Friday, March 20, 2009


Went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Wednesday... a whole post on yellow to come--once it stops snowing here. Sigh.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Memento Mori, Part Deux

As Birthday Extravaganza (More about this to come, but consider the whole month of March my birthday. I do.) time draws nigh, I have been spending a lot of time looking for just the right present. For someone to give me. Hey, it's tacky, I know, but BF and I have had present "issues" in the past, and he now insists on a list of possible things I would be very happy to receive. As you can imagine (um, have you seen my blog?), I like to receive jewelry. A lot. So all this birthday business is a great excuse to waste hours on Ruby Lane, my favorite vintage jewelry site. Again and again I return to Memento Mori or "Mourning" jewelry, specifically rings. If you don't remember, I wrote about mourning jewelry way back when. At my late corporate job, I tried to explain to one lady how awesome hair jewelry (jewelry either created with or containing the hair of the deceased) was, but it's a little hard to convey. A lot of skulls and memorial designs have been popping up; here are the most unusual:

Skull Ring, circa 1680 (!), sold by Robbins' Roost Antiques, $2600 (do you see the awesome skull tucked behind the crystal?)

Victorian Mourning Ring with Black Enamel and Seed pearls, sold by Drury house Antiques, $459: Black coloring meant that the deceased was married. Seed pearls were use to indicate tear drops of the ones left behind.

White enamel skull ring circa 1740, also sold by Robbins' Roost Antiques, $5000: white enamel on a ring conveyed that the deceased was either a young woman, a child or a virgin. I've read varying signifiers, but back in the day, most unmarried young woman should have been virgins and if they weren't, well, nobody should have known. Unless their father found out and that's why there were memorial rings in their honor.

18k Pair of English Gold Hair Rings, sold by CJ Antiques, $1050:
Rings like these featured either solely the hair of the deceased or a plaited combination of the deceased and the ring wearer's hair. Hair was also used to create designs in some pieces... I will post one when I can find it again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Twice in a Month Already!

I sort of glossed over this in the last post, but just to get it out into the world: I am currently unemployed. Before my posts began dwindling, I often complained about the location and just general awfulness of my workplace, so it could be worse. Everyone says it's an opportunity, which is possibly one of the most annoying things to hear in such a situation, but very true, so I can't hold somebody's kind words against them. Though I'd like to. Anyhow, I've been taking it easy, trying to figure out what to do next. That's the worst part: the untethered feeling. Though you may resent the cord, once it's been cut, well, then you're just floating.

But I've made a list of Things To Do and blogging more frequently is near the top. That means I'll be branching out from solely jewelry, to talk about some books and further possible fetishes I encounter (see: last post). I'll probably be writing about my cats too; lucky you!
Other time-wasting treasures: I've been on the Natalie Dee website for a while and can't stop laughing at this one:

"Don't Invite Morrissey to Your Birthday Party"

So true.

Anyhow, over the past month I read two incredibly extraordinary books that I haven't been able to talk to anyone about. Then I thought, "Hey! What about that writing thing you do on the internet?" And the cat meowed at me, even though I only said it in my head (duh--cats are psychic), which I took as both support and affirmation. Today I will write about one of these...

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, is an incredible story about a young white woman named Skeeter, coming of age (22) in 1962 Mississippi. She's not into the dilettante lifestyle or coming out parties or settle-down and get pregnant lifestyle that her best friends have embraced. She's gawky and smart. She tells part of the story. The rest of the book is written in alternating chapters from the POV of two black maids in the community. One, Minny, is bitter and angry and, even though it's fiction, my blood boiled reading about the awful things people did to her, cause you know these things and worse actually happened. The other maid, Aibileen, is wise and maternal, and takes care of the white babies like they were her own. Skeeter decides to write an anonymous book, telling the stories of the maids. This book is so well-written, and drags you into the moment and people's lives without a second thought. I missed several train stops whilst reading this.
As a matter of fact, that's the basis for my new book rating system:
0 stars: couldn't wait to get off the train
1 star: made myself read a couple of pages, then started playing on phone and staring at people
2 stars: ride went by slowly
3 stars: ride went by quickly
4 stars: maybe missed one stop, but then pulled myself together
5 stars: missing stops, purposely going out of my way to read more
The Help: *****

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm Sending You Letter...

Hi there! Two very odd things happened to me this morning:
1. I saw a purple thong laying in the snow, immediately thinking, wow. That woman must be really cold.
2. On my way to the post office, my boot came untied. A man offered to tie it for me, the offer suggested in a very lascivious, if not altogether sleazy voice. Due to my deeply ingrained manners, I said, "No thank you!" Now this is definitely odd, but made odder by the fact that it happens to me often. You are surely thinking, damn! This girl needs to learn how to tie her shoes! True. I am regretfully impatient and often tie my shoes in a slapdash manner. But. I can retie them without aid and so it makes me wonder: is there a fetish group for this business? Am I on page 1--"This girl loves to tease!" I am frankly too afraid to research this on the interwebs; lord knows who'll show up at my innocent blog due that single mention. However, please enlighten me in the comments if you've got any ideas.

On to the jewelry, which I have sorely missed posting about. Today's theme is the post office, which I have been to frequently, now being jobless (or: stay at home kitty mama) and not having a receptionist to hand my mail to. I should hire a receptionist for our apartment. Without further ado!

The Love Inside No.1 Ring by Colleen Baran, $75: a silver tube ring where a little love note can be inserted. Save the money you'd spend on stamps when sending out your love letters. 

Love Letter Bracelet by Only Lauren, $160: inscribed with a love letter from Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barret Browning.

Stay warm!