITA. I have a 15 year old. 99% PITA, 1% normal person, 100% loved.

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  20. It was like hearing from Ellie today only with a twist😁. Gracie you have your mother's gift....probably so many of them but you are uniquiun your own person. I don't listen to podcasts but if you are into television, there was a miniseries you can catch on demand called Dirty John. Based on a true story from a couple of years ago in the LA area it will make you crazy.....there is also a special that was on oxygen that showed the real people John's victims if you will. Consider binge watching. Love from this new yorker

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  21. It was like hearing from Ellie today only with a twist😁. Gracie you have your mother's gift....probably so many of them but you are uniquiun your own person. I don't listen to podcasts but if you are into television, there was a miniseries you can catch on demand called Dirty John. Based on a true story from a couple of years ago in the LA area it will make you crazy.....there is also a special that was on oxygen that showed the real people John's victims if you will. Consider binge watching. Love from this new yorker

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  22. Oh I was so happy to see this ! You are your mothers daughter for sure , the apple did not fall far from the tree ❤ my fav is true life crime...Wheeee like why does someone kill within their own family?? I read those books then I have nightmares of my own! Keep writing , we're all here for you ! ❤

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  23. You are a chip off the 'ole block , fer sure!

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  24. So great to hear from you. You know we all worry about you. Keep up the writing - I see a future for you - not only books, but maybe a sitcom, screenplay? And you are discovering what I found after my mom had passed. I caught a glimpse of her in the mirror every morning; her words fell off my tongue, and I have no doubt that my own daughters think I'm as big a pain in the ass as I thought she was. The lesson is that your mom lives on in you and in that sense she will always be with you. Can't wait for your next post! “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." - Henry David Thoreau

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  25. Welcome! I enjoyed your writing very much. It did remind me of your dearly departed mother. Keep up the good work because you have inherited your mother's followers. Ellie was one of a kind or so I thought with her brutal honestly and loveable nature, however, you are doing a wonderful job of filling her shoes. Thank you for making my day.

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  26. Thank you for the laugh outloud blog, you are a treasure! Also Casefile is podcast about crime with the host who has an Australian accent. I see many have suggested Dirty John, it's amazing... Keep writing, I enjoy every moment.

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  27. Soooo enjoying your writing! Slightly different voice from your mom but give it a few years!!

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  28. WONDERFUL.............I will be in Los Angeles the weekend of FEBRUARY 2.I will be at BOOK SOUP for The ADVANCED LOVE book signing with ARI SETH COHEN on APRIL 3rd. SATURDAY.IF by chance you are in the area and could say HELLO that would be WONDERFUL.I think if you just google LA CONTESSA I should POP UP although I have NEVER done that before!
    ANtiqueGoddess is the instagram feed..............I would LOVE TO GIVE YOU A HUG and say WELL DONE!XO

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  29. Loved your blog!!! You are your Mother's daughter. It's nice to see you have Ellie's sense of humor, but in what you called an updated version. About obsessing about kidnapping and murder, I think we are all a little quirky. I live out in rural Texas about 7 miles from town. On my drive home there is a long straight stretch going up a hill before the turn onto the road that leads to my home. My perfect day is when there are no cars either behind me or in front of me as I crest the hill, that way I can turn on to my road and no one will know where I am going, and they can't follow me home and kill me. As if anyone would want to kill an old lady. Don't have any suggestions, but look forward to what you find. Have a great trip to Paris, and take lots of pictures to share with all of us.

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  30. I am so glad to know that you are well, and I am thankful that you want to share some of you life with us. Lots of love from MA.

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  31. Yes! Yes! Yes! God I love you Gracie!! Reading your words gives us Ellie back and it's the best. Oh, and check out S-Town.

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  32. You are not your mother Gracie, you are YOU and a delightful "you" as well. I enjoy very much your blog!

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  33. I think your Mom would be glad Grandma’s getting at least half the blame for your debilitating Predatory Death Anxiety 😉. If your current slasher murder podcast keeps you up at night, you could always try something more soothing like, Sleep with Me, a podcast to “bore you to sleep”.

    Enjoy Paris Gracie with all its Food, Glorious Food!

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  34. Sooo, three days ago I found myself gazing longingly at HaveSomeDecorum in my bookmark list. I almost went to visit, but I felt really stupid about it and forced myself to read another NY Times article about what a consummate boor occupies the White House. Then I got a text from one of my girl friends alerting me that Gracie had posted, and all I can say is that your post is logged under Answered Prayers.

    Great to read you. Add me to your imaginary friend list b/c you've inherited all of us from your mother whether you want us or not.

    All I can say, Gracie, is, "Brava!" and "Let 'er Rip!"

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  35. If it's okay...can I come over? You sound like your as cool as your mom. It's a good aspiration.

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  36. Wait, I thought that was ME after getting my bangs cut! ...25 years ago... :D

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  37. omg, you are a natural. love your 'voice'. no podcasts to recommend, but you've inspired me to expand my listening horizons!
    please keep the posts coming! ~suburbanmom2

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  38. Gracie, I am keeping this blog up-date, just in case you don't post again. Loved it, as much as I loved reading Ellie's. Please write more, you have a gift with words, that brings us "all" back to hear more..Bonnie in WI

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  39. I forgot to mention: Earhustle (podcast by prisoners in San Quentin) My daughters (your age) introduced me to it. https://www.earhustlesq.com/

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  40. Oh, Gracie, you are much like your mother and that is a wonderful thing. I will look forward to your posts with relish!

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