cait +tiff

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T / happy monday / just do it already

Photo Credit: Alice Gao

I am constantly urging myself to take risks and try something new.  I usually defy my level headed, even-minded Libran self for the daring Sagittarius.  What winds up happening is that I’ll choose to take a nap instead.  But I’m feeling itchy again.  Not the kind of itchy that involves high tailing it outta the Penh and into radically different climes (last year it was Turkey and Russia in the middle of a political hoopla).  This time it’s artistic risk.  And to me, that feels like even more is on the line.

What I’m getting to is that I really want to get into video.  Like super badly want to figure it out and produce something.  But the issue is what?

Which means I’m looking for inspo and of course the first place I’m heading to is Alice Gao.  I’m a huge fangirl and even though she’s known as a photog, she’s dabbled in the moving image as well.  These sumptuous little videos of the city are swoon worthy.  I wonder if I could paint this little corner of Southeast Asia in the same light.

And of course, these little guys involve coffee and wine.  Happy Monday, folks.

En Rose from Alice Gao on Vimeo.

Derek Lam 10 Crosby – Silent St from Alice Gao on Vimeo.

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T / happy monday / a little trippy

Photo Credit: Tiff Tsang

Line ups are bummers.  Mostly when they’re at the bathroom.  But even more so when you think your creative minded group of road trippers thinks they’ve stumbled upon something amazing and only they will be at on a weekday afternoon. But then it turns out that a hundred other people also wanted to see it at the same time as you.

This year, Desert X sprouted up in the Coachella Valley as part of a certain music festival that I’ve told myself I’m too cool for.  And our trip back to LA from Joshua Tree meant we had to make a stop.  With 17 artists and their installations spread across a very large and dry piece of land, we had to prioritize. Cue our design maven: Jane Heng!  One of our final stops was supposed to be Doug Aitken’s Mirage.  Looking over Palm Springs, this little ranch style bungalow was supposed to play with light and your minds.  Except a bunch of other people had the same idea as us.  So after some deliberation, we didn’t exactly get to see it (but check out that killer view!).  And then I stumbled upon this little video.  Same thing as seeing it for myself right?

Lesson learned: sunrise.

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T / happy monday / W4W, women for the world

Photo Credit: Bob Adelman

In a 24 hour period this weekend, I both finished up the Big Little Lies miniseries on HBO and watched the new addition to the DC comics-to-film series, Wonder Woman (with a wonderful group of women).  Also, the current American president pulled out of the Paris Agreement Climate Change.  I thought about what was going on in the world.  And I thought about what women and our shared experiences.  The professional world, our homes and our dailies.  Conclusion: women (Angela Merkel and friends, I’m looking at you) will be the ones to save the world.

This tiny little film by fashion blogger Down Under wunderkind Margaret Zhang fits exactly into what I’ve been thinking.  Happy Monday.

PS – Some other great stories about women: The Babysitter’s Club, How to Make an American Quilt, Thelma and Louise, Hidden Figures, Angry Indian Goddesses, The Joy Luck Club…just to name a few.

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T / happy monday / visual meditations

Photo Credit: Rich Stapleton for Cereal x Gap

If you asked 22 year old Tiff about meditation and mindfulness, she probably would have stared at you and said “I don’t exactly have time for that.”  In the background, her mother would have said “Tiffany’s been high strung since she was 2.”  This was a fact until this Tiff sailed past thirty.  End of third person monologue.

As a freelancer, I’ve been starting and stopping for the past six years.  When I was younger and nearing the end of a project, my heart would race a little.  Panic and some sort of crisis would set in.  Especially if there was no project on the horizon.  These days, I’ve learned that there is always a project on a horizon, even if I can’t see it.  Sometimes it’s there whether I want it or not.  Or most recently, the thing I needed but didn’t really want.  And in the best times it turns out to be the thing I needed and wasn’t necessarily looking for.

What on earth does career anxiety have to do with meditation?  Basically, I’ve come to terms with uncertainty.  There is no doubt about the help I’ve gotten from my 10 minutes of daily calm.

But sometimes I get my calm from looking at something.  Actually that happens quite a bit.  Which brings me to these little videos from my favourite minimalist biannual mag, Cereal.  They’re so simplistically photographed.  And while the soundtrack isn’t quite “fire crackling in the wind” or “babbling crook,”  the beat is entirely calming.  I could just stare at these and feel my amygdala get smaller. Happy Monday.

Y U K O N from Cereal on Vimeo.

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T / happy monday / sometimes you need a little paris

Photo Credit: Alice Gao

Maybe it’s because I’m in a little travel withdrawal.  Or perhaps a little annoyed that The XX decided to be in LA while I was San Francisco, and in San Francisco while I was in LA.  And that we missed Nicolas Jaar in Joshua Tree by a day.  Not cool. I also probably have a little bit of travel envy (care of this lady).  In any case, I miss seeing live music.  I’m in the middle of a massive craving and I haven’t managed to squeeze in a Rhiannon performance yet.

So I had to do a good solid binge on La Blogotheque.  They’re Take Away Shows (this is a fave) have been on my deck for the past few years, sometimes for a little taste of the City of Lights.  And this year, they unleashed their Soirée de Poche catalog, otherwise known as a series of Pocket Sized Evenings.  And I cannot believe they’ve been hiding years of acoustic live shows in intimate venues around Paris.  If you’re missing this kind of experience, and I know a few who are, then this is worth a binge.  Beirut, Vampire Weekend, Father John Misty.  All the favourites.  I can’t even begin to describe how happy these medium sized pieces of music make me.  Here’s a morsel.  You’ll also get a jolt and perhaps an addiction to Paris as well while you’re at it.

