Friday Five

The last few mornings have been downright cool, breezy and refreshing. I’m not going to be tricked into thinking that it’s going to be fall weather anytime soon; 26 years of living in Philadelphia has disabused me of the belief that seasons will stick to their prescribed temperatures. Thanksgiving or even New Year’s day can be unseasonably warm. But it hasn’t stopped me from dreaming of unpacking all my fall clothing, seeing all that tweed and plaid and wool again. Breaking in a new pair of oxfords, wearing a scarf with everything. Hot apple cider! Pumpkin picking! Oh my god, I can’t wait. I know that when winter hits and I’m walking to the subway in freezing rain and snow I’ll be singing a different tune, but for now, bring on October.

In the meantime, today’s Friday Five is my dream fall wardrobe.

1. Coat / 2. Gloves / 3. Umbrella / 4. Bag / 5. Loafers

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Guess What? It Rained.

But the day was still awesome. I apparently have really bad luck picking days to go to New York. If you remember, the last time I went it poured the whole time. This time the rain held out until the afternoon, just as my mom and I were making our way into the theater, and it got even worse as we were waiting for the bus after dinner. We started our day with a trip to Ladurée and then headed to the Flatiron district to have lunch at Eataly. My mom wanted to go see Times Square, and I swear that place gets more and more overwhelming every time I see it. We walked over to the theater and stopped to have a half-caf, skim cappucino or latte or something (her) and an iced tea (me). The play was absolutely hilarious, and I got all the jokes! It was a small, intimate theater, full of (surprise) old Jews; I was the youngest person there by about 35 years except for one 13 year old boy who got dragged along with his grandparents. This joke was perhaps my favorite: An old woman calls her husband’s doctor to get his test results from a procedure he had the day before. The doctor says, “We have two Richard Burg’s as patients, and they both had procedures yesterday. One of them has syphilis, and one has Alzheimer’s.” The woman panics. “Oh my god, how will I know which one my Richard has?!” The doctor replies, “Send him out to the store for a loaf of bread. If he finds his way back, don’t fuck him.”

We had a huge dinner at Becco, rounding out our impromptu Lidia Bastianich tour of New York, and I swear I’m still full from all the pasta we ate. Thankfully, we caught a much earlier bus than we were originally scheduled for, which meant I got to crawl into bed just after 9pm and sleep off all the walking we did.

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Playing Hooky

Far be it from me to complain about work (you know, the glorious endeavor that gives me money to buy everything my little heart desires), but this week literally kicked my ass and it’s only Wednesday. So today’s adventure is particularly well-timed and much welcomed: I’m being sneaky and heading up to New York with my mom to see a play off Broadway for her birthday. Her birthday was in March, the first day of March to be precise. You could make the case that I’m not a very good daughter. Though I think I made up for the 6 month gap by picking a play that is right up her alley: Old Jews Telling Jokes. Also known as, Anytime My Family Gets Together, Ever. The only downside is that while she will be apoplectic with laughter next to me, I do not get, nor have I ever gotten, Jewish humor. My mom’s entire family can dissolve into laughter so intense they have tears streaming down their faces, and I’ll be sitting there repeating it my head, trying to work out where the funny part was. I just don’t get the jokes! And then if you throw Yiddish into the mix? Forget it. My mom maintains that I inherited the English side of the family’s sense of humor. I maintain that simply saying, “Nu?” at the end of a sentence does not a punchline make.

Old Jews Telling Jokes started out as a website and then moved to a full stage production. In an effort to do a little preliminary research, I watched a few clips online. This one took me a solid minute and a half to get after she delivered the punchline. Oh man, that audience is going to hate me today.

And because I can never do something nice for someone without getting something out of it (did I mention I’m a really good daughter?), I’m dragging her up to Ladurée for a late breakfast/early lunch of macarons. It’s officially been 3 months to the day since I had them; I was in Paris on this day in May. Isn’t that crazy? Or maybe it’s crazier that I keep track of things like that. Either way, I’ll be back tomorrow with pictures from our day together. Let’s hope the weather is a little more kind than the last time I was in New York, back at Thanksgiving, but so far it doesn’t look promising.

