Be Right Back


We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you my hangover. Okay, so it’s not terrible (I made sure to stop on the way to work and get a gatorade and a egg & cheese on a roll) but the time that I usually spend compiling ideas for a post and preparing it for the next morning, I spent at a 6 hour happy hour instead. Audrey, Anna, Tony and I got drunk on a Wednesday. With our boss. Who might’ve at one point commandeered my phone and sent inappropriate texts to people. He’s a monster and I love it. My coworkers are amazing. Not amazing? The fact that my hairdryer was the loudest it’s ever been this morning and I swear someone was messing with me.

I’ll be back tomorrow. Pinky promise.

Art Heist


Not quite our typical Art Heists, though this does fit the bill: a new film by Danny Boyle called “Trance” is set to be released in a few weeks, and the premise is pretty intriguing. James McAvoy stars as a young auction house assistant, hired to steal a Goya by Vincent Cassel. I could stop right there and already be convinced to see it based on the overwhelming eye candy the movie will provide (and I ain’t just talking about the artwork). During the heist, he’s hit on the head and suffers amnesia, meaning he has no idea where he’s stashed the painting. Cue Vincent Cassel’s gang getting understandably pissed off. There’s some hypnotherapy, a lot of violence, and a lot of neon colors. That’s code for: I don’t know how I feel about it, but I’ll still likely end up going to see it.

Here’s the trailer:

What do you think? It seems a lot darker and heavier than the quirky Art Heist stories I’ve been posting. Maybe there’s a much seedier underside to all these stories I just never thought about? The movie will have a limited release in early April. Will you see it?

Friday Five


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Well friends, we’ve entered the two week countdown to Paris. Two weeks from today, or rather, last night, I’ll be strolling around the city of light, snapping away and quite possibly crying all over myself. Today’s Friday Five is a little moodboard of Parisian inspiration (how incredible is that postcard Picasso sent to Gertrude Stein in 1919?). Hopefully the weather will be somewhat mild, but regardless the light at this time of year is just unbeatable: slightly pale, gray, and still magical. I’m trying not to panic about the possibility that the coat I bought and planned around might not be warm enough if the weather Paris suddenly decides to hover around freezing, by telling myself that the worst that could happen is that we spend too much time inside cafes or museums. Not exactly a horrible trade off, non?

Tonight I’m taking my mom to see Lewis Black (I got her tickets for Christmas) and then, fingers crossed, having a low-key weekend conducive to writing. I have too many ideas rolling around inside my brain right now; I need to get them down on paper. What are you doing this weekend? Make it a good one, kiddos.

House Envy





François Coquerel for NYTimes

This piece in Sunday’s T Magazine made dizzy with house envy. We all know Olympia Le Tan for her adorable (and prohibitively expensive) hand embroidered book clutches, but I shamefully was unfamiliar with her father’s work as an illustrator. Both of their homes were featured in a stunning spread in the magazine, and it should be no surprise that their 16eme and 9eme apartments (his and hers, respectively) are fantastic and drool-worthy. Herringbone floors, layers of Turkish rugs, books everywhere. My own father’s apartment was swimming with books, stacked 5 deep in some places, and I miss how cozy that was. Also, the smell of books. But we’ve been over that before.

Art Heist


“Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio” by Salvadore Dali

Last June, a man woke up and decided, “What the hell! I’m going to steal some art today!” He walked into the Venus Over Manhattan gallery on the Upper East Side, took a Dali watercolor valued at $150,000 off the wall, put it in a shopping bag, walked out, and promptly had a panic attack. The entire heist was caught on the gallery’s security camera.


Clearly whoever was supposed to be watching the security tapes has been fired.

The master thief, identified as Phivos Istavrioglou, 29, recovered enough from the shock to board a plane back to his native Athens, only to have such intolerable Thievery Remorse (similar to Buyer’s Remorse, only with less morals) as to roll the painting in a packing tube and mail it back to the gallery from a fake address in Europe. Authorities were able to identify his fingerprints on the painting and packaging from a water bottle he stole from a Whole Foods a year prior. COME ON. (Though I think it’s interesting to note here that in the span of a year, Phivos graduated from water bottles to surrealist paintings. That’s like, highly advanced kleptomania.)

