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Archive for December, 2009

As you know, I grew up on in Southern California, specifically in Orange County. I went to college and lived in Los Angeles for a few years before moving to the east coast. Now I live in New York City. Of course, there is a vast difference between the two coasts, and I am asked all which one I like better. And now I’m going to articulate why I like the east coast better.

  • At holiday party, a New Yorker  says “I got your email on your beautiful Winter Collection and congrats an having another shirt on Ugly Betty. ”  A Southern Californian says “You look beautiful! That dress makes you look thin and I love your hair color.”
  • A SoCal’er comments on my bag. A New Yorker comments on my book in my bag.
  • When a New Yorker asks you “what do you do?” they’re asking about your career.  When an Angeleno asks, they’re talking about your hobbies or sporting activities.
  • When I wake up in NY, I’m worried about my “to do list.”  When I wake up in California, I’m worried about my weight.
  • In New York, I hop on a subway to the MOMA for inspiration.  In LA, I think about going to the Gettty… and then I think about the four hours I would spend in 405 traffic for a mediocre museum at best and just stay home.
  • New York has the Strand:  13 miles of books, and hand-me-downs from every great museum in the City.  In LA there’s always Amazon…
  • Three words:  New York Pizza.  Plus pretty much any take out you want, any time.

And here’s where my argument breaks down:  while I love that you can get any food anytime in NY, the produce SUCKS.  It’s like water.  Not to mention that my complexion is bad from all the grime in the air, and my mocha skin turns eggshell white during the Winter.

OK, so there are two sides to every debate, but the bottom line is that I’m writing this post because I’m in California right now, bored off my a**.  Wouldn’t be the case in New York.

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Ciara’s Side Effects

As you may already know, I am on a cocktail of medications (at doses high enough to kill a small horse) to manage my bipolar II disorder. I was diagnosed with bipolar at the age of 21. Since that time, I have been on and off several types of anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, etc trying to find the right ones so that I may function normally among you earthlings.

With every medication comes a plethora of side effects. It’s like hopping on a different roller coaster each time and you’ll never know if you’ll end up loving it or throwing up. Here’s a sampling.

1. Wellbutrin (anti-depressant) This was one of the first anti-depressants I tried and it worked very well on a low dose. Funny enough it didn’t cause any weird side effects except for causing me to have a grand mal seizure (that’s the jerk-around-violently-while-rolling-your-eyes-and-foaming-at-the-mouth kind) that put me in a hospital for a week.

2. Depakote (mood-stabilizer and anti-seizure medication) I had to have my blood checked every 3 months to make sure Depakote wasn’t slowly poisoning my liver. When my Dr doubled the dose, I began to have severe memory loss.  I would forget entire hours had passed and craved mass quantities of french fries.

3. Effexor (anti-depressant) Holy moly! This red little pill gave me a mild form of Tourette syndrome for about 6 months. I’m not kidding. My body was uncontrollably twitching 24 hours a day; finger twitching, toe twitching, eye twitching, ear twitching, leg twitching, arm twitching, etc .The first day was the worst, I was flinging my hands, arms, and legs back and forth and I couldn’t stop it.  But the tics gradually calmed down over time and things much better. The funny thing is no one even noticed but it was life changing me. Now, I truly have compassion for children with Tourette syndrome. They really have a rough time ahead and I hope they can get help early. And another thing with effexor, I experienced major heat flashes. I put ice cubes on the back of my neck and let them melt to cool me off.

4. Seroquel (anti-psychotic) I have severe insomnia most definitely caused by my other medications so if you hid these pink little puppies from me, I would not sleep. I could stay up the whole week, month, year  hunting you down trying to find out where you hid them from me. And this MoFo is what made me gain 20 pounds over the last year. It made me feel like I was never full. I am going to write about my Seroquel weight gain in my next blog post.

5. Trazodone. (anti-psychotic)  This drug is used for many crazies from depression, manic, panic disorders, OCD, to Schizophrenia, and other psychoses. It gave me the most side effects I’ve ever experienced from any drug. From slurred speech to scary dreams, drowsiness, lethargy, dry mouth, headache, and the worst night sweats. I would wake up in the morning in a puddle of sweat. Not even a puddle, more like a swimming pool of sweat. I’m surprised I didn’t drown in my own sweat like in infant in a bathtub.

6. Topamax (anti-seizure). This what I take to counteract the Seroquel weight gain and it also helps with making sure I don’t have a seizure again. I just started taking this, so the side effects are taking a toll as I am writing. This drug makes me sound slightly drunk or very tipsy, depending on the day. I’m worthless at telling stories, and I’m missing my normal razor wit.  I’ll say the same sentence twice in a row and slur a word or completely replace one word for another – all while thinking I’m being clever.  Someone at Union Square asked Adam and me  how long we were married and I replied “oh six people.”  when I meant to say “oh six years.”  Ummm hello. I haven’t been drinking nor was I lacking sleep. Sigh. I was just me laced with the medication that I need to be me.

I know after reading this, you wonder, “Ciara, why do you put up with all the side effects of all these medications? Why don’t you just go au naturale? Wouldn’t life just be easier without them?”

The fact that I put up with all this crap just goes to show how valuable they are to me.  Without them I would be lost in a world in which I couldn’t be found.

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CTE-1206teddy blog

Teddy Bear is part of my animal collection for my Cutesy Candy Bar series that I did while I was a student at Parsons. I never brought those candy bars to production because I ended up going into the fashion business as you know. I hope you love him as much as I do.

This Tshirt is no longer available. Ciara ran her clothing company brands Ciara Couture and Queensbound from January 2007 to December 2010. She has ceased all clothing brand operations as of January 1, 2011.

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CTE-1205surferbubbles blog

Here’s another surfer girl to add to my surfer girl series. The bubbles are taken from one my 2008 winter designs that I loved. Since the recession hit last year, my shirts didn’t get my as much exposure as I wanted so I can recycle parts of my designs to create new ones. With all the colors, the design is quite dynamic.

This Tshirt is no longer available. Ciara ran her clothing company brands Ciara Couture and Queensbound from January 2007 to December 2010. She has ceased all clothing brand operations as of January 1, 2011.

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