In an Old House in Paris

That was covered with vines…lived my Inner French Girl. I’ve shown you how she hangs out in her pajamas, and what she wears for an early afternoon stroll around the city, so now I’d like to share her fabulous studio apartment. If I could make a Frankenstein-compilation of my favorite interior (and exterior) spaces, this is the apartment I would have. Er, correction, the apartment my Inner French Girl would have. Let’s not focus too much on how she pays for it; not because its origins are dubious, but because in real life she nor I could ever afford this life, and nothing about this series is anchored in real life. I mean, obviously.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

She keeps art books stacked in her fireplace, a Diptyque candle on the table, and prefers to use the back stairs in the building to get to her landing; the architectural details are more beautiful there. She decided she had to have the apartment when she laid eyes on the fireplace; for that she happily lives in 300sq. ft. The terrace along her apartment is just wide enough to stand on, but she never does, choosing only to lean onto it to water the plants or smoke another cigarette or flirt with Matthieu, the handsome bearded cellist who lives in the building across the alley, whose name might or might even be Matthieu; she made it up one night sitting in her window sill. Sometimes she toys with the idea of writing a novel, something groundbreaking (or at least heartbreaking), but just as often she’s struck with extreme self-doubt and doesn’t know how to begin. So instead she writes letters to the people she sees in the park, to the baker on the corner, to her widowed landlady, and to Matthieu’s girlfriend, or whoever the blond girl she sometimes sees is, to whom she apologizes half-heartedly.



Look! A post not about Gary Oldman! I know you are all shocked and relieved (no one as much as Boyfriend, whose patience I definitely tried last week and who I’m sure entertained the idea of punching my Number One Celebrity Crush to End All Crushes square in the face), except I will say that yes, I did have a 5×5 print of the photographic evidence printed and stuck it in a frame on my night table. If I still have a boyfriend in a week we need to celebrate.

Anyway, I tend to avoid sniffing the perfume ads in Vanity Fair every month, but every once in a while I’ll submit. I don’t know how I never smelled Chloé’s signature scent before this weekend, but I am completely in love. It’s heavy on the rose notes without being too granny-esque. I stopped by Sephora to pick up a sample, and it’s the highlight of my morning routine now. Sure, at $65+ it’s by no means cheap, but the last time I bought perfume was in 2005 when I was on spring break in London and went a little crazy at the Burberry store on Brompton Road (I impulse-bought a bottle of Burberry Brit and a purse, which I later had buyer’s remorse over and returned at a store here). So if you amortize the cost over 7 years it doesn’t seem that bad, right? It’s really one of the most beautiful and feminine scents I’ve ever smelled, and at the rate I’m going through the sample vial spritzing myself with it every morning I’m going to have it buy it soon.

Do you have a signature scent? Pretty sure I found mine. And what were everyone’s thoughts on the closing ceremony at the Olympics last night? Did anyone else sing along at the top of their lungs to the Spice Girls? Seriously, how Boyfriend puts up with me I’ll never know. At least I smell good!

Prada, and Happy Weekend

By now you’ve all seen the Prada Menswear FW12 campaign photos (Kate did a phenomenal feature on it here), but even having seen it before, it took my breath away opening last month’s Vanity Fair and seeing the full-page ads in all their glossy, perfect glory. I’m way behind on my magazine reading (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a serious commitment of my time), so I’m only getting to August’s issue now. But don’t worry, this morning I broke out an exacto knife and carefully, surgically removed the ad pages from the binding. Boyfriend asked what I was planning on doing with them. Uh, frame them, duh.

photos by David Sims

Then there’s this fascinating and beautiful behind-the-scenes video of the making of the campaign:

And the actual fashion show in Milan earlier this year. It goes without saying that Gary Oldman is sex on legs in that outfit. Such swagger!