Anyway, the gallery owner tricked him into returning to the states for a job interview; they feigned interest in hiring him as a consultant, AND HE FELL FOR IT. It must be so amazing to be in this guy’s head; the world is full of nothing but possibilities! FBI Agents stopped him at JFK on Saturday and arrested him. He appeared  in court yesterday where he pleaded not guilty to grand larceny.

Thank you to Lauren for the tip. Thanks, girl!

In Case You’re Loaded…

I’ve mentioned Fitz is a total jerk, right? He eats everything that isn’t nailed down or put on shelves out of his reach, though he’s been moderately better recently thanks to his Prozac and being a little bit older. He’s eaten an entire Sunday New York Times, a bouquet of flowers, a box of tissues, a decorative bowl of wicker balls, a neighbor’s condo fee check they slid through our door (two occasions), the pillow Boyfriend guilted me into putting in his crate for comfort, wine corks, 4 blankets, and a patch of the living room rug. Now, you’d think he would have been at least considerate enough to chew a corner, or something I could have hidden under the ottoman, but no. We’re talking smack dab in the middle of the rug. Just took a loose strand of jute and went to town. Oh, there was also the time he decided he’d chewed enough of the rug itself, and wanted to move on the to dessert course: the rug pad.


I forgot where I was going with this now, I’m all rage-y.

RIGHT. This weekend I decided the rug had to go. His industriousness aside, that rug took me like six months to find. It was a serious investment in time, though thankfully, having met its demise at the teeth of my crackhead dog, not a financial one as well. I searched and searched for a suitable rug for the living room that met Boyfriend’s requests: not plushy. I originally figured that black was a good choice since Fitz sheds like it’s his second job (his first job of course being his esteemed position at Thing Chewers of America), but quickly came to realize black shows EVERYTHING and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to vacuum. Also, jute seemed like a great idea, but no. Never again. Sorry, Boyfriend. You and your tactile defensiveness will just have to cope with a semi-plush rug next time.

I spent the majority of my 4 day weekend looking for a new rug. I’m in it for the long haul, I know, because starting all over again with my list of requirements: under $200, low pile, neutral color, reasonable shipping (side note: I hate companies that don’t offer shipping discounts. Like I want to pay another $50 for shipping). And in the process, I found the most insanely priced rug of all time. Behold:


I CAN’T EVEN. Obviously I bought it, because, hello, I have $165k laying around and a room 33′ wide to put that thing in. The clincher for me, and why I’m assuming this is some sort of elaborate April Fool’s joke, is that there is a “High Sellout Risk” (apparently rug sales are impervious to the economy) and there is 1 review, stating the rug was “a little on the expensive side but thats the price for perfection.” If that is real, I hate them.

Et Voila


via The Daily Mail

Let me set the scene for you: it’s 2010 and you’re an amateur art buff looking through a Parisian antique shop. You come across a framed, but unsigned, canvas of a woman’s head thrown back, her shoulders bare. You are intrigued by the painting and pay €1200 for it, but your curiosity won’t rest. You take the painting home and match it against the famous, headless painting by Gustave Courbet called “Origin of the World” (you know the one, it scandalized Paris when he painted it in 1866 so much so that it wasn’t displayed at the Musee D’Orsay until 120 years later), et voila, the grooves of the wood frame matched and so did the painting contours.

It’s at this point that you have a mini heart attack.

Two years later, and after a “battery of spectrographic and chemical tests,” the headless painting is officially “authenticated by Jacques Fernier, the only expert allowed to officially recognise Courbet works,” according to the Telegraph. The antique store find is added to Courbet’s catalog raisonné and is now valued at €35m. THIRTY FIVE MILLION EUROS or 29 thousand times what you bought the painting for. And your discovery has officially changed the known art world.

Of course, there are some critics who doubt its authenticity. Even Fernier himself admits that from an artistic point of view, the discovery isn’t as magical as the story suggests: “(The Origin of the World) loses that kind of marvellous mystery and symbolism from the moment you stick a head on it – that’s why Courbet took it off,” he said. The find has opened the discussion as to whether there are more missing pieces to the painting, hiding in the back of some junk shop somewhere.

