cait +tiff


Leave a comment

C / A Year

ne and yen

Photo by Tiffany Tsang

It’s been a year and some change since I left Cambodia. I had a thousand reasons to leave, and I am so glad I did, but when September 3rd passed last week, I felt sad. Like a weird kind of empty sad, that caught me by surprise. I didn’t really get it, I had made those choices for myself, I had pushed hard in the right direction, and threw myself willingly into the relative free-fall of the last year. I am happier than I have been in a very long time, and yet, there was sadness?

With the help of an ugly cry and a very understanding set of ears to listen to me work through it, I realized that change, no matter what size or direction, is an adjustment. My life looks completely different now than it did a year ago, and I wouldn’t have ever imagined the amount of luck, love, and understanding that has come my way in the last year. But there is still something that feels like a mourning, for the past life, and a community that I miss dearly.

I am under the impression that change is a good thing, which I realize isn’t a particularly unique point of view. But because it leads itself so well to cliche, I often forget the gravity of change, and how long it takes my brain to catch up with my body. This time last year I was bouncing from couch to couch across the US, and I would’t be in my now-house for another 3 months. Change is weird and awkward and painful, but always, always important.

It’s nearly impossible for me avoid dipping into some version of self-help prose after a year of meditation, therapy, yoga, Brene Brown, and green juice, so I won’t even try. My impatience with the impact of change is the only thing about it that doesn’t surprise me. In true form, I just want to get through it and get on with things, but I am doing my best to quiet that spazzy voice just a little bit, and let those feelings come and go.

Overshare complete.

caitsig


Leave a comment

C / Update on the Reboot

debbie

Photo by Irving Penn

Hi. So last week, I boldly declared that I was going to fill my brain with all the inspiration I could manage, and be a changed person by Friday. The thing is, when you are filling your body with pizza and cocktails, it’s sort of hard to feed your brain online classes and meaningful literature.

The actual update on what I said I was going to do:

  • Take online class. I did not take an online class. I did look at them, and consider it, but then I went to happy hour.
  • Read a whole book. There was no way this was ever going to happen, I don’t know why I set myself up for failure, I never even looked into what book to read.
  • Starting Yoga again. I DID THIS. It’s the hot kind, and I sweat so much that a woman stopped me in the street after class to make sure I was ok.
  • Go to a museum. I did this too! Actually, I did it twice, so I think I get double points and one of the trips to a museum counts as taking a class.

According to my math, that is 3/4-ish, so I feel pretty good about my inspiration week. And, AND, I am filling this week with even more artsy shit that makes me want to create again. I do want to get back in to making things, my hands are getting restless. I saw the Irving Penn exhibit at The Met yesterday and I just filled with energy, in a way that I haven’t experienced in a while. I am not a photographer, but Penn has done some of the most incredible work I have seen, and it’s impossible for me to look away from it. So I bought the $70 coffee table book, which weighs 1400 lbs and is going to be an awesome carryon.

So I did some of my self-imposed homework, but the thing that I found most inspiring this week, was having conversations with people I love about the work I am doing right now. I have a lovely job and work for a friend, but my brain has started to wander.

I applied for a job a few weeks ago that I was SO EXCITED about. It seemed like the perfect fit, and I took a lot of care with my application and cover letter, and I made my friends read my CV and sex it up for me. I felt so good about sending it all in, and I was confident that I would be a great fit for the job.

I haven’t heard anything back, and it’s been two weeks, so that ship has probably sailed. Which is fine, ship sail all the damn time, that is what they are supposed to do. But as I have been talking through all of these things with people this week, it has become pretty clear that I need to get back to making things. It’s where my brain goes back to before I go to sleep, and it is what my brain has filled with while I am walking around New York.

So, I am getting back into it. I even got a new notebook and fancy new pencils this weekend, and you know I can’t waste back-to-school supplies.

Have a lovely Tuesday.

caitsig

 

 


Leave a comment

C / I’m a Wombat

wombat

Guys, this is really exciting. I am in New York right now and I have amazing news…I am a wombat! Isn’t that great? Let me explain.

I met up with my cousin yesterday, one of my favorite people in the world, and he told me about Primal Zodiac signs. (If you think astrology stuff is garbage, stop reading. I don’t know if it is or not, and I don’t even know if it’s my business, but I think it’s interesting.) Your Primal Zodiac is a combination of Western Zodiac and Eastern Zodiac signs, so in my case, I am Taurus, and I was born in the Year of the Boar.

In Primal Zodiac math, that makes me a WOMBAT. I love wombats.

