the ugly earring

ug‧ly [uhg-lee] offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance

Month: April, 2007

*if she was born a man

r0031471.jpg

(from the facehunter)  

  • man jewelry
  • top knot
  • beard
  • rolled up jack kerouac sleeves

(but definitely not the jazz shoes.)

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a lady who lunches

 

(givenchy 2007)

learns that other women are not excited that high waisted jeans/pants have become en vogue

the reasons:

 1.) pancake butt 

(her response: but, haven’t we had our fill of muffin tops?)

2.) camel toe

(her response: it’s unexcusable how she paired it with a short sleeve mock turtleneck!)

3.) saddle bags

(her response: denim diapers!)

oh that lone wolf, she’s always stirring the pot.

*another she wolf rocking the high waist

cabin fever brings out the ghost stories

Illustrating image

(photo and text from sharlot hall museum archives: here)

Juanita Maria dean, simply known as Sammy dean, was an attractive woman with a bright smile and big eyes with a certain sad look about them. Those who knew her said she was slender and pretty, known to men and women to be very kind and friendly to everyone. She was from Texas and gracious in the same manner Texas women of the day were known. On July 7, 1931, she was found strangled at her apartment in Jerome near the Victory Market below Hull Avenue, on the edge of the Mexican Quarter. That day in July at 8:30 in the morning, a white man in a Panama hat was seen entering Sammy’s house. The witness said Sammy had on a green dress. Early that evening Leo Portillo found his friend Sammy clad only in a slip with a blanket tossed over her body, dead. A lot of evidence pointed to one of the mayor’s sons, but he was never questioned. Maybe there was a coverup, or maybe the police just didn’t bother because Sammy was a prostitute and a ‘grass widow.’ A ‘grass widow’ was a woman whose husband had left her but did not support her. Sammy’s husband was a gambler and so far as her family knew she had left Texas with him for Colorado. His name was George dean, but what happened to him is not known. Nor is it known how Sammy landed in Jerome instead of Colorado. Her murder and life were nothing more than unanswered questions.

(and a very popular part of the jerome ghost tour)

rock man and a desert madam

Illustrating image

(photo from the sharlot hall museum)

A curse seemed to follow the men of Gabriell Dollie Wiley’s life. (shown here visiting the Granite Dells in the 1930s (the face rock tumbled over years later).

Her husbands kept dying, usually after drinking rat poison.

her story: here and here

the amazon of arizona

(castle hot springs. photo courtesy of the Phoenix Public Library and/or the Phoenix Museum of History) 

(another great story from the shalot hall museum for the archives)

Mollie Monroe has the unfortunate distinction of being the first woman in the Arizona Territory to be declared insane. Known at various times as Cowboy Mollie, Mary Sawyer, and the Amazon of Arizona, Mollie, born in New Hampshire in 1846, was christened Mary Elizabeth Sanger.

Mollie’s family was fairly affluent. This allowed Mollie to obtain a finishing school education and to acquire the skills thought necessary to become the wife of a successful businessman. That life was her parents’ wish for her. Unfortunately, her parents’ hopes and wishes did not take into consideration that Mollie would, at the age of seventeen, fall in love with a young man deemed totally unacceptable by her parents. To make matters worse, his parents also disapproved of the match.

As was fairly common during this time, the young man became a “Remittance Man”, sent west by his family, and paid a monthly or yearly remittance to stay away. Auburn-haired, green-eyed Mollie was a stong-minded young woman, however, and two months later, she secretly left her parents’ home late one night. Dressed in men’s clothes and going under the name of Sam Brewer, she headed west to find her man. She joined a prospecting party and worked her way to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There she learned that her young man had been killed in a barroom brawl only two weeks earlier.

Swearing revenge, Mollie set out to find those who had killed her lover. She put on her disguise as a man and joined a wagon train heading west. Criss-crossing the west from Montana to Mexico, Mollie looked in vain for the killers.

