Tonsil stabbers and Chowder: more silver plate silverware, part 2:

Published May 17, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

I know… where’d I come up with a title to my second installment of silver plate silverware? The antique store, of course. The term ‘tonsil stabbers’ is new to me. I heard this while paying for a previous set of silver plate forks a while back and it made me laugh. Then I thought, “That’ll make an awesome title for my blog.”

And how does ‘chowder’ play into all this? Do I have a hankering for clam chowder? Nope. And since I can’t tolerate the taste of sea food 😦 anymore, I’m not even sure if I’d like clam chowder or be able to stomach it. Again, I was doing my usual research after I bought some big spoons and more tonsil stabbers for .29 cents each. And they stuck it to me with tax since I didn’t have a discount card. Total… drum roll, please… comes to $3.58. Ah… okay.  Well, its been another productive day. I didn’t get around to cleaning and polishing these until an hour ago (it’s late, by the way). I know I’m stepping out of my cut off time frame, but eh, can’t have everything be from the Teens. The end result is beautiful! If you’d like to find out more about silver plate and identify it, I’d recommend this book.

silver plate silverware

Silver plate silverware cleaned.

silver plate silverware

chowder spoons, tea spoon, forks. Silver plate.

“For Propaganda Only… a night of fun, wine, and…”

Published April 22, 2017 by AntiqueMystique1

“There’s a lot of ‘girlie’ stuff going on out there tonight.” A co-worker gave me the vague lowdown at the start of my shift.

 

Sounds interesting. I think to myself since I’m a woman and I’ve never attended one of these ‘women only’ events in my life so this was a first for me.

 

I work my butt off and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to be working full-time. I don’t mind making up my holiday hours on my days off. I’m very flexible and dedicated when it comes to doing that. And hey, those sick days are hellish to muscle through, but I’ve had to work through them, no exceptions. I only missed two days thus far. Once due to a fever and the other due to a serious bout of the ‘three week crud’ whereby it actually lasted me from Thanksgiving Day until the end of February to fully recover from. The second go around I believe I contracted from god only knows where, but it wasn’t as bad and my sore throat has finally diminished as of today.
Now with Easter behind us I was bummed out. I missed attending church due to my sore throat. I missed out listening to the parables about how Christ has risen. I would like to enjoy a balanced religious life again, but that’s not going to happen for me anytime soon. Before I was working full-time I was all set to serve as communion assistant again and had to forgo that once I took my second job. And to that I remind myself, Peace of the Lord be with you always.

 

But I don’t hear “And also with you!”

 I simply carry on about my work.

What do I miss most about having to completely forgo my church attendance? Serving as Communion assistant, of course and being seated in the pews for second service!  I loved every aspect from assisting the pastor with communion to attending church and being a parishioner. And since I was so dedicated to doing the Lord’s work prior to finding full-time employment, I purchased my own communion assistant robe and had to have it altered and hemmed to fit my petite slender size since the adult communion robes didn’t fit me. And the acolyte robes for the teens were slightly different in style and none of those fit me, either.

Plus I take great pride owning and donning something sacred and holy. Now the cinctures I made myself and I put three Franciscan knots on them. They represent the three sacred vows: poverty, obedience, and chastity. And here now years later, I’d have to undo one of those three vows… err, knots. I’m not wealthy, by the way, far from it. I’m able to get by on the ‘average’ wage-earner’s income.

Okay, now what’s been happening lately with me aside from working full-time? For starters I helped clean up after a ‘For Propaganda Only’ night and it was a mess of spilled wine, confetti, trash, business cards, food, crumbs, and I had a terrible time getting squeegee machine to the opposite side of the building. It was the “Night of the loiterers.” They see me and keep right on standing around even after I politely tapped the horn. I need to move it or lose it. I have three entry ways to wash and I have less than an hour to complete that, drain and plug in the machine, head over to restrooms and clean those yet. And I have to empty eight trashcans and let the other twelve slide. So, yeah, I have a lot to pack in before I clock out and go home. I’m patient and politely allow the people to leave, then I proceed on.

Had I been off work then I likely wouldn’t have attended this event. Why’s that, you might ask? Well, for starters the tent cards I would clean around for the past month or so on a daily basis leading up to this event were (and likely always will be) a bait and switch kind of event, if not, lacking straight forward information as to what the event was all about. I like to read about specifics of upcoming events whenever possible so there won’t be any possible disappointment or a waste of my gas and money.

I did enjoy seeing the place absolutely packed. I’m always willing to be the first to drop what they’re doing and offer assistance when it’s needed. And I’m also a good listener, too and love to socialize.

But something is severely lacking with the title ‘For Propaganda Only’.

I’m the very curious type of individual, especially when there’s a big ‘to-do’ event happening and I’m right there experiencing it. I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about, so I made haste with my cleaning cart before I had to return to my trade-off area for the evening. I relieved my fellow co-worker from the ‘same old-same old’ routine just like we had agreed on the night before.

And what did I see at these tables that were setting up? Was it anything taboo? Anything that would knock my socks off? Anything risqué?

Kind of ‘yes’ plus a ‘no’ because it was more ‘job fair-ish’ like type of an event. There was one career/ job opportunity table set up for the local hospital. When one of the workers saw me wander up in my uniform, joined at my slender hip with a Walkie talkie they dully, (almost to the point of now being annoyed by my presence), asked me if I was even remotely interested in a career at the hospital. I gave the bored worker a quick glance in the eye and very politely told them, “No, I was just curious to know what you have here.”

I was waiting on a large throng of people to disperse so I can maneuver my cleaning cart through the building. The worker shoved a sticky note booklet with the hospital’s name on it in my hand just to get me out of their sights.