When asked by Jimmy Kimmel what the key to modeling is, Gary said, “I came up with my own method, which is: you clench your buttocks, and you walk with a fixity of purpose.” Yes, that mental image will keep me warm at night for a long, long time.

And, because I’m feeling especially magnanimous, here’s a gif of him demonstrating:

It’s fair to assume that this happened upon watching it:

My brain has not really recovered from the whole Gary Oldman extravaganza (and actually, it’s getting less believable and more distant. Clearly it needs to happen again), so I’m deviating from my standard Friday Five format and including a round-up of things that are inspiring me right now.

1 / 2 / 3 /4

Oh, what I wouldn’t give to see the rest of the photos on that man’s iPhone. I also bit the bullet and ordered the Webbs in clear; if they don’t work out I’ll go for the Huxleys. Thanks for all your suggestions, too! They didn’t go unnoticed. Photos of them on my face as soon as they get here, I promise. How beautiful is that building in Paris? I’d take any of those rooms, s’il vous plait. And I love everything in that bag.

This weekend we are celebrating Boyfriend’s birthday the way he asked: sitting on the sofa and doing nothing. That happens to be one of my strong suits, and will also provide me the opportunity to catch up on some reading. What are you guys up to?

A Breakdown of Emotions

Because I am CLEARLY not ready to move on from the subject, today I will provide you with a detailed rundown of my emotional state at various points throughout the experience of meeting Gary Oldman. The further I get from it the more surreal and amazing it becomes to me, and I am just now starting to process things.

Another thing you should know about me besides my all-encompassing love of Gary Oldman is that I have an all-encompassing love of gifs. So I figured what better way to explain everything than with gifs of the man himself to narrate? Let’s begin.

After I found the set Tuesday morning, everyone at work was like, “Erin, you need to calm down,” and I was all:

I’d had the whole scenario rehearsed for years in anticipation. How I imagined I would greet him:

And what actually happened:

Because let’s be honest:

When I was standing outside of his trailer and he walked out of the building:

I expected him to be totally unenthused:

But instead he was awesome, because after all:

When I got home from meeting him I was too excited to do anything other than:

And then all day yesterday I would remember that I’d actually met Gary Oldman:

Everyone expected that my rabid enthusiasm would result in wooing my way into his trailer, and I’d be all seductive like:


But the story is still awesome. Who did I tell?

And when people get tired of hearing about it:

On Meeting Gary Oldman

There are certain moments in a girl’s life that she will remember forever: her first love, her first kiss, her wedding, landing her dream job, and of course, meeting her number one celebrity crush to end all crushes, Gary Oldman. I might not work for Vogue Paris and I’m not even engaged, but OMG I MET GARY OLDMAN YESTERDAY. Remember on Monday after I was unsuccessful at hunting him down over the weekend and I was all, “Wah, you guys, I don’t even know if I want to meet him!”? Yeah, well that was all a crock of shit because I met him and it was everything I thought it would be and more. I would meet him everyday if it were possible and wouldn’t guarantee I ended up with a restraining order, that’s how much fun it was.

Yesterday morning I had a follow up appointment with my doctor for that weird esophageal disorder I have. Everything’s cool, don’t worry, I only mentioned it because it is necessary background information to the actual story. I was in town in the morning instead of heading straight to work early, and walked past one of the yellow signs movie productions use to direct trucks to the set.

I know from my extensive stalking sleuthing that the movie is called Paranoia and is operating under the full title Paranoia Productions LLC. Thanks to my supreme powers on the internet, I found out the filming location for yesterday and today was only a few blocks from my doctor’s office. After getting the all-clear, I hauled ass over to the building and sure enough, there were the trailers, marked with the actor’s character name to throw people off. Except it didn’t work for me because I am obsessed with Gary Oldman so of course I knew his character in this movie was named Nicholas Wyatt.

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New Specs?