Now, I am not going to make you read my wombat zodiac, but I definitely thought about it. According to the internet, which never lies, I am

  • Strong, determined, sensitive, and stubborn. (check)
  • Can be a reclusive weirdo until the wombat feels comfortable with her people.
  • Once the wombat is comfortable, wombat will not stop talking. To everyone.
  • Smarter, stronger, and more agile that people think
  • Also, and this is a direct quote “This sign can be painfully over-indulgent and procrastinating to the point that others wonder how it is they get by day to day.” (um, check)
  • When the wombat does stop watching Netflix, the wombat cannot be stopped.
  • Wombats like cosy, familiar places, and like nice things (check)
  • Wombats like wine, and “they do like to indulge in worldly pleasures a bit too much.” (This is kind of a judgy website, jeez.)
  • Hosting parties is their wombat jam, and they don’t really like the club. Wombats don’t like crowds.

I won’t go into the love stuff too much but a few important things:

  • Wombats are great friends, love giving advice and like small groups
  • Wombats are cautious, but when they commit, they commit.
  • SUPER SNUGGLY
  • Should trust be betrayed “expect to see the rare but legendary rage from this quiet but powerful sign.” Wombat Khaleesi up in here.

 

Lastly, career things, which I really like reading about right now.

  • Even though they can be shy, wombats put on a good show, and love storytelling
  • Wombats love creative self-expression and the arts (check)
  • Wombats are LAZY (check) and need inspiration and drive of they will just eat ice cream off their bellies all day and watch Brooklyn 99 in their underwear (I’m paraphrasing.)

 

I know how silly it is that I just wrote out my zodiac stuff on this blog, I know that. But I have never read anything that sounded more like my best friend describing me. I am making Tiff do this too, and I want you guys to look and see if your description works for you, too. Do it here, click. Do it, and tell me what you think.

Your favorite wombat.

caitsig


Leave a comment

C/ Big Business

big business.jpg

This post is late, and it’s not even my day, but here I am, two cocktails in with three hours of sleep in not-my-apartment in New York, typing away. What could go wrong?

Honestly nothing, stop reading if you think I am going to tipsy-manifesto all over this blog, I do that in text messages, like I normal person. I am here to talk about one of the most important things in life, Bette Midler. Yeah, Bette Midler.

I watched Big Business over the weekend, and am deeply ashamed that it was my first viewing. However, I was thrilled that I got to watch it with the badass ladies of Boxcar Muse, and eat pizza off of my tummy while yelling “werk” at the screen. This movie is amazing, and 1988 was a SOLID year for fashion. I am a little disappointed my 5 year old self didn’t get more matchy suit skirt things. The thing that struck me the most, was how awesome it was to watch Lily Tomlin and Bette of my Dreams play two characters each, be hilarious and smart and diverse in all of them, and that the movie had nothing to do with  romantic relationship. Yes, there are love interests, but they are honestly in the movie as side pieces.

Watch this movie, and then write me and tell me what your favorite hat of Bette’s is, because I CAN’T DECIDE WHAT MY FAVORITE IS.

caitsig


Leave a comment

C / two questions

cocktails

Photo via DesignLoveFest

Hi team, happy Friday.

I had a little dinner party the other night so that I could introduce some of my favorite people in LA. I know roughly 9 people here now, that’s one new friend per month, so it’s still a novelty when I get to bring people together.

I wanted to cook, because my mom always cooks for things like this, so I did what anyone would do, and cook all afternoon, completely destroying my kitchen, assuming I can cook better than the recipe suggests, and ending up a sweaty mess as the guests arrived. That’s what dinner parties are, right?

It’s exciting bringing people together, and over dinner and the first glass of wine, one of my friends posed two questions to the group, both of which triggered a variety of responses. Now, I love questions like this, and I love what happens to a group when they are posed.

First question: Describe a time in your life when you have witnessed incredible beauty all by yourself.

Second question: what is your worst bathroom story?

(If are are interested in my answers, stop reading because they are not going on the internet.)

So obviously these are two very different questions, with very different answers, but one of the best parts was seeing the reactions to the questions themselves. I love the idea of everyone coming up with a different question to bring to a dinner party, and seeing how many answers you can get out of people. Maybe I will do that next time…

Have a great weekend, and if you have good dinner party question ideas, send them my way.caitsig


Leave a comment

C /

no phone

I am guilty of sleeping with my phone. I used to plug it in next to my bed, and the second I woke up in the morning, before I got up or had coffee, my phone was in my face, reading news, fake news, and watching videos of baby elephants chasing birds.

A few months ago, I stopped bringing my phone into the bedroom, and occupied myself in other activities before going to sleep. Reading, watching Clueless for the 145th time, and actually engaging with other people, actually make solid replacements for refreshing Instagram and finding out how Busy Phillip’s workout was. (For the record, I still care about that, I just watch her stories in the daytime.)