Gee, thanks. And then they chatted it up with a herd of women that sauntered up to the table. The worker’s tone was cheery and outgoing to them. Seesh! I think to myself. Whatever

Next table: Hazardous Materials Dump-off location. Oh, yeah, baby!

Seriously?! We women are supposed to find this under the category: night of fun per the vague description on the table tent card?

Well, then if dumping off half-empty dried up paint, empty bleach bottles, and a fridge with free-on on a sweltering summer day in a vehicle that has absolutely no air conditioning is in the neighborhood of awesome avenue and oh boy this is fun! Cul-de-sac, then forget it. A Hazardous Waste drop off location doesn’t convey in my mind as being anything remotely… err, *ahem*, for women only. It sounds very manly if you ask me. The unattended table displayed pencils, fridge magnets with the location’s general info, and a few scattered leaflets about different types of hazardous waste materials and how to transport them to the hazard waste building.

 

Next table was selling tank tops with such phrases as “Tattoos and Whiskey makes me frisky!” Okay, I’m giving that tank top careful scrutiny with a very bored look crossing my face. I don’t find tattoos nor whiskey even remotely playful. My mind views both as unattractive nowadays. I’m attracted to the very sexy clean cut type of man nowadays. He’s got to above all have a job. And where the attraction for me lies is to his level of intelligence, wholesome in appearance and wearing a uniform is a plus. That aside, I have tats and I’m scraping money together to get mine removed someday so I can feel like a beautiful woman again. I won’t have flawless skin I realize this and I don’t, nobody does, but to have my teenage mistakes laser removed for good will give me a huge boost in my confidence and make me feel great about myself again.

My eyes fall on another tank top that stated something to the effect of, “I’m cute, cuddly, and out to destroy, so back off, you (explicative).”And there’s a depiction of a kitten on said tank top donning boxing gloves. Uhn, okay… moving along.

The wine flowed at this event. The women buzzed around these tables getting wasted while snacking on the BBQ handouts, partially genetically modified ingredient-filled crackers and maybe some cheese bites thrown in.

Snacking… pity for me. I don’t get my thirty minute lunch until two hours later. I don’t get to snack on the clock, period. And this could account for a lot as to why I don’t get the balanced nutrition my body demands. It isn’t so much the physical demands of the job per se, it’s just that snacks aren’t allowed on the floor. Once you clock in, that’s it. Sure, you can guzzle water or soda your entire shift, but that’s it.

For me being a partial Vegan (since I still consume eggs which is vital for my protein intake), and full Vegetarian my body requires a regular intake of healthy snacks here and there since I no longer consume meat, chicken or fish to get a balance of protein into my diet.  My body craves nutrients and I understand this is extremely vital if I’m going to continue to have the endurance to perform my required job duties.

But I try not to think of my fruit and hard-boiled egg waiting for me in my lunch bag. I move along. I had some Bob’s Redmill oatmeal and Chia seeds before I left the house, but that was several hours before I had to clock in.

The first time I had a cold and sore throat was killer on me and the stress my body was under with moving and selling the old place I was in, boy howdy, I don’t know how I managed to bounce back and it took me three months to fully shake whatever I had. I never saw a doctor because I don’t have one, for starters. Secondly, I don’t like seeing doctors almost as much as I dread making a ‘yearly’ with my canoe inspector no matter how handsome they may be. They didn’t have any canoe inspectors at this event, by the way but the mainstream health care field flooded several tables with that darn pink ribbon and Aflacc (the bare bones crappy ‘liability’ coverage of health insurance) and offered free pens with the breast cancer awareness ribbon fused to them. What a good way to ruin an otherwise enjoyable evening for women in my eyes. I don’t see anything ‘fun’ about seeing cancer awareness this, and HPV/ preventative cancer vaccines for children and teens, what every parent needs to know, skin and colon/rectal cancer—please! Key words they used for HPV has no symptoms, and sometimes it doesn’t have to be spread through intercourse. Eh, somewhere along the way I suppose ‘sexual’ became too wordy so the editors elected unanimously to just drop it. I am so cranking out my sex ed field manual from 1989 when I get home, oh man!

HPV is like the Twenty-first generation’s new potentially deadly virus much like HIV/AIDS was back in the mid-80s when it had a trickle down effect, and by the dawn of the early 90s it was quite frightening to think of having sex with the opposite sex back in my day.  And it brought new unwanted worries and stress and mass confusion since clear and concise knowledge about the history of HIV/AIDS was still being documented and the facts were lost in a massive sea of ‘still in the dark’ information from my [then] thirteen-year old perspective at the very start of my own lone, rough, dark adolescent journey.

In retrospect, I thank the good Lord above we had no mandated preventative cancer vaccines growing up, including all of the other new vaccines that contain questionable ingredients and likely come with a host of long-term dangerous side effects more than likely. If it won’t kill ya’ now, doesn’t mean it won’t unleash something that could be linked back to it fifty—maybe even sixty years from now.

On another table a creepily familiar radioactive sticker adhered to a sealed clear tube of radioactive substance sends a chill down my spine. It glared at me like a fallout shelter sign. A horrific image floods my brain of those old ‘duck and cover’ educational films of the cold war-era. Those old creepy 50’s films came to the forefront of my mind. And that little tube of clear substance had to be like a chemotherapy drug often injected into a patient via a chemo port. Somebody famous that I had long admired and looked up to as a positive male role model throughout my adolescent and even adulthood came to mind. They have long since been deceased for 26 years now. Not a day goes by that I don’t think fondly of them and wish I could have had the chance to have met them or wrote them a letter before they sadly passed away. He was such a good man, Lord… I turn away as though viewing them in lying in state. It didn’t help that the table cloth was black, either.

I bypass this table like it has the plague. And I don’t want any of the freebees they eagerly hand out. I took one placard and later tossed it in the trash since it was placed next to that clear tube of suspicious-looking liquid radiation. Why in God’s name would they leave something extremely dangerous like that out in the open? That’s like displaying plutonium and placing a sticky note on it stating, “Squish me, feel me, play with me.” Holy Mackerel, when nurses and doctors who specialize in Oncology (that’s a fancy medical term for cancer specialist) and administer chemo to cancer patients, they have to gown up from head to toe like a Hazmat worker and handle that stuff as though they were disarming a ticking time bomb that’s ready to explode.

Somebody needs to scratch fun off the table tent cards for this Women’s Only event. I was roped over to that table by some thick-accented woman telling me if I filled out their survey card I could then receive a free tiny bottle of pink nail polish.

I crook my eyebrow and throw them a suspicious eye. I gaze at the tiny bottle of formaldehyde-Tulane-laden nail polish that will likely contain some nasty potential carcinogens, and the bold print on their survey glares at me that made me think back to my last visit with my canoe inspector telling me… “and now that you’re getting older,”

Please, stop it right there.

Let give men some sound advice from a woman’s perspective: One thing a canoe inspector should never, ever tell any woman is remind her that she’s getting old(er). Some women do and will take offense to that. Also, it is still seen as somewhat rude and insensitive in society. Men want to broach the topic with us don’t use the word old and never ask a woman to her face how old she is or make her pencil it in on a form. Age is just that, a number. It shouldn’t be a deciding factor in regards to health or automatically place either gender be it female or male into a ‘risk factor’ category. I will do the dance of joy when these high and low, low risk categories get kicked to the curb entirely in the future.

And then the canoe inspector went on to tell me, “Some school of thought would say you might want to think about getting your annual MAMOGRAM.”

I did butt heads with my canoe inspector after they told me this and laughed at the same time through my visible irritation simply because I’m not a stupid woman. I come across as stubborn at times, yes you bet. And you can tell me anything, but if I don’t like what I’m being told, I view it as an ‘order’ and won’t listen.

I can’t just don my clothes and storm out because the canoe inspector has me flat on my back in the middle of a breast exam. I stare at the boring white ceiling tile above me for a distraction. I let their lecture go in one ear and out the other. Okay, I get it that canoe inspectors have to tell every woman they see she really should start thinking about getting her annual mammograms by a certain age. And right off the bat, the first question on the survey is “Are you 40 years of age?”

 

“Have you scheduled a mammogram at all in the last 2-3 years?”

 

“Have you received your first mammogram at 20 years of age?”

 

“Will you discuss your high risk chance of getting breast cancer with your physician/ physician assistant and/ or OB/GYN?”

 

“Have you asked your physician to perform a breast exam on you at all?”

 

And here are some questions I wanted to add:

 

“Do you know what a female breast looks like?”

“Does a woman know what her breasts look like?”

“Does she understand that her breasts won’t be perky her whole life long?”

“Does she realize that bras can cause premature sagging/ weakening of the breasts?” (This is due to a weakened Cooper’s ligament which is the band of tissue that supports the breasts).

“Do you know that every time a woman goes in for a mammogram 1,000 grams of radiation exposure are stored in her body and never leave?”

“Do you know the more mammograms a woman receives, the more radiation is stored and could lead to cancer at some point in her lifetime?”

“Do you know if cancer were present in the breast tissue, when that is compressed between two glass slides, the chance is very likely it will rupture and send more cancer cells pumping through her system?”

And what they don’t tell women is that let’s face it. Gravity will take its toll and those beauties do change shape and size when a woman stops lactating and breastfeeding. She will also loose breast size if she gains or loses weight, lifts weights, and these changes shouldn’t set off a panic alarm, per se. And as she ages, the breasts will change shape and size. Yet here again, we are so thoroughly brainwashed to run to our canoe inspectors to bare it all for them and possibly unwanted pokes and prodding.

Come on, women, let’s do our internet homework on the changes of the female breasts. Also, as we age, our breasts will change. Nowhere do I see this listed on the placard, and my belief is that certain keywords are an effective scare tactic because the mainstream health field knows that women can be very persuasive, especially if you offer them wine and impair their judgment a little bit and I’m not posting this to incite ire. I’m just expressing my opinion about this evening and what I saw. I don’t drink, by the way.

The thick-accented woman asked me if I’d like to fill out their breast cancer “high risk” survey and give them all of my pertinent personal information.  I pointed to the word, ‘Mammogram’ and told her straight up, “Well, I don’t agree with this.” And the look on my face was very serious. She was speechless and gave me a look of utter shock as though I had cussed her out to her face.

“You don’t need to get a mammogram in order to fill out our survey.” She fumbled for a reply, still quite bewildered.

And point blank, I politely put forth my own two cents worth, “You do realize that 1,000 radiation stay trapped in a woman’s breast tissue and body when exposed to these mammogram x-rays? And why in God’s name would you want to flatten the breast between two glass plates and have any cancer cells (if any are present) to possibly rupture and send out more cancer cells like a raging wildfire throughout her body?”

The woman’s jaw dropped open and snapped shut. She stuttered out her next sentence. She could clearly see I was vehemently opposed to their mammogram survey and mainstream propaganda even though my voice never changed pitch nor hinted at an ounce of emotion other than seriousness.

“I’m natural path,” I added. “Sorry I don’t agree with you, but I won’t be filling this out. It goes against my chosen lifestyle.” I never did mention that late 19th century natural path and Physical Culture founder Bernarr Macfadden is my role model for health, beauty and exercise and has been for many, many years now. I own several of his books on Physical Culture and his encyclopedia set.

She told me, “Oh, no need to be sorry. We women… we—uh- err, have a right to decide our health care and what steps we should take.”

“We do, hunh? And you really believe that? I never got that chance when I was 22. I was put through a living hell when I was forced to undergo a mammogram and I hope to never endure another one in my lifetime.” I saw a clearing in the crowd and went on my way.