I didn’t realize until I started writing this post that I’ve had my glasses for almost a year. I got my first pair in September of last year after my eyes finally gave up on reading things close up. I can tell you the route displayed on the front of the bus 5 blocks away but can’t read anything in my hands without intense squinting (and later, ocular headaches) and holding it literally against my nose. I was told by my eye doctor that’s not a good thing. So I ordered a pair of Huxleys in Whiskey Tortoise from Warby Parker and was completely in love with the whole process. They send you 5 pairs to try on at home for free, offer free returns even after you order your prescription, donate a pair to someone in need when you buy yours, and cost under $100. I know it sounds like I’m being paid to endorse them (I wish!), but I’m just really happy to be able to see.

Of course, though, because I’m me, I’ve been feeling like I need a change of pace. The Huxleys are great, but recently they feel a little heavy on my face, both physically and visually. And ever since I wrote this post I’ve been considering going the clear frames route as well. But I don’t want it to be like that line from “Mean Girls”: “I saw Regina George wearing army pants and flip flops, so I bought army pants and flip flops.” Only for this situation it would be, “I saw Gary Oldman wearing clear frame glasses, so I bought clear frame glasses.” Boyfriend is already at his limit of dealing with this whole Gary Oldman obsession.

So do I stick to the frames I have now, but change it up to clear? A few people have said it could look cheap or like they’re fake, while others have said the opposite. Or do I go with a totally new frame shape to lighten things up? And if then, do I go with a standard frame color or go for the clear? I think the clear frames only work with the shape of the Huxley frames. The nerdy-chic shape makes it easier to pass off. OR do I go for an entirely new style. Decisions, decisions!

Huxley / Webb

I love that the Webbs have a smaller profile and thinner frames than the Huxleys, but I’ll definitely have to do the home try-on option to see how they’ll look on me. When I went through the ordering process the first time, I ordered 5 pairs, expecting some to fit better than others and was totally surprised when the real things got here. It’s hard to tell from an online picture how something will look, especially with something like glasses (which can make you look ridiculous instantly). The Huxleys were the 5th pair I chose for the try-on, and I only threw them in because I had a spot to fill, but they ended up being my favorite by far.

What do you guys think? Do you wear glasses? Sometimes at work I’ll forget to put them on and make it maybe an hour before my eyes are burning and blurring at random. Eyes are weird.

The Obsession Grows

Despite my best efforts (and Boyfriend’s, who diligently drove me around the city on Saturday morning looking for any traces of a movie set) there was not to be a meeting between Gary Oldman and me. You would have heard about it if there had been. Literally. You would have heard me shrieking in whichever far flung corner of the world you’re in, so unmitigated would my joy have been, in addition to having it blasted all over Twitter/Instagram/Facebook. No, instead I watched the man in “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead” (literally one of the funniest movies of all time, have you seen it?) and “Immortal Beloved” and tried to drown my sorrows in the new IKEA catalog I picked up on a trip to the store where I (finally!) was able to get the dresser that had been eluding me. Oh, and I might have made a new pinboard on Pinterest solely as an aggregate for all the dreamy pictures of Gary Oldman I’ve been drooling over for the past, oh, 5 years ever since “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” came out. What, you thought this was a recent thing? Bitch, please.

from here (follow along in my insanity!)

Now I have to tell you something that may sound crazier than the time I told you I made a pinboard of Gary Oldman pictures: I was scared to meet him. The idea of actually meeting him was terrifying and I was sort of wishing it didn’t happen, even though it would have probably made my life complete, but I can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s because I’m happier with this being an abstract obsession, and meeting him in real life would have ruined the illusions I’ve created about him over the past few years of stalking adoring him from afar. Like it would ruin it going forward because he’d be a real person and not some untouchable celebrity. Does that make any sense? I can’t really articulate why, but the whole idea made me anxious.

But at the same time I was dying for that chance encounter. Can you imagine a better story? Or Facebook profile picture? Let’s be honest, it would have looked something like this: