the ugly earring

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

Category: fairy tales

skeleton woman

‘Oh’ he thought, ‘I’ve got something really big on the end of this line that’s going to keep me fed for a very long time to come.’ As he pulled harder, Skeleton Woman began to drift to the surface of the water. And as he turned back around with his net to catch his ‘prize’, there she was – hanging off the bow of his kayak, with her long yellow front teeth, and her bald head filled with crustaceans, and sea worms dangling from the nose holes and ear holes of her skull.

photo: Untitled [Young woman wearing a skeleton suit,
standing with two other women (probably her mother and grandmother)]
text: the skeleton woman folklore


on a road in dallas


One night about ten years ago a beautiful blonde girl ghost appeared on a road near Dallas’ White Rock Lake.

Mr. and Mrs. Guy Malloy, directors for display for the world-famous specialty store, Neiman-Marcus, saw the girl. Only they didn’t recognize her, right off, for a ghost. She had walked up from the beach. And she stood there in the headlights of the slow-moving Malloy car. Mrs. Malloy said, “Stop, Guy. That girl seems in trouble. She must have fallen in the lake. Her dress is wet. Yet you can tell that it is a very fine dress. She certainly got it at the Store.”

By “the Store,” Mrs. Malloy meant the Neiman-Marcus Company of Dallas.

The girl spoke in a friendly, cultured contralto to the couple after the car had stopped. She said she’d like to be taken to an address on Gaston Avenue in the nearby Lakewood section. It was an emergency she said. She didn’t explain what had happened to her, and the Malloys were too polite to ask. She had long hair, which was beginning to dry in the night breeze. And Mrs. Malloy was now sure that this girl was wearing a Neiman-Marcus dress. She was very gracious as she slipped by Mrs. Malloy and got in the back seat of the two-door sedan.

When the car started, Mrs. Malloy turned to converse with the passenger in the Neiman-Marcus gown. The girl had vanished. There was a damp spot on the back seat.

The Malloys went to the address on Gaston Avenue. A middle-aged man answered the door. Yes, he had a daughter with long blonde hair who wore nothing but Neiman-Marcus clothes. She had been drowned about two years before when she fell off a pier at White Rock Lake.

The point of this story – for our purposes – is not that Mr. and Mrs. Guy Malloy, a hard-working, sober, no-nonsense couple, say very firmly that they saw a ghost. Other folks say they have seen the beautiful girl ghost of White Rock. The point of this story is that she was a very well-dressed ghost. And Mrs. Malloy at once identified her as wearing Neiman-Marcus clothes.

(more about the lady here)

dost thou not know him?

In the Garden of Paradise, beneath the Tree of Knowledge, bloomed a rose bush. Here, in the first rose, a bird was born. His flight was like the flashing of light, his plumage was beauteous, and his song ravishing. But when Eve plucked the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, when she and Adam were driven from Paradise, there fell from the flaming sword of the cherub a spark into the nest of the bird, which blazed up forthwith. The bird perished in the flames; but from the red egg in the nest there fluttered aloft a new one—the one solitary Phoenix bird. The fable tells that he dwells in Arabia, and that every hundred years, he burns himself to death in his nest; but each time a new Phoenix, the only one in the world, rises up from the red egg.

The bird flutters round us, swift as light, beauteous in color, charming in song. When a mother sits by her infant’s cradle, he stands on the pillow, and, with his wings, forms a glory around the infant’s head. He flies through the chamber of content, and brings sunshine into it, and the violets on the humble table smell doubly sweet.

But the Phoenix is not the bird of Arabia alone. He wings his way in the glimmer of the Northern Lights over the plains of Lapland, and hops among the yellow flowers in the short Greenland summer. Beneath the copper mountains of Fablun, and England’s coal mines, he flies, in the shape of a dusty moth, over the hymnbook that rests on the knees of the pious miner. On a lotus leaf he floats down the sacred waters of the Ganges, and the eye of the Hindoo maid gleams bright when she beholds him.

The Phoenix bird, dost thou not know him? The Bird of Paradise, the holy swan of song! On the car of Thespis he sat in the guise of a chattering raven, and flapped his black wings, smeared with the lees of wine; over the sounding harp of Iceland swept the swan’s red beak; on Shakspeare’s shoulder he sat in the guise of Odin’s raven, and whispered in the poet’s ear “Immortality!” and at the minstrels’ feast he fluttered through the halls of the Wartburg.

The Phoenix bird, dost thou not know him? He sang to thee the Marseillaise, and thou kissedst the pen that fell from his wing; he came in the radiance of Paradise, and perchance thou didst turn away from him towards the sparrow who sat with tinsel on his wings.

The Bird of Paradise—renewed each century—born in flame, ending in flame! Thy picture, in a golden frame, hangs in the halls of the rich, but thou thyself often fliest around, lonely and disregarded, a myth—“The Phoenix of Arabia.”

In Paradise, when thou wert born in the first rose, beneath the Tree of Knowledge, thou receivedst a kiss, and thy right name was given thee—thy name, Poetry.

(the phoenix bird by hans christian andersen)

household tales

Then her husband buried her beneath the juniper-tree, and he began to weep sore; after some time he was more at ease, and though he still wept he could bear it, and after some time longer he took another wife.

