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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


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C / together and stuff

Transitions are hilarious, easy, and always lots of fun without any confusion whatsoever. Or the opposite. Uprooting is a mess, and resettling is sort of like trying to make a house out of legos and rapidly melting ice cream. It’s a weird time, so I am calling in reinforcements, and tapping into some experts on how to keep my brain and body from exploding into a million pieces.

On Tuesday night, I attended Together, a traveling speaker series with Glennon Doyle Melton at the helm. You may know her blog, Momastery, or her book, Love Warrior. Her story is one of recovery and acceptance, with a huge amount of humor. She is monumentally brave with herself, highlights her vulnerability, and is above all, honest. She, along with host Jennifer Rudolf Walsh, have pulled together women from all walks of life, with incredible stories of bravery, love, and strength.

Right, so it’s a self-help-type thing, and my snarky, stubborn guts feels weird about things like this. They even gave you a little booklet where you write down your manifesto and strengths and dreams and a bunch of other things that are really hard to figure out in the allotted 45 seconds. My self-loving brain and my shit-talking brain had a long conversation about whether or not this is total garbage, and the self-loving side actually won.

Strangely enough, I like doing things that make me feel better about the hard parts of life, and I think it’s really valuable to listen to remarkable women talk about real, honest, vulnerable stuff. I get that this might sound like I’m elbow-deep in inspiring Pinterest quotes with stock photo sunsets in the background, but that’s fine.

So because I didn’t record the whole thing on my phone that really needs to be upgraded, below, are internet-provided clips of the ladies on stage. Honestly, these clips don’t do the  speakers justice, but you get the idea.

Glennon Doyle Melton

“We can do hard things.”

Dr Jaqui Lewis

“Friends, we need to vote like our lives depend on it, like our love depends on it.”

Seane Corn

“You only ever teach what it is you need to learn, quite frankly.”

Valarie Kaur

“We can tell our own stories, author our own articles, make our own films, launch new campaigns, influence government and the media, and organize through technology and innovation. We have the tools to make love public in ways we haven’t seen before.”

Gina Rodriguez

“You are enough today, and the second you accept yourself is the second everybody else around you does as well.”

caitsig

 

 


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C / Pants vs. Bruh

IMG_2644.jpgA few weeks ago, I went to the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. I was with one of my best friends, Megs, and she was giving me the cool-kid LA tour, in effort to convince me to move there. It might be working.

(Writer’s note: it’s 5am and I have been up since 3:30 and I just finished watching the last episode of OINTB, and I am all full of feelings and potentially too much coffee.)

I remember when the Ace opened in Portland, just after I graduated from college. It was cool and dark and moody and they served the coffee that I used to get for my dad for Christmas, the now hipster-staple, Stumptown. The Ace empire now stretches from Seattle to Panama City and across the pond to London, where I might finally be able to afford a drink, thanks to Brexit. #thanksbrexit #jkyouareawful

In any case, I was worried that the LA Ace was going to be full of heavily-curated, overly-hip outfits and side eye, but I was wrong. (Mostly.) The people there were super nice, and at one point in the evening the DJ stepped out from behind the table to dance with his three year old daughter and the collective cold heart of the city melted. It was surprisingly chill and welcoming, the drinks were solid, and the pretentiousness that I expected was no where to be seen. But that’s because it was at the pool.

After I reached my grown-woman, two drink limit, I went to use the ladies. To get there, you have to walk through the pool area. I was glad I was wearing my new jeans, these sweet culotte things, because they weren’t going to drag on the wet pool deck, and they make my butt look fantastic. As I was walking back to the bar area, I heard a voice from about three feet away:

Bruh, sitting next to the pool, watching models that won’t talk to him: “What’s with girls wearing those stupid ass jeans now. I see them everywhere, ugh.”

At first I didn’t think he was talking about me, because 1. he was a 40 year old man wearing a flat-brimmed baseball hat at night, and 2. because I was THREE FEET AWAY, and who says that kind of thing, especially within earshot? My first reaction was to say nothing, but then I didn’t.

