cait +tiff


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C/ My Cousin Wrote This

virg

My cousin, Rick, is one of the most eloquent people I have ever met. After the racist garbage in Charlottesville last weekend, he shared this beautiful piece, and it’s one of the best things I have read on the events. I have been stumbling over how to be angry in a productive way all week, these words have helped me to organize the tornado in my brain. There is a lot of work to do.

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There’s so much to say, and at the moment, I’m stuck on this:

One of the strategies the alt-right neonazi white supremacist terrorists use all the time is this: they claim that what they’re doing is legally protected Free Speech, and then they deliberately push their “speech” into a territory that is NOT legally protected — and then they sit back and revel in the confusion.

Forming a mob with guns, torches, and pepper spray, then attacking people in public isn’t legally protected “Free Speech.” Pointing guns at people isn’t “Free Speech”. Neither are threats and intimidation, or harrassment of individuals (online and in public speeches made on college campuses). And they know all this.

But, like internet trolls (in fact many of them are proud, well-practiced internet trolls), they aren’t trying to make coherent arguments for principles (like Free Speech, or the value of statues of Robert E. Lee) — they’re just trying to make people angry, frustrated, and exhausted, and thereby sow chaos and misery among their opponents. They’re quite clear in their manifestos that this is a deliberate strategy of theirs.

They are TRYING to get us to look upon our cherished ideals, including Freedom of Speech, with dismay and despair. They LOVE the fact that their deliberate misuse of the concept of Free Speech causes us to argue with each other angrily and endlessly. And by muddying the waters so deliberately, they obscure the fact that they obviously have never wanted to “peaceably assemble”. These people would have literally no idea what to do at a peaceful assembly. They want to incite chaos, violence, and race riots — with weapons and illegal actions.

There is no reason we should be having principled arguments among ourselves about whether they should be allowed to have a “peaceful march”. They should definitely be allowed to have a peaceful march — in a parallel universe where one of their marches might ever actually be peaceful. In this universe, we can see with our own eyes that they don’t want a peaceful march, and they aren’t going to have a peaceful march. (Would they be willing to have a peaceful march where they couldn’t bring guns and torches and shields and pepper spray — like every peaceful march I’ve ever been to? Pretty sure we know how that conversation would play out.)

Because, as they well know, in the world of actual Free Speech, where ideas are discussed and discredited and discarded, they lost. They lost a while ago. The vast majority of the world hates and mocks their “ideas”. (It’s almost cute how even when they attend an openly nazi rally, they STILL can’t bring themselves to speak to the press about their actual “ideas” — they have to claim to be motivated by things like “History” and “European Culture”, two subjects they clearly have no interest in or knowledge of.) They CAN’T win arguments (on the internet or anywhere else) on the strength of their “ideas”, so they troll instead. They CAN’T get the attention they want or attain any of their other loathsome goals with a peaceful march, so they have a violent one instead.

I myself love *actual* Freedom of Speech. I hate censorship of all kinds. I also have no patience for people who use “Freedom of Speech” as a cover for their various repulsive non-speech behaviors. I think it’s absolutely great that GoDaddy is kicking dailystomachchurner off their server — because congratulating your readers on a murder one of them committed is clearly an incitement to violence and not legally protected speech. I also think it’s great that people have decided, through speaking freely to their elected representatives, that they don’t want statues of Robert E. Lee or confederate flags in their public spaces. Sorry, alt-white trolls, you lost that argument.

Wanna protest? Fine! Protest! Have a sit in, lock arms, sing songs about Robert E. Lee (do you know any?), lie down in front of the statue when the crane comes to knock it over, get arrested, go to court, make a beautiful emotional speech, try to win public approval for your side… oh right, you’re not going to do any of those things, because taking “principled stands” about Robert E. Lee isn’t what you’re really about (what you’re really about is… I’ll say it in a minute). And if you did take such a “principled stand”, it wouldn’t work, because we’ve already heard your arguments and decided they pretty much suck. That’s too bad for you. It doesn’t mean you get to threaten and kill people instead.