The old ‘bait and switch’ event. You show up expecting to have a carefree time and leave with a freebee bag full of mainstream literature instead and a few little other things like Passion with Jan adult-themed parties, chocolates, sweets, and yet the local hospital is telling women to lay off all soft drinks showing a picture of how many grams of processed sugar soda and fruit juices contain and strongly advise in tiny bold text, “Drink more water,” yet guess what they serve? Wine. Alcohol contains sugar, too. But there’s no mention kicking that to the curb. Some women will attend this event thinking the wine will lead to unrestrained merriment and uninhibited spending sprees—woo-hoo!

Instead, we as a culture are constantly assailed by politically-driven mainstream health propaganda wherever we are and this event turned out to be no different. I look myself over in my average uniform. Nothing fancy about it or remotely special about how I look wearing it. I move about gracefully, keeping a close eye on the crowded place. There’s nothing special about what I do. I clean for a living. I love my job, enjoy my fellow co-workers and sure we all have our moments, but that’s life.

 

And then I mosey on over to the other side of the event and meet by happenstance a fellow likeminded natural path soul who I just had to congratulate for opting not to vaccinate their child, and who were, themselves vaccine and flu shot free, too. That was a plus in my book. I was so proud of them for their decision.

 

We chatted up a storm on various natural path/alternative natural path lifestyle topics, but when they told me about their doctor of choice (after the long frustration of trying to find a mainstream medical professional that would take into account their natural path lifestyle and take them seriously) I had to explain I knew of the doctor in question and didn’t care for them from what a relative of mine experienced when seeing them.
We did agree on the same stance against the annual mammogram brouhaha going on over yonder a few tables away, with that wheel of Russian roulette listing all cancer ailments minus the one that took out the famous person I had admired growing up. And our small talk landed on canoe inspectors. We did wish and hoped there were actual ‘natural path’ canoe inspectors that practiced locally, but good luck finding them. I doubt they truly exist, and if they do, here again, the chances are about as good as getting ran over by a herd of psycho wielding looters during a blackout. It just may not be a reality in our lifetime.

 

Keep pipe dreaming, girlie. I think to myself. Natural path canoe inspectors just don’t exist, and if they ever did/ do, they’d be making house calls to only those with disposable incomes with top notch health insurance coverage. And their clinics, I’m sure are searching for a needle in a haystack.

I parted ways with that dear woman who self-promoted a healthy diet, nutrition and offered seminars, email updates, plastered Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with her self-taught knowledge. I applauded her for making a dent in this mainstream-saturated society we live in.

I know all about healthy eating, raw fruits and veggies, dieting, etc. But she did come up with a possible cause as to why I keep coming down with a recurring sore throat and cough after I briefly explained my bout with it to her. She added it might be something in my working environment causing it. It could be in the HAVAC unit and until she told me, I gave little thought to it. I know for certain those automatic air fresheners that are located all over do cause me to cough as well. And the cleaners I use daily flair up my allergies something fierce.

 

The disinfectant Odoban contains a bacterial strain and it’s loaded with chemicals and fragrances. It causes me non-stop coughing spells and the mere after spray of it that lingers makes my cough worse. After about a month of exposure to Odoban, I had to switch over to using Pine-Sol diluted with water. My system can’t handle Odoban exposure. And whenever another employee uses Odoban, I don a surgical face mask because the allergic reaction I receive is twenty fold misery for me. I love my job and circumvent wherever and whenever I can do so. The surgical masks help very little, but its far better than getting a full dose of Odoban in my lungs.

 

I’m also having allergy issues with the Glimmer-O water based metal polish cleaner and it’s oil-based cousin is far worse on me due to its lingering fumes. Oh, and one of the dangers of long-term exposure to Glimmer-O is it will eventually lead to defattening of the skin (that’s where the fat deposits are depleted in the skin) and the fumes, if inhaled for long periods of time even with proper ventilation and wearing a thin surgical face mask, can still cause a myriad of possible inhalation dangers, too.  That makes me one very chemically-sensitive person.

 

And there was the extremely watered-down ‘adult’- themed table. I bought a pair of spicy dice just because they were so unique and very out of the ordinary. The dice are manufactured by Cal Exotics Novelty, LLC. I want to spoof these dice, by the way. The lady in charge of the table noticed I was giving careful scrutiny to the stuff she had for sale.

 

Massage oils, lotions, couples ‘date night’ coupons with intimate phrases… now I’ve seen it all. Yet, I lack a man. Oh, well, I guess it doesn’t matter. And the lady in charge kindly parks herself at the table and tells me I can take a picture of the item I’m interested in and she’d happily email it to me and give me a deal on anything from her website. I very kindly explained that per company regulations, I can’t have my phone on my person when I’m working the floor. She sees that I’m obviously very intrigued by the dice as I’m meticulously jotting down the company info, website, price and name of the spicy dice.

She tells me, “How much you got on you?”

“Only five bucks.”

“I’ll let em’ go for that.”

“Really?” I was surprised.

“Yep.”  She was all smiles.

“Deal.” I took the info with me and returned a few minutes later and bought the dice.

 

What possessed me to buy a pair of spicy dice? I haven’t a clue other than I want to poke fun of the sex phrases. And it made me think back to what a millennial asked me point blank while we were working late one evening, “You must be gay.” She laughed in my face because there was no man in my life waiting to pick me up after work, leaving me texts, delivering me a lunch, etc.

 

Stunned, I gave the twenty-something a look of ‘whatever’ and rolled my eyes. “You don’t have a boyfriend!” she joyfully squealed that it echoed throughout the building. I was so glad we were closed for the evening because I would have been mortified had there been a crowd.