Me, whipping around in my magic butt jeans: “I can hear you.”

Bruh, with a dumb look on his face: “What? Oh, yeah, no, um, it’s just they aren’t really my thing.”

Me, double pointing at my pants: “These pants are awesome.” Then I walked away,

It was a little violating, and a little awesome at the same time. Obviously violating in that some non-contributing zero decided that he could talk shit about a random stranger, pretty much to her face, and clearly expected her to take it. Awesome, because I didn’t. I would have, in most of my life, and decided that the confrontation wasn’t worth it. I would have walked away with a bunch of snarky things that I didn’t say, swirling in my head.

So yay for me for yelling at a dummy, getting mad and saying stuff, and eff the patriarchy.

caitsig

I hope all that made sense, I need more coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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C / Samantha Bee

samb.jpg

Being back in the US always takes a minute to get used to, and with the attack in Orlando a few days ago, the bizarre complexity of this place is even more intense. Like a lot of people, I am sort of done with the “prayers for whoever just got shot” stuff. I feel like I am at the point where I can’t say anything profound or helpful regarding what happened, but Samantha Bee can.

This amazing chick has stepped up since she finally got her own show. Thank you, TBS, for that. Her comedy is smart, feminist, incisive, and funny as hell. I feel like she has somehow crawled into my mess of a brain and picked out all the important stuff and made it into a really funny show. She is able to make anger coherent when most of us (me) get so frustrated by all of this that all we (I) can manage are sputtering sentence fragments and a very red face.

Strong, important language below.

“Love does not win, unless we start loving each other enough to fix our fucking problems.”

caitsig

Photo credit TBS


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C/ LA LA LA LA LA


Hi, I’m in LA. Sorry for the super late post. I’m sure 3 of you care.

I have spent a lot of my life not liking LA. I knew nothing about it, of course, and had been through the city on my way to Disneyland, maybe twice. It was the Hollywood stuff, the “epicenter of vanity”stuff that I didn’t like. The Kardashians aren’t helping the case.

I am here now, looking at sustainable fashion jobs, and sort of actually like it. I’m hanging out downtown, at a very hip coffee shop, trying not to stare. The coffee is great, the people watching is phenomenal, and I wish I showered this morning. Honestly, I just want to write about the people I’m looking at, but that’s weird, right? I shouldn’t do that.

Things that have happened in LA that make me love it:

The airbnb we are staying is right downtown and is about 3 floors up. It’s high enough to drown out the traffic noise, but not high enough to miss the drumming concert that went on for three hours the first night.

 Getting up early to go to Eggslut only to find out that about 400 people had the exact same idea. Forced to walk around Grand Central Market and have one of the best bagel and smoked sturgeon (out of New York) at Wexler’s deli. Crisis averted 

Met an amazing friend at the opera and saw La Boheme. Started the night with quesadillas and pink champagne. Ended the night with an old fashioned at a bar that felt like the Natural History museum had a baby with a saloon girl from the gold rush.


The lady at Guisados knew my name after 24 hours.  

Bought a $5 chocolate eclair at Bottega Louie and destroyed it in an elevator. Not sorry.

This place is kind of fantastic, and it’s messing with all of my stereotypes. I’m going to have to find a new place to judge blindly.

 


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C / weirdo bingo-travel edition

goldie.jpg

I do weird stuff sometimes. The peak times for me doing weird stuff are:

  1. When I’m tired
  2. When no one is around
  3. When lots of people are around but I don’t know them
  4. When I am traveling
  5. When I have time to kill

On the way back to US over the weekend, the conditions were perfect. I had 7 hours in the Seoul airport between my flight from Phnom Penh and my flight to LAX. I have a hard time sleeping on planes, so when me and my bloodshot eyeballs arrived in Seoul at 6:30 with about 30min of awkward plane sleep, the weird was coming.

I’m sharing this stuff because I think these things are awesome but also sort of strange. Either way, I highly recommend doing them while in transit. Sort of like a weirdo bingo.