Because, alt-white trolls, that IS what you’re really about. You’re really about racism, which for you is about threatening and killing (and in various ways controlling) people who you think are inferior to you (though frankly everyone can see that you’re, to put it mildly, not superior to anybody). In your fantasies, you will have the right to do those things openly some day, but in the real world you won’t, so you retreat into your self-created Stupid Zone of offensive words and pictures, a zone you deliberately make stupider by the minute, where you can sort of pretend that you sort of DO have the right to sort-of-Free-Speech-your-way-into-doing-something-or-other — and then you crawl back briefly into the light of actual reality and you do something like what we saw last weekend. Which is not your right, and never will be.

White people (I am one) have an absolute responsibility to speak out (and take actions) against these alt-right neonazi white-supremacist terrorists and everything they do, and every way that racism (the alt-right’s racism and others’ racism and our own racism) still permeates this society. We don’t have any responsibility to “engage” with their “ideas” because that conversation is over. Getting sucked into a debate about Freedom of Speech is falling for one of their tricks. Freedom of Speech is great, and what they’re doing isn’t it. End of this particular tirade.

 


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hj

Tiff is obsessing about stationary and ordered a bunch of stuff from the US that will probably arrive in Cambodia (because infinitely slow snail mail) around Christmas time.  Yay surprises! Cait is pulling out all the flannel she owns because it has dipped below 75 in LA, and trying not to pull all of her hair out in reaction to the state of the country.

Way too cool.  Though I’d probably get freaked out if I saw these floating around.

The biz behind the myth!  But I still think French girls are way cool.

Mindy Kaling’s house – swoon!

All the pretty fonts. 

Really looking forward to this one piece suit I’m getting this weekend!! (yay visitors)

 


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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

 

 


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C / brain reboot

old ass tree

People often put “older” and “wiser” in the same sentence. I am no longer convinced of the inevitable correlation of those two things.

I am not sure what it was about the last year, but I have found myself feeling far from wise, and more unsure of things that I used to understand. This isn’t actually a piece on growing and changing, I honestly don’t feel like I have the words for that right now. This is about being 34 and feeling like I am not getting any smarter. I feel like I need school, I need to learn things again, and reboot my brain.

I actually got jealous of my computer this afternoon when it was working really slowly. I turned it off, waited a minute, and turned it back on. After that, it was just fine. My brain needs that feeling. Does anyone else forget completely common words all the time? Or is that just me. I feel like Ariel, but without the voice, the mermaid thing, and upsetting the gender normativity.

So, I am doing a few things this week to fight the impending dumb. (See what I did there?) I am reading a whole book by Friday, taking a class online, going to a museum, and starting yoga again. I will report back on Friday and be totally honest about my brain work this week. If nothing works, it’s all downhill from here.

Image via Parks

caitsig

 


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C / Happy 4th of July!

yay usa

Image via FunCheap

I can’t remember the last time I was in the US for the 4th of July. I spent too much time thinking about this all afternoon, but basically it has been a while, eight years-ish. I am excited to be back, in a place that is starting to feel like home. I am closer to my family, I am doing work that I like, and my access to potable water and tacos has gone WAY up. It’s also a home with a helluva lot of issues, with an intensely problematic narcissist at the helm, and deeply rooted inequalities across all realms, but it’s home.

Without diving into a tornado of political head-banging-against-the-table (which I am tempted to do and is honestly almost too easy at this point) I hope you all have a safe and happy Independence Day. It’s a messy place, full of all kinds of people, from all kinds of places, and I am going to Echo Park to watch the fireworks and eat tamales to celebrate. Try not to blow off your fingers tonight.

caitsig


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C / not a newb

Hai. It’s 10pm on a Tuesday and I just went drank tequila in honor of a boobiversary. That’s right, I just went to a boob birthday party, and it makes me love LA even more. 

I have lived here since September, which means I did NOT “just move here” so I really need to stop saying that. I would l not call myself a local yet, but I know some stuff about the neighborhood, and the east side of LA certainly doesn’t feel new to me. I am settling in, I have a good group of friends, and the lovely people at Blue Bottle know my name. I am sort of at home. 

I travelled a ton when I first got here, I was in south east Asia and Chicago more than I was in LA, so it took me a little while. But it seems to be working now, I kno where things go, I know what tacos to order at which truck, and I know how long it take a to walk between neighborhoods, even if I’m the only one that walks. 

So cheers to me (it’s cool if you don’t, I did for both of us) and cheers to making a new home. I assumed I would always be an outsider in a place that felt to cool for me, but it’s sort of working. 