I am trying to fill up my life with non-screen related things these days. I work remotely, by myself, often from coffee shops or home, so I can’t avoid them all the time. But, because I’m in LA, there is rarely an excuse for me to be inside when I am not working. People are outside all the time, because it’s always gorgeous and everything here is just like the movies. I’m serious, it’s sunny all the time, there are constantly film crews on my street, and I fall in love like 9 times a day. It’s usually with other people’s dogs, but same same.

I am going to Malibu this weekend with a friend, have plans for hiking, eating all the seafood in California, and beaching myself. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and maybe even forget your phone.

caitsig

 


Leave a comment

C / Straight/Curve

straightcurvy

I am so happy right now. I just found out about this new documentary, Straight/Curve, which is about the crazyballs issues of image and weight in the fashion industry. The trailer looks great, and I am hoping it lives up to what I think something like this can do.

I know it’s not a catch all, and talking about the problem is a really good start. There are so many insanely messed up issues with body image in media, and my ranting about it will not add anything new to the conversation at the moment, so watch the trailer, see the movie, and think about these things. They matter, and it’s up to designers, stylists, photographers, and whoever else in the industry to make choices that reflect actual women, and not make women feel like garbage.

Image via Straight/Curve movie


Leave a comment

C / Make Bad Art

drips.JPG

Last week, I started painting. I haven’t painted in a long time, not since fashion school a few years ago, and it was fun to get paint all over myself and spend the afternoon creating things. I now feel the intense need to invest in overalls. (Okay, more overalls.)

I remember painting with my grandma in Wisconsin, when I was probably 12. She was a wonderful painter, mostly did landscape stuff, and would work only with watercolors. I wanted to learn how to do it, so she set up a little table for me next to hers, and showed me how to paint a birch tree.

I didn’t want to paint a birch tree, I had absolutely no interest in a birch tree. I wanted to paint something big and exciting and I wanted it to be easy and I wanted to be the best at it. (I was not the most reasonable child.) But she was in charge, as she always was, and we were going to paint a goddamn birch tree.

So we painted trees, mine was crap and hers was lovely and elegant. I decided that painting wasn’t going to be my thing, because I wasn’t good at it, and I didn’t take an art class again until I was 32. (Note: this sounds like my grandmother turned me off from art, and it was certainly not that, it was my own weird perfectionism and impatience that did that.)

Anyway, I ended up painting three days in a row last week, and it was nice. I like physically doing it, mixing and messing around with colors and somehow always getting it in my hair, which just makes no sense at all. The stuff I make is BAD, it is not good, it is not pretty, it’s not even interesting, and it doesn’t mean anything. I mean, I painted my jeans on Saturday, and they we lopsided. I painted something that sort of looked like bamboo, but if bamboo feel into a motel art competition in the early 80’s. The best thing I did all week was when I wet an entire page of water color paper with water and dripped color onto with no creative direction at all.

The freeing thing about it, is that I am not trying to get better at it. I like doing it, and I feel like I rarely get to just do something without the intention of improving, and somehow winning at that thing. This might be an American thing, we are always trying to be the best at stuff and unproductive time is seen as wasted. But I am slowly starting to see the benefits of doing something poorly, like making bad art.

So here are photos of my non-precious, total garbage paintings. I will probably recycle them, because they will contribute more to the world that way, which is fine with me.

all the bad art.jpg

caitsig


Leave a comment

C / Landline

landlin.jpg

Image via The Hollywood Reporter

I have been trying to bring back the phone call for the past two years. I am one of about 6 people who still prefer talking on the phone over texting, but there is something about actual human communication that I am into. My push to get people to talk to me, is often not welcome, and it’s honestly not working that well. My friend Nitika told me the other day that she “hasn’t made a phone call to someone since 1993.” Whatever, I am holding onto this.

This morning, I saw the trailer for Landline, a new movie with Jenny Slate. It’s set in the 90’s and its sort of a romcom-looking thing, but with Jenny Slate, so it’s clearly going to be amazing. This has to be a sign, a sign that I am right about the proper form of phone communication, and I feel like I am about to be vindicated by a movie set in the time of non-ironic scrunchies.

Call your friends, they will hate it.

caitsig

 


Leave a comment

C / boundaries

pink

I struggle setting boundaries. I think it’s attached to being a pleaser, I have a terrible time thinking that I am letting people down or disappointing them in any way, and it hasn’t done me any favors.

I saw this Brené Brown video last week, and it stuck with me. There is a part in it where she explains how some people don’t set any boundaries, get taken advantage of, feel violated, don’t do anything about it, and then become angry and resentful. While watching this, I was unconsciously shaking my head “yes.” I feel like that might be a problem.

I am currently taking classes in self-compassion meditation. I pay a wonderful woman named Heather to help me be less of an asshole to myself, and boundaries come up in class a lot. Brené can clearly tell you why they are so important better than I can, and it’s worth the 5:54 minutes.

Will this ever be a fashion blog again? Who knows. Happy Friday.

caitsig