  1. Sneaky facial. My skin is always wrecked after flights. It’s drying and red and awful and puffy and ew. My favorite way to fix this is to pretend I am a very fancy person, walk into Duty Free and make a bee-line to the very-expensive cosmetics counter. I ask about a few products, and tell them I am interested in trying a few other things from their line, because I have already tried so many. I ask about specific issues and ingredients in the product and by the end, my face is covered with dead sea cream and virgin tears. It’s a free facial and makes my skin happy. Sometimes I do buy something, sometimes I do not, either way I glow.
  2. Go find the ginseng counter. This is Seoul-specific, I guess, but can apply to other cultural things in airports all over the world. Korea is super into red ginseng, because it’s super good for you and it looks like the dead aliens from Independence Day when they are in those big glass tubes and Bill Pullman is like, “oh dang.” Anyway, I didn’t know that much about it, so I went to the counter and asked why it’s so popular. The people working there know SO MUCH, and they are happy to share and have you taste things. I got a few ginseng candies out of the deal and I feel much healthier already.
  3. Dance party. This is more of a mall walk/booty shake, but it’s fun. Grab one of those little push carts, put your carry ons on that bad boy, and put those ear buds in. I usually listen to HAIM, Raphael Saadiq, Prince, Billy Joel, or B, or some awesome combo of all. I walk as fast as I can, pushing the cart and a jamming out. I walk like Tyra, give a little booty tooch, and usually work up a sweat. Don’t worry, there are showers upstairs. Sometimes I sing, because you might as well look properly crazy if people are already staring at you. They jealous.
  4. Jason masks. In addition to the sneaky facial, I love the paper masks they sell at the cheapy cosmetic stores all over the airport. These are the products that aren’t nice enough to get into Duty Free and come in flavors ranging from snail to 24 karat gold to royal jelly.  Find a row of empty seats, and put that weird mask on your face and watch people be terrified of you. If you lay down and cross your arms across your chest, people may thing you are embalming yourself. Hell, you might be, I don’t know what’s in those masks.
  5. Stretch. This is actually a very good idea, and if you are lucky, you might be joined by a group of elderly ladies that are amused by how giant you are. The stretching really helps with the whole sitting for a million hours thing, but people will look at you. It’s important to make sure you are not wearing see-through leggings for this, but that’s pretty much the only precaution.

That’s all. There are probably more things, but chances are, I don’t notice they are happening. Everyone steals cheese from the lounge, don’t look at me.

Photo credit

caitsig


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C / Coming to America

stars.jpg

I head to the states tonight, and I am looking forward to hanging out there for a few weeks. I will be hopping between LA/NY/Tucson, hopefully with a stop in Chicago to squeeze my niece and nephew.

I am excited to be back in the states for a minute, though I’m not sure it feels totally like home anymore. I have been living outside of the states for the better part of five years, and I feel a little bit like Encino Man, entranced by the modern world. (Note, if you don’t know what Encino Man is, I am so, so much older than you. Go watch it, and understand why loving Brendan Fraser was a thing.) The US feels like a magical place where people are shamed for littering, everyone (mostly) adheres to traffic laws, and you can get berries any time of year. It’s also a place that is weighed down by some crazypants politics, that feel like they might be more at home in a corrupt pseudo-democracy, like this one.

The cocktail of feelings I have going back never goes away, but it’s mostly sweet. I will still sob on the airplane, because I’m a squishy weepy baby when I am tired and cruising at 30,000 feet. I actually love the trip at this point. My carry-on is more of a strategy bag, and nothing goes in there that I don’t need. I bring fuzzy, totally dorky butter socks (pink) with me because those slippers they give you on Korean Air always fall off and I really don’t want to touch the bathroom floor with my feetsies. Ew.

Even though I am exhausted on long haul flights, I love the quiet time, being unavailable, and staring out the window, wondering what’s below. Of course, I can look on a map and find out, but what fun is that? The stars mixed with moderate insanity, and the glass of wine that was supposed to make me fall sleep, is actually kinda nice.

Back on next week, with jet-lag fueled posts on who knows what.

Photo credit

caitsig