I miss a lot of people, blog wife included, TIFF. But I feel like everyone will come and visit. You are all coming over, right?

K love you bye.


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Photo Credit: Geraldine Sy

Happy Wednesday! Tiff’s trying to figure out if hair masks are the new conditioner. Cait woke up from a nap today with a pillow crease on her face that made her look like Scar from the Lion King. Everyone is busy.

Loving all the summer body positivity that’s been blowing up the web this week!

YAY NEW HAIM.

These are too pretty to cook on!

You have no idea how excited I am about peaches.

One of these sounds familiar.

Gimme all of these.

Always looking for tips to be a queen at the side hustle.

Getting all kinds of inspiration from this lady.

Jamie’s summer in Provence Instastories are my fave.

I kind of love this.


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C / TLC HAS A NEW SONG

tlc.jpg

Photo via Tumblr

I had a whole other post ready to go, but then I saw that TLC has just released a new song, and I can’t imagine anything more important for me to share. It’s called “Way Back” and it is great, and it was funded by Kickstarter and it wouldn’t even matter if it were bad, I would like it anyway.

I love that T-Boz is hanging on tight to that hair cut, and that Chilli is still rocking the cargo pants with the crop top, and WILL NOT give up on body jewelry. I miss the hell out of Left Eye, and it’s weird to hear their music without her, but that’s sort of an every day thing. The song feels exactly the way it’s supposed to feel, reminiscent of a time when NYT Breaking News alerts didn’t give me cold sweats, and I wasn’t constantly worried that a game show host was lighting the world on fire. Also, Snoop shows up somewhere in the middle and that’s a nice touch.

TLC, Prince, and En Vogue made up the bulk of my sex education. (The Arizona school system wasn’t exactly progressive on the subject.) Listening to Creep, Diggin’ On You, and Red Light Special gave me a lot to think about as an awkward teen, and I am pretty sure solidified my lifelong obsession with good pajamas.

So I hope you enjoy their new song, or at least sends you down a TLC YouTube spiral, like it has done for me today.

I am THIS CLOSE to remembering the rap from Waterfalls. THIS CLOSE.

caitsig

 

 


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Photo Credit: Food52

Hi, Welcome to your Wednesday, maybe Thursday. Tiff is finishing her short affair with office life and getting set free(lance) again soon! So she’s counting down those days. Cait is in the midwest, eating most of the cheese, writing speeches, and fulfilling her maid of honor duties for her best friend, Lenore. WEDDINGS ARE HARD WORK, someone should have said something.

Still California dreaming. I wish I could have visited this little off the beaten track spot in the desert.

This makes me happy/sad.

I would totally be on Team Montague.  Hawaiian shirts all the way.

Ooh, Cannes. Slideshow. Liya Kebede makes me feel bad for not wearing this every day.

Have been a fan of this dying brand.  But can’t say I was always proud of it.

Nothing is better than this dress. 

Snack time!

After a week of sleeping on couches, I am heading here as soon as I am back to LA.

Next week’s uniform!

Cait’s next week uniform!


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C / It didn’t rain

Not rain

Every year since 2001, it has rained on my birthday. I have been rained on in Oregon (duh), Spain, Arizona, Chile, Hawaii, Australia, New York, and Cambodia.

But it didn’t rain this year. It was 70 and sunny in LA and I barely knew what to do with myself.  I kept looking up at the sky, wondering when I was going to get poured on, and it just didn’t happen.

I get pretty sentimental about little things and traditions. The rain has felt like something to depend on, even if it made logistics a little more difficult, I liked the notion that the rain was washing away the past year, and that I get to start fresh.

Here is my theory:

I have “started fresh” so many goddamn times already in the past year that there is nothing left to wash away. I have moved countries, started a new job, relationships have changed, and I am starting to get a tan for the first time in years. It’s been an almost-constant flow of change, renewal, and work on my brain and body. So honestly, even if the rain showed up, there wouldn’t be shit to do.

So instead of rain, I had brunch, I talked to people I love, I got a PIE delivery, and I had dinner at one of my favorite places in the city with one of my best friends, Lila.

Thanks for the love last week, you guys are the coolest, especially you, Tiff. I saw that post, and you made me cry in my coffee.

caitsig