(from the juniper tree)

(photo via cosmic wonder)

house of sleep

the houses in my dreams:


the first one is a farm house and inside is a bedroom filled with dolls. My great aunt zoe had a doll room with hundreds of porcelain faces – some with real hair and pincurls or eyes that opened and closed. Others were dressed in crochet dresses and a few held lace handkerchiefs she made by hand.

I often went to her doll room to explore, to touch, and occasionally untie the laces of their victorian booties.

When aunt zoe died, what happened to her dolls?

Near the farm house, the barn is on fire and a water leak inside the house has caused the walls to swell. The little dolls’ dresses are covered in mildew. drip. drip. drip. The water drips from the ceiling and lands in the bear claw tub overfilled with water.

Who left the plug in the tub?

Grandpa, what are you doing here?


I am alone in the abandoned glass house except for a monkey that lives in the overgrown rubber plant tree. When I was a child, I had a German Shepard  named Rojo and a monkey doll. Her plastic booties, life-like hands and ears were sewn into her stuffed-animal body. A little white bow hung untied next her right ear. I dressed her in my clothes.

Outside, Rojo waited for us.

Because it is dilapidated and worn, nearly extinct, I am loyal and remain here. The spiral staircase leads to a metal walkway along the roof tier. I greet the monkey up there and leave it bananas and bread.

It smells like my Grandmother’s greenhouse.

Alone in a glass house –  me, the monkey, and overgrown vines.

My parents explained the reason Rojo was put to sleep was because he bit the neighbor child who had raised his hand to hit me. A loyal protector.


Above my bed, hangs a painting of dancers in long dresses in a dark lit cave. The last house is haunted, and you mustn’t open the door to that room. They say the girl slit her wrist.

I pick the bedroom on the other side of the house. Near my window, there is a weeping willow and a pond. It’s beautiful here but I avoid that side of the house. There’s a spare bedroom, which shares the bathroom with the bedroom where she lingers. They say they are going to rent that part of the house.

But I tell them, they mustn’t disturb her – must not open the door to that room.

They’ve opened all the windows. They’re airing it out for the new tenant. I  hear the creak of a door, it’s coming from that side of the house. Why aren’t they home? Why am I going to that side of the house?

The door is open. The curtains are blowing, billowing, like the bottom flair of the dancers’ dresses in the painting. She’s not in the room anymore. No, she’s outside, sitting on the crooked trunk of the willow tree. She’s looking into my bedroom.

She’s looking for me.

Lover rushes into my bedroom – says he heard a scream.
I’ve awaken myself, too.
I explain to him one of the dancers – her arms stretched out from the painting.
She was reaching for me.

headless and all alone

“Eccentricity is tolerable only in its first freshness. Cherished until it has gone stale, it becomes unbearably pathetic and at the same time alarming.”

by Maurice Druon as quoted in Scot D. Ryersson and Michael Orlando Yaccarino’s book Infinite Variety – The Life and Legend of the Marchesa Casati

(photo by man ray)

out of the labyrinth

i recently received an email from a woman who found a pair of my earrings featured here several years ago. She mentioned that she spent the last two years looking for where she could find my jewels. It was the most surprising, flattering email i’ve ever received, especially after bella’s arrival when i put the daydream of designing jewelry to rest. Much like the “everybody can make a scarf trend,” jewelry making has become a common craft and accessible hobby; and so many do it extremely well.

So, in a way, the fire smothered; and i was left to my own vices, creating gaudy pieces for myself and occassionally a gift for a friend or two. There’s something rewarding about creating jewelry, perhaps it’s the instant gratification of completing something, or maybe it’s just because one can never have too many ugly necklaces and earrings (hence, the birth of this blog).

She mentioned how she wanted a pair of earrings for her wedding day similar to the ones she had found in the magazine. Other than the big fat wedding ring and dress, the earrings would be the centerpiece. Of course, i agreed to make them for her.

While my own personal pieces and preferences are much more decadent and bold; i toned it down and worked with the parameters she gave me: silver, smokey quartz, similar in design to the ones she coveted, and she did not want the earrings to wear her (i.e. not too gaudy).

So here is what the inspiration well delivered:

(please excuse the bad photog skills; they’re really bedazzling in person)

on a different note, i shared the earrings with losing it who mentioned that they incited thoughts of this:

then she and i got to talking about how this film was the first time we experienced that tingling feeling in the loin purse. we both agreed seeing david bowie with long hair and man tights was the defining moment when we realized we were attracted to the opposite sex.

but then losing it upped the ante and won the pot when she confessed she still has a labyrinth poster framed on her bedroom wall.

and when she goes senile


there will be stone turtles and bare feet

(and we mustn’t forget the gauze head wrapping too).

today’s lunchroom conversation: acid washed denim


would and should we go there?

i recently purchased a high-waisted acid washed denim skirt (from the 80s) with an oversized belt. it comes with that classic bum-flattening effect and memories of junior high. in fact, my first reaction was to tuck in my black tank top, team it with an a pair of payless shoes flats and break out the electric youth hat

quelle horreur!

but i confess: i like the skirt. i like that acid washed is making a comeback. christopher kane’s use those fashion faux pas’ from my dorky dear diary days makes me really happy. 

however, i’m not ready to dress like i did when i was 14.

so me and my acid washed have a date. 

the goal–a modern twist on a stoner chic classic.

i’ll let you know if i have any success.

until then we’re movin’ like a meteorite!

check out irina rocking the look and some pat benatar

random news headline

“A first killing is like your first love. You never forget it,”

he said from a cage in the courtroom.