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T / happy monday / back home

Artwork Credit: Heather Sundquist.

It’s still Monday somewhere, right?  In fact I think it’s still Monday where Cait is, so this post still reaches its deadline.

I am back.  At home (or rather, the office). In Cambodia.  We arrived in the dead of night, and of course this brain decided to turn on promptly at 4am.  I wasn’t quite sure where I was for the first 30 seconds.  Which Airbnb?  What part of California?  But the moment I stepped into the living room of our little wooden house in Phnom Penh, there was a sigh of relief.  I was home.

This three week trip through the western edge of the United States was exactly what I needed.  In four words: I GOT TO SEE CAIT.

But it was time for me to come back, hit the restart button and start contemplating a new normal.  I can’t wait to share with you every single new thing, and all of the discontents (read: anxiety and excitement in equal measure) that accompany change, uncertainty and forward movement.

In the meantime, here’s a little sonnet about home, from a favourite singer of mine, in his gorgeous little abode in the little neighbourhood that caught me just three weeks ago.  I hope your home is a sanctuary too.

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T / happy monday / blank canvas

Photo Credit: Tiffany Tsang

This past weekend, I got to visit a place which is about to be turned into something spectacular. I can’t really talk about it in detail now, but I wanted to talk about all the feelings that came with having a a blank canvas right in front of you.  Invited as part of a group of interested persons; stakeholders, creatives, investors, techies and innovators, my ever entrepreneurial, community-building friend wanted us to see all the potential that was just a 10 minute drive from our bubble, in a part of town I rarely, if ever, have been down.

I’d heard about it, whispers, glimpses on social media, for the past couple of weeks.  But then it was, right in front of me.  Asking, begging, waiting to have paint splashed all over it, photoshoots, trampolines, speakers blaring all the beats and creative production.  It reminded me of growing up in Toronto, which, like any post-industrial city, has a bunch of old and abandoned buildings.  It made me think of all the re-purposing that the fossils of industry have undergone of some of the world’s hippest cities.  Not only that, but past sites of conflict, sites of desolation.  Isn’t it disruptive?  The ultimate rebellion to create beauty out of something previously deemed as inconsolable?

Getting to see a place like this opened up all the feelings I needed to keep moving and getting all the work done.  Because once I get rid of this To Do List, I can start playing again, and I know exactly where I am going to do it.
















So in celebration of place and spaces that beg to be splashed upon.  I give you this white space.  I hope it inspires you to fill it with colour, noise, people and ideas. Because that’s exactly what I wanted to do this weekend. Have fun.

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T / happy monday / hot thoughts

Photo Credit: Feist.

Some really good albums from a couple of my all time favourite bands came out over the past month.  And I got to spend a lot of time in a car with them this past weekend.  These bands were the soundtrack to my late teens and early 20s and are so telling about my early millennial status.  I discovered Spoon while watching The OC.  Then I found The Shins when I fell in love with Zach Braff and his Garden State.  I met Dirty Projectors when I moved to Cambodia and met all the young things from Brooklyn.  And the story of Tennis fell into my lap while I was living the hipster wannabe story in London.  Don’t you love it when music comes with a time and a place?  True story: I catalog all of my music by the month and year it came into my life.  There is indeed a soundtrack to my life.  Not joking.  I might actually be John Cusack from High Fidelity in the multiverse.  Or Kevin Smith.

Oh right, Feist is coming out with her new album next month.  22 year old Tiff is going nuts.   Here are the faves from everything I am spinning this week!

Spoon – Hot Thoughts, from their album of the same name.

The Shins – Name for You, from Heartworms.

Dirty Projectors – Cool Your Heart (ft. Dawn) from their self-titled album.

Tennis – Ladies Don’t Play Guitars, from Yours, Conditionally.

Feist – Pleasure, from her forthcoming album of the same name.

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T / happy monday / not for you

Photo Credit: Tiffany Tsang

Photo Credit: Tiffany Tsang

I got this video from Cait and it is exactly what I wanted to see this month.  I’ve done something athletic since I was tiny.  I think my parents knew I had to get that excess energy out somehow.  And eventually it became part of my identity.  I had to always be moving.  But it’s also forged this resilience in me so I know that I can get through whatever obstacles that life throws at me.  This month I’m challenging myself beyond what I’m used too.  But this isn’t about that.

This is about getting moving in every way possible.  And celebrating all the women who are moving, building, creating, and surmounting. Including you.  You can start anytime.  And you don’t have to be Serena Williams, Sheryl Sandberg or Anna Wintour.  When I think about these women, and the amazing young female entrepreneurs here too, they did it for themselves and their achievements have spread to others too.  And there is no better time than now.

There’s been a few words I’ve been repeating to myself, to keep everything in check: that only person you’re competing against is yourself; that you are your only boundary; and practice, fail, practice, fail, practice, succeed.

It’s exactly what this little video from ESPN-W celebrates (as well as ladies who lift!).  It’s inspiring me more than anything today.  Can you tell that I’m in this weird hyper motivated space?  I blame this video (and therefore Cait!)

I also just discovered that the Notorius RBG gets moving too.  And that makes me really happy.