You have to wonder: what if there are missing pieces in other famous works? What if there’s an unknown Edvard Munch painting that shows what exactly was so scary on that bridge for someone to scream so much. Or if further down the table from Van Gogh’s famous sunflowers, there’s a pair of garden shears and a giant bottle of Absinthe.

A big thank you to Sam for bringing this story to my attention. Thanks, lovely!

(Oh, and as for Valentine’s Day? Boyfriend went Paris-themed on me: he got us tickets to a show the Sunday we’re there, as well as arranged a shopping/ Easter egg hunt through the city! He ordered gifts at Colette, FrenchTrotters, and Zara Home and is having them all held there to be picked up in a few weeks. COME ON.)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

vday1 vday2

My mom sent me two of the greatest Valentine’s Day cards of all time. This one (which, sorry, has to be one of the funniest and most appropriate cards ever. She even signed it from Fitz and drew a little paw print!) and one with a little Eiffel Tower on the front, the inside of which read, “I love you an Eiffel lot.” Perfect, right?

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Are you pro or anti V-day? It’s a pretty polarizing holiday, especially among women, isn’t it? What are you doing to celebrate, if anything?

Lenses and Forrest Gump Jokes

So I want to preface this by saying that I wasn’t supposed to be spending any money on myself for the month of February, per my 26 in 26 list. I figured since it was the shortest month it would be the easiest to avoid splurging on unnecessary purchases like blankets and candles or something. But I sort of broke that promise to myself on the first day of February (literally) when I went ahead and bought two tickets to see the New Kids On The Block live in June, or as I like to call it, “You’re Welcome, Seven Year Old Erin.” And then there was Red Dwarf Season 10 on DVD. A picture frame. A dog bed for Fitz. New legs for my IKEA ottoman.

I want to pause here and tell you a story about my hilarious friend Audrey (you know, the one who comments here under the name “Gary Oldman” occasionally). Audrey, Anna, and I went to IKEA for lunch last week and I finally decided to swap out the chunky, pale wood legs the IKEA Karlstsad sofa comes with for the sleek, angular brushed silver ones they sell for $20 a set (oh, yeah, I have to add in that IKEA purchase, too). They were super easy to assemble, and I sent Audrey a picture of my handiwork with the caption, “I have new legs!” She wrote back, “Lieutenant Dan!! They look so good!” I almost fell over laughing so hard. Sometimes that’s what you need in life.

So what were we up to so far after only 10 days of the month? Oh, right, not $0. And I only compounded the insult to my checking account over the weekend when I, admittedly after weeks of research, bought a new camera lens. Here’s the part where I bore you with the camera-geek details of why I needed this particular 28mm f/1.8 lens and why it was imperative, especially in light of my upcoming trip to Paris: my camera body is amazing, I love it so, so much, and I knew when I bought it that it was a APS-C (or crop) sensor camera, not full-frame. My camera, and most DSLRs with the exception of a few full-frame bodies (like this one) crops photographs at a 1.6 ratio. Not a huge deal, but it means that all the lenses I use are multiplied by that 1.6 ratio. Have I lost you yet? My trusty 50mm lens that Boyfriend got me for Christmas a few years ago actually reads more like 85mm once you multiplied it by 1.6, so a more zoomed in shot. To get a truer 50mm feel, I would need something more wide angle. The 28mm lens opens as wide as the 50mm lens I have (to a stunning 1.8 aperture) but reads more like 45mm on my camera.

Did that totally confuse the hell out of you? Here are some pictures to describe what I’m talking about:


These were taken from the same position on my sofa, and I apologize for the less than fascinating subject matter. Obviously the 50mm shot is tighter, way more zoomed in, than the 28mm which is what I was going for when I bought the 28mm. It will be great for walking the streets of Paris and not having to be so far away from my subject to make sure everything fits in the frame. And when/if I upgrade to a full-frame body, both lenses will work on it without the crop factor (meaning 50mm will actually be 50mm, and 28 will be 28).

‘To long, didn’t read’ version: I wanted a new lens so I bought one. I have zero impulse control. My degree was in Photojournalism, so I justify this purchase that way.

Someone take away my credit card.