For several months, Mollie dropped out of sight, but sometime in 1864, at the age of eighteen, Mollie arrived at Ft. Whipple, Arizona Territory, now the wife of a young army captain. She was now every inch the perfect army officer’s wife. The Arizona Miner, Prescott’s newspaper, reported her as vivacious and charming, liked by everyone. In late 1865, her husband was evidently transferred to another post. Mollie decided to remain in Prescott. The reason is not known. What is known is that soon after, she was again wearing men’s clothing. She preferried buckskin shirts, and she took to wearing a gun slung low on her hip. Soon she was the talk of the town, drinking whiskey in the local bars, swearing like a trooper, smoking a pipe and gampling with the best (or worst) of them. She was “one of the boys” and a constant thorn in the side of the respectable women of the town. She made the papers in 1872 when she was seen in a dress! The Arizona Miner stated it was the first time in seven years she was seen in anything other than pants.

Although Mollie was a hard-riding, gun-toting gambler, she was also a soft touch for anyone, man or woman, who was down and out. She spent many a night nursing a sick miner or giving her last dollar to a lady of the evening whose luck was running low. Mollie was the first person called when someone needed help, and she always answered.

Without benefit of clergy, Mollie had several husbands during the late 1860’s, most of them miners. Sometime in 1869 or 1870, she met George Monroe, a prospector. She is listed in the 1870 census as Mollie Monroe, occupation cook.

George and Mollie prospected all around the Bradshaw Mountains and in the desert areas south of Prescott. On one of these prospecting trips, they found a warm spring in the desert country near Wickenburg. They called it Monroe Springs. The name was later changed to Castle Hot Springs, and it became a well-known resort and spa for the elite (

By the year 1877, in her early thirties, Mollie’s behavior became more and more unpredictable. She drank heavily and disappeared for days at a time. In May of that year, Sheriff Bowers of Prescott brought her into town in a disheveled and irrational state. She had been found wandering around Peeples Valley. Yavapai County officials held a sanity hearing and Mollie was declared insane and ordered confined.

At that time, the Arizona Territory did not have a hospital for the mentally ill, and Mollie was transported by wagon to the Stockton, California, Insane Asylum. Within a few months, her behavior became so violent that she was moved to San Quentin Prison where she could be closely watched. By 1878, she had calmed down enough to be brought back to Stockton. There she remained until 1887 when Arizona built the Territorial Asylum in Phoenix and she was transferred. Mollie is recorded as patient number two. She was now forty-one years old. She had been confined to a mental institute since the age of thirty-one.

In 1895, Mollie escaped from the asylum. She roamed the desert around Phoenix for four days before being found by Indians near the Gila River. She was returned to the asylum where she remained, almost forgotten, until her death in 1902 at the age of fifty-six.

Questions about Mollie remain unanswered. Was she really insane? Or was she an alcoholic with delirium tremors? Perhaps she had a disease such as syphilis, which can cause brain damage. In the 1870’s and 1880’s, insane asylums were truly snake pits. If you weren’t insane when you went in, you probably would be insane before long. If we had the medical knowledge then that we do now, what would be Mollie’s diagnosis? There are no answers to such questions, but it makes history very interesting!

my favorite accessory

blue_eye_never_you_and_i-large-1110825518-msg-6252-2.jpg  

miguel, the poet,

delivers unexpected gifts and responds to my writer’s block without even knowing.

***

NATSUO KIRINO, born in 1951 in Kanazawa (Ishikawa Prefecture) was an active and spirited child brought up between her two brothers, one being six years older and the other five years younger than her. Kirino’s father, being an architect, took the family to many cities, and Kirino spent her youth in Sendai, Sapporo, and finally settled in Tokyo when she was fourteen, which is where she has been residing since. Kirino showed glimpses of her talent as a writer in her early stages– she was a child with great deal of curiosity, and also a child who could completely immerse herself in her own unique world of imagination.