 

I retorted in my studious manner, “Some day the right man is going to march right through those doors,” [I pointed to the far set of double glass doors], “He and I will lock eyes and we’ll just ‘know’ we were meant for each other and fate will have stepped in.”

 

The young gal just clapped at me. This was her typical response when something bored her to tears she once told me. I’m like, okay, whatever. Stop trying to reason with this younger generation. They’re too far gone, disrespectful, rude and wild.

 

All in all, the evening had an excellent big turn out I thought. I was relieved to be kept busy most, if not, all of the night. Granted I couldn’t bust chops like I would have liked to have done otherwise. And they had an indoor archery range set up in one of the lounge areas of the building. I love archery. When I got my fifteen minute break, I just had to try it out. I do have some archery experience from many years ago.

 

There were these two foam-cushioned targets with circular cut-out sponge-like consistency inserts that you shot out with the arrows. Now the arrows had these foam-tipped ends (not take down arrows, mind you). I couldn’t resist asking for a couple of tries.

 

Back when my ex and I were still together, he and I took up archery. He was exceptionally knowledgeable with archery and I still remember him telling me all about the famous bow hunter, Howard Hill I believe was his name. And my ex mentioned something about a Fred Bear bow and I believe he owned several.

 

I learned pretty much everything about archery from my ex. And as I practiced more way back when, I gained the physical strength to pull a fifty pound bow. I started off something like 15 or 25 pound bow and gradually gained the strength that way. In retrospect I do regret we sold off our archery equipment and bows. Archery was/ still is so much fun and it came back to me like second nature even though I hadn’t had any practice in 14 years. Boy, how time flies. Anyways, the ladies manning the archery game were kind of annoying by preventing me from adjusting my grip on the bow and showed me how to hold it. I politely told them, “I know, k’?”

 

The ladies gathered around, watching me, most were whispering about some trivial issues that had no relation to what I was happily doing. It took me several warm up tries.  On my fifth try, I hit the back stop with the company’s name and bull’s eye target on it even though it wasn’t the actual target.

 

And by my sixth and seventh try, I was releasing the arrows as though I was never out of practice. I still remember vividly the quiver clipped at my side. The arrows that my boyfriend spent one week to finish and cure had to be sized down to fit. He hand-glued the feathers which was awesome and very time-consuming as I recall. I could feel the real fur-lined finger protector that gripped the string and slipped over my index and middle fingers. How I missed that and how it brought back some fond memories for me even if just for a few short-lived fifteen minutes. I wasn’t aware that the ladies at the archery game were watching me until one of them was standing close to beside me commenting, “Hey, that was a good shot.”

 

And “Hey, not bad,” as I hit yet another bull’s eye. I wish there could have been more time for me to enjoy archery practice, but I had to get back on the floor. I have a building to clean.

 

On my final go around I remarked to the lady standing next to me, “See that target in the lower left-hand corner, keep your eye on it.” I held the bow steady, string and arrow drawn taut, flush with my cheek. I zeroed in on the target and released. Instant bull’s eye! J

 

“Okay, she just hit four in a row.” The lady standing beside me tried to make sense of what she just watched me do.

 

I smiled and said, “You think that’s something, watch this.” I loaded the bow, took aim and released. Another bull’s eye. “Thanks.” I said with a smile and handed her back the bow.
”You act like you’ve had a little bit of experience with archery before.” She commented to me.

 

“A little bit?” I laughed. “Ma’am, I can pull a fifty pound like nobody’s business. At least I could at one time. My ex taught me everything I ever needed and wanted to know about archery.”

 

I contently resumed my shift. I’m quite amazed at how women interact with each other, especially in public at a women’s only event. We group off in cliques—you know, liken to those in Middle and High School where the popular kids grouped off, the nerds and geeks had their own social sets, and the unpopular clique consisted of less than a handful—I was terribly unpopular all throughout school. And the evening was similar to that, like all different social cliques off in their own worlds. Kind of sad, really.

 

If they weren’t busy updating their Facebook status or trying out snap chat, then they were yapping on their cell phones, taking some interest in the Plinko game taking place on center stage. There was no live act. No rock stars laying down some serious classics. No wailing screams from heavy metal guitars, either. And no vocalist that could hit a six octave range and stir up the audience into a frenzy of excitement that could pulsate and ripple through a packed venue of energetic concert-goers.

 

Men will sometimes form instant buddy-buddy camaraderie. We women on the other hand are the exact opposite. I glean this from all I experienced on this evening. I listened to more gossip in the women’s restroom than I care to remember. Two young women, probably not barely 19 years old were discussing taking the pill and how it gave them major hormone disturbances. At their age “hormones” wasn’t in my vocabulary. In fact, ‘disturbances’ would have been foreign to me back then, too. I’m not ass-backwards at Nineteen. The internet is still creeping into a few households. And whatever research I discovered was from the late 90’s.  But neither of these gals mentioned how blood clots could possibly form in the legs and travel up to the lungs with long-term pill use. Nor did I hear a peep as to the risk is higher if they’re over the age of 35 and/ or are smokers. When I heard one remark that their mom made them quit the pill [cold turkey] I was thinking, Yikes! Amazing they didn’t suffer any adverse side effects without tapering off the pill.

 

Before I sign off I just wanted to give a shout out to all my current and past followers out there. I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve been swamped working two jobs nowadays. I seldom find the time to blog as often as I once used to do, but will make the effort to publish a few posts as my new schedule allows. I love to blog like always and do my best to answer any and all comments on here. It might take me some time, so please, be patient. And to all of my new followers; thank you for subscribing to my antiquing, writing, health, beauty and life blog here at WordPress. I sincerely appreciate it and I will follow back! J

 

As always, thanks for following, tweeting, sharing, re-blogging, reading, commenting, etc. I truly appreciate it a lot! J  Stay tuned…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviews and experiences: Orly ‘rainbow flop’ color blast nail polish and Careers that ‘don’t’ fit. –

Published January 14, 2017 by AntiqueMystique1

Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers and followers. 🙂  Yes, I know this blog post is a little crazy but I figured to bundle up all my recent experiences/ reviews into one post on here and since time is limited for me. I don’t have as much time as I once did to post until my heart’s content.  So, here we go…

My review of Orly’s “rainbow flip” or ‘flop’ rather in my case.

I love the shimmery, almost metallic/glittery hues. What I dislike about this nail polish is that it will set a person back about $7.  Orly nail polish does applies extremely unevenly, very thin, and transparent so make sure you have a TON of nail polish remover on hand because this nail polish will be an exercise in frustration and it will drip everywhere in a goopy mess the more you try to apply it. Secondly, I feel they could at least reduced the price for what you get. And as luck would have it K-Mart had only one bottle left. Not that I mind, but…

I tried to apply it and it didn’t work out for me, at least not on my fingernails. It worked okay for my toe nails, but after a while the paint wears off easily.  Would I recommend this nail polish? Possibly if it was better quality, and if it doesn’t contains nasty chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, etc.  I have no idea what the chemical rating is for Orly nail polishes on the Environmental Watch Group website.

 

Bubble wand spiral curl curling iron and Bedhead waving iron reviews:

The Bubble wand curling iron. It actually creates spiral curls on an extremely high heat setting so be warned and don’t fry off your hair. I did try it out today on its lowest setting since it does warm up fast to the touch within 30 seconds.  And me and time management we’re still adjusting. I had plenty of time to get ready and be out the door, and perhaps I didn’t give this bubble curling iron half a chance. However, the curls it created in my hair didn’t look like the tiny, tight gorgeous spirals pictured on the box.

Uh, that’s because in advertising looks are almost deceiving, plain and simple. Oh, yeah, and photoshop adds some luster to those long spiral locks as well. Anyway, I was unimpressed for now with the Revlon’s bubble curling iron.  I feared if I tried it on a high heat setting, I’d be wearing a stocking cap to work for many years. My hair is delicate to say the least and naturally fine, so maybe that’s why it won’t work for different hair types. But what I’d like to see Revlon put out is one identical to it, but design one just like  a standard curling iron where a it will clamp a strip of hair in place so you don’t have to potentially burn any hands or fingers trying to keep a strand wrapped around the bubble shape rod.  And the heat-resistant styling glove will melt to this curling iron. It’s stated in the leaflet stuffed in the glove it’s intended purpose is just to prevent fingers from the occasional burn, but the glove itself is made of plastic. Yikes! Uhm, well, in that case, I will be extremely careful not to get my hand too close to the tip or the wand itself while I’m trying to use it.

As far as the design is concerned, it could be better made. I do like the bubble style of the curling iron though, it’s different. I do miss not having the option to clamp my hair with a standard curling iron though.

 

The bubble wand is made by Revlon and sells for about $27.00 at Wallyworld. I purchased mine when I got off work since there’s no way I could physically do the impossible and be in and out of Wallyworld in less than five minutes, manage to get through all that daytime throng people just milling around aimlessly and/ or most of the time talking and parking their shopping carts in the middle of the aisles taking up space and yet still make it to work on time.  I also did some price-comparison shopping on Amazon and with the internet tax it would have been more including shipping and handling. So, I decided to buy one from Wallyworld.

Another interesting hair-styling gadget that caught my eye is the BedHead weaver iron. This chunky-looking waving iron looks and feels too big for my needs and my naturally fine hair will thank me later that I didn’t purchase this. However, for those that love those ‘beach curls/waves’ I would highly recommend getting a Bedhead Waving iron. But I encourage those to read as many reviews as possible before making any hair styling purchase. Same goes for the aforementioned nail polish brands.

 

Careers that ‘don’t’ fit:

I thought I wanted an additional 3rd job. I sincerely believed I had what it took to get into retail and completed some applications online. Most places I didn’t hear back from. Other places like the one I recently interviewed for had some very strange replies to my job interview status follow-up. In fact, they didn’t want me visiting the store, nor calling to check up on the status of my post-interview process  like what was the standard way of doing things when actively job-searching. And back in my day (and many others) the old way of doing things is you waited one week after being interviewed and then checked back either in person, phone call, etc.

The manager’s eyes shifted away from me instantly and they pretended to focus on something else in the store and quietly, yet quickly told me, “We send out the ‘auto-generated’ response email.”

And AntiqueMystique says a very bad word during the 15 minute interview: the “c” word.

Oh, forgive me, I didn’t know “commission” was politically incorrect. I unintentionally blurted out a major ‘no-no’ for this retail chain when saying that word without knowing.  They refer to commission as “progressively active something-or-other” that sounds like a string of run-on words that can be simply said in one word: Commission. The hourly rate is purely based on how much the right sale’s associate can sell clothing.

I could sense it wouldn’t work out because I can deduct a lot from a person’s mannerisms within the first few minutes I meet them. The shifty glances, unease in posture, and the fast-talking, “seems interested” when they really aren’t tell me volumes of the personality.

 

And when I am sheilded from view so that the “shoppers can shop” so I’m told. I say a very polite, “Excuse me” and pretend not to notice that I’m not what this manager wants or expects from a job applicant. In fact, I don’t come off as high pressured because that’s not me. Secondly, I’m quiet and soft-spoken. I have a physical handicap: my voice that I have no control over. If I try to speak loudly, it comes off sounding mean or angry which I’m not.  Face it, AntiqueMystique, you simply aren’t a “fit” for this retail giant.  In fact, I was relieved that I didn’t have any typical questions come up like can I afford to purchase their clothing? For God’s sake don’t ever say “No”. Say, yes and given time I can build a wardrobe. In reality, I had to put two vests on layaway from this retail store and I didn’t even breathe a word of that during the interview. I did explain that all I had was one ‘night out on the town’ dress (yes, I know, skimpy and it isn’t job interview-ish, but at least it covered me decently).  And I’ve seen their shop girls (I don’t like the PC terminology like sales associates), wore a different store’s clothing.

I’m very reserved and don’t think that showing cami-straps, bra straps, or any type of tank strap garment is fashionable, far from it. See? I wouldn’t make a good ‘fit’ for this company at all. I’m too reserved, too old-fashioned, but do try to keep abreast that this clothing retailer is for young fashion forward men and women.  I’m generally very upbeat, positive and can be out-going, but here again, that won’t always make or break a person. It’s not what you know, but who you know.

Another reason the retail part-time job wouldn’t have worked out is I do have a full-time position that pays the same.  And they promise a better hourly wage which is the old bait and switch routine. And I just don’t have the massively huge bank account nor the endless funds to purchase their over-priced clothes just to work there. The bad drawback is that I wouldn’t have been ahead in achieving my goals and financially, I’d be losing money just to work a part-time job that likely wouldn’t have panned out for me anyway. My future in retail is undecided for the present time. Thanks for liking, re-blogging and commenting, I truly appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

The move of a lifetime.

Published December 26, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

And yes, I managed it.  I did the impossible and now I am like one of the millions out there that have partially achieved the American dream: home ownership. But what was wrong with the little one-bedroom money pit I used to live in? A lot! And it needed the attention of a contractor most of all, something of which I couldn’t swing or even know how to do properly.  The bright side is that my parents got their money back from that little investment property.  As for me and my kit-cat, we moved on and my beautiful rose bushes went too. Whether or not my roses survive is highly unlikely though I did my best. I tackled all this while working full-time too so time management was something all new to me and I couldn’t pack everything in in one day like I would have wanted.

I simply had to move on, plain and simple. It was time to put my first short-term goal of finding a better roof over my head for me and my kit-cat into action. I took a sabbatical from my volunteerism during the remainder of the summer so I could devote my time to gardening and water-bath canning my produce. I knew the times ahead for me were going to get off to be rough and groceries in the beginning not so plentiful.

So, my large garden didn’t yield the massive quantities of veggies I was hoping for. I managed to dry some herbs and spices before I moved enough to last me four months.  At most I was able to squeeze out a meager 23 canned goods from my garden. I was hoping for at least 50 canning jars full of dill pickles, Sauer kraut, jelly, etc., but that never came to pass like I had planned on.

So, what’s a full-time employed housekeeper to do? Get their short-term and long-term goals figured out and I did that as luck would have it and landed into the good graces of my recent place of full-time work. I still clean elsewhere as a second job, but I don’t get paid overtime at either job but that’s something I don’t mind as long I can pay my bills, make my house payment and buy groceries that’s all I care about.

Being a housekeeper is physically demanding and its not as easy as it appears. Sometimes though the dumpster trash weighs more than I do. (hah!) I also learned some transferable skills while on my new job. I can operate a floor squeegee machine which is a first for me since I’d never had to learn how to drive one of those before. What else do I do? I also porter.  That’s where I go around and clean up any spills, paper waste, etc.  And I like to engage with the public.

 

At first I wasn’t getting my hopes up of ever moving away. I did look at several houses when I was still very new in my full-time job, and all the homes I was looking at in my price range were very deplorable. I mean, the little money pit given all its flaws looked like a palace compared to the interiors of these dumpy houses that really needed to be knocked to the ground.  One house I looked at was built around the time era I simply adore from the Roaring Twenties, however, don’t let the lilac/ lavender exterior paint fool you. Step in and the place had been ransacked by previous not-so-great tenants. There was evidence of rodents and their droppings littered the tattered brown carpets in two bedrooms and elsewhere.  I got a sense of gloom and despair as I absorbed the house’s past. And then it grew to unease and I was feeling like I needed to leave– like immediately.

Teetering on the top shelf of the bizarre closet with two different doors, I noticed a window box AC. I envisioned at any given moment it would fall down and strike me dead. I headed for the bathroom portion of this house where the basement door was located. (Think in terms of a trap door on a stage), yeah, very interesting place to build an inset basement access. It took my dad to lift up the heavy wooden door. I shined my flashlight beam to the rickety staircase, the overpowering smell of mildew assaulted my nostrils with almost a wretched, nausea-inducing reaction.  The windows had been all filled in with concrete, I kid the reader not on that. I received a very bad feeling, many of them, about this particular house, but the creep factor of the window-less basement really turned me away as a first-time homebuyer.

I quickly stood and let my dad shut the basement door.  Oh, yeah, and it didn’t help that the floors in the back part of the house felt ‘spongy’ and very unstable below my feet and I’m at the very most about 95 lbs. Now, if these floors can’t even support my stick-figure self, what chance would they have that my 100 lbs. antiques wouldn’t just serve as a wrecking ball and bring down the whole darn house the first day of moving in? Well, moving into this particular house wasn’t even a remote possibility. Oh, and this house has severe spider infestations and the foundation was sloped so standing water in the yard would settle around it causing more erosion over time. Okay,  this tour is over. I’m ready to head off to work. And mind you, I was getting up extremely early to tour all of these homes on my list before work. On any given day I was running on two or three hours of sleep, and being a full-time employed housekeeper puts my body through a physical workout which is why I’ve lost weight.  I still eat as Vegetarian as always,  but it was combined with lack of enough sleep that took a toll on my mental stamina as well. However, I was extremely determined to buy a house and get the heck out of the money pit that’s what drove me to push on.

And I didn’t buy the first house that met all my criteria, either. I had to do some major homework before I ever met with an awesome Mortgage lender. I knew that time on the job is vital to the first time home-buying process and so is having the earnest money ready, having a savings set aside for any and future home repairs, etc.