After completing her law degree, Kirino worked in various fields before becoming a fictional writer; including scheduling and organizing films to be shown in a movie theater, and working as an editor and writer for a magazine publication. She got married to her present husband when she turned twenty-four, and began writing professionally, after giving birth to her daughter, at age thirty. However, it was not until Kirino was forty-one that she made her major debut. Since then, she has written thirteen full-length novels and three volumes of collective short stories, which are highly acclaimed for her intriguingly intelligent plot development and character portrayal, and her unique perspective of Japanese society after the collapse of the economic bubble.

***

the sweetest evidence is in bold.

writer’s block

(my dream seat. city light’s poetry room, 2006) 

The tattered blue kimono hangs lifeless on the back of the bedroom door.  A blank notebook sits untouched on the dressing table while petite amore sleeps with one leg under the cover and the other atop the white down. Just like her ami. 

Weeks after amore’s birth, ami read the first chapter of Remembrance of Things Past occasionally reciting passages aloud while amore fell asleep at the breast. Later, she started reading from the book of Hans Christian Andersen and the tale of the little mermaid. But instead of finishing the story, she left the ending for her daughter to uncover on her own.

A spring rain fell on the window shield as ami drove home from the office. These are the few minutes she has to herself.  

She recalls two past lovers, tragedy and despair, who dictated her journals and her moods. She was an amateur minx back then with a white cat sleeping at the foot of the bed. Her poems were brooding, but she wrote often. Her sleepless nights were accompanied by Mishima, Beauvoir and Sontag.  In those days, she believed with all her longing and admiration that she too would be a writer.

But, her journals are not timeless and do not reflect who she is today. In fact, they are almost too ridiculous to read.  

“What a poseur, you were!” she says to the reflection in the rearview mirror.

Ami now sleeps curled up to a beautiful little girl. The hardbound books by the bedside tell the tale of a mole that gets lost in the snow or a farmer who doesn’t want to share his strawberries. The vintage dresses she once wore hang in the back of the closet and serve as reminders of that old flirtation.

She knows she will never wear them again.

She thinks of a novel she sketched before amore was born. It remains untouched, piled under bill receipts and junk mail. There are vignettes that also linger, ones that she’d like to complete before amore’s first birthday.  But, these are not part of her reality. Her daily routine. Instead, her days pass by in the office where she misses climactic moments in amore’s development and her evenings are spent making up for time lost.

She was confident that she’d return to her writing soon enough. And when the longing surfaced it shimmered like a Japanese beetle on a spring morning and she slipped into her old skin temporarily. But since then, she has returned only once, late one evening when amore was asleep.  She sat at the kitchen table scrapping passages and pages from her novel and just as she began, with pen in hand, amore called her mother back to sleep.

She would ask her lover for advice on how to make time to write.

But, she knows what he will say, “you must be disciplined, consistent, and you should sleep less.”

He is right.  Mishima wrote religiously every night.

But she is not ready for those words.

She turns to Virginia Woolf for some guidance. But even Woolf does not offer the advice she seeks. How can one close the door to a room of her own when amore is sitting happily on the kitchen floor with a basil leaf hanging from her lips?

The answer. She already knows.

She must have faith.

She reminds herself of the secret agenda.

“…Take notes and remember everything.”

And maybe with a little help of the maidenhair tree, her memory will keep fresh the sting of a friend’s betrayal, the beauty underneath amore’s long eyelashes, the tenderness of his words as he sings his newest composition, and the brightness of every desert sunset that passes through the living room window and into their downtown home.

cocteau’s beautiful mouth

 

Jean Cocteau with Mask, 1927
Berenice Abbott

“Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.”
                  –Jean Cocteau 

another induced epidemic

Vermeer Allegory-of-the-Painting.jpg

the allegory of painting by johannes vermeer.

vs.

marc’s hommage to flemish berets

louis vuitton fall 2007

underneath this screen lay a potentially lethal femininity

Women's Lewdness Will Be Doubly Punished

and tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. (Quran, 24:31)

***

flypaper lead us to this great read: the urbane uniform and ghetto hijab.