 

During this whirlwind journey of home-buying, I ran into some unexpected ‘life’ valleys. The vehicle that I drove religiously that was great on gas was finally breaking down and my worst nightmare was becoming a reality; the transmission is ready to fail. The cost to repair it on a vehicle pushing 23 years? $3,000 off the bat. Well, money doesn’t grow on trees for me. It was like a receiving a sucker-punch to the gut when I heard that. I knew that someday down the road my vehicle was destined for the junkyard, but I am thankful that it barely held up enough to get me to work and back. It also transported the final loads from the old house to the new one over the Thanksgiving holiday. But the old vehicle’s days were numbered after that and it was becoming more of a safety-hazard than trying to hold onto it for sentimental sake. I cried over parting with my vehicle, you bet. I went through ‘first vehicle-ever owned’ depression for a few days afterwards. My parents (bless them) came through for me and landed me in the driver’s seat of a 2010 vehicle that I will be purchasing from them. It’s all updated with seat warmers, and the only problem is the gas pedal. I’m short and have to scrunch myself up into the steering wheel just to drive it.

A shaky transition:

Unlike learning how to confidentially drive the squeegee machine at work, I was given a brief one-night practice run in the 2010 vehicle that belonged to my parents. My eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be in my younger days. In fact, driving at night is tough for anybody. I managed to do well my first time out. And it took me about three weeks to get the hang of the new vehicle and how it handled on the road.  I pack my MP3 that’s already downloaded with nearly my entire collection of Victrola 78s plus Edison Diamond Discs and Edison wax cylinder music as well. I’m set. The only thing missing? Being in the driver seat of a Model T. I say a Model T even though those are more of a Baby Boomer’s classic plaything, not for some young-ish person that was born long after that antique automobile.

My next antique goal will be something that can’t go in my house. And yes, I’ve had plans of eventually buying (or restoring) for that matter a Model T Ford.  Okay, I will accept a Model A, but nothing beyond 1929 since that’s my cut-off year as far as antiques go and don’t ask me why.  Sure as the years went on the Art-Deco era (1929-1933) had some fascinating designs, but I keep going back to the Roaring Twenties and the Teens for old-fashions, automobiles,  and oh yeah, antique advertisements for women’s dresses. I recently bought a print for women’s Wooltex dresses from a 1907 Ladies Home Journal print (original not a reprint) that displayed on my bookcase.

And I must have bought more than just a pretty picture.  Shortly after getting used to the new antique house, I placed a few battery-operated candles  around the house and use those often when I don’t feel like plugging in a nightlight.  I worked into the wee-hours and my poor kit-cat was still reeling from the move and me not being around as much to wait on her hand and foot like I often once did.  I finally opened up my bedroom to my cat and she’ll only sleep at the foot of my bed when I call her. Otherwise, she prefers her Eastlake rocking chair or the Eastlake couch. My antique dolls dominate the entire house lovingly and I’m sure that’s going to creep out company when they stop by.  One battery candle I purchased either came with a malfunction or it’s haunted. I say that because whenever I turned the candle off and left the room, I’d return and it would be flickering. It’s one of those screw-on battery candles and very difficult to turn on and off. At first I dismissed it as a malfunction until I returned home from work in the wee hours to find it turned flickering on my bookshelf where I display the antique Ladies Home Journal advertisement. Either that or the antique print came with a friendly ghost that likes to turn on that battery operated candle for me.

And the only other weird incident I encountered was when I was heading up to the porch, I noticed what appeared to be a dim light extinguish in my bedroom. I tried on many occasions to figure out if it was another outside light source casting a bend of light on my bedroom window to no avail. And the only time I witnessed that happen was a day or two after my Edison C-19 oak phonograph broke.  Maybe Thomas Edison was inspecting his phonograph to see how it got broke? Who knows. If that’s the case, he invented it, then he can fix it. As far as anything ominous or spooky inside my new house I haven’t felt anything. In fact, my mom had to have a talk with the house when she came over to do some minor repair work when I was at work. The house resisted her efforts to hang curtains, install a brace to the basement landing, etc. And after she said, “You know, you’re (to the house) not going to find any other person that loves you more than my daughter does. She’s even bought antiques from the same time period to fill you with, so please  don’t resist my efforts. “

And the talk worked. My mother’s work went smoothly after that. Shortly after I took possession of my new house, I go over there take a small load with me, switch on my old-time music and worked on peeling off the chef boarder in the kitchen. Behind it, I noticed some beautiful fruit-wreath-themed boarder in almost good condition. There’s still some paper residue that I need to gently peel off, but as I was doing that I had a moment of déjà-vu. My mind cast back to the time I was four years old and had a vivid dream of seeing boarder being removed from the kitchen to reveal the fruit-wreath-themed underneath.

In my four-year old glee I said, “Gee, that sure is pretty!” In my dream I didn’t see myself standing on the ladder though nor did I see myself as an adult, either. I just saw history being uncovered and preserved. I saw the interior of my new house back [then] in fragments in my dream.

During the second walk-thru with my parents before I bought my new house…

My mom couldn’t resist opening a suitcase in the basement. We weren’t expecting much and knew we shouldn’t be messing with the suitcase, but the house sat empty for 80 days on the market. And what we laid eyes on was a modern kitchen rug, but the scent transported us back to another time. The rug didn’t have a bad smell to it. It had an old-time nice kitchen smell to it and one that was familiar to my mom and I. My mom and I looked at each other and we remembered where we had smelled that same kitchen scent. Sadly, it was an old Victorian we lived in when I was about four years old and the old Victorian was knocked to the ground to make way for another parking lot expansion behind a public library. The Victorian (when we lived in it) couldn’t pass city codes. In fact, the electrical wiring was original to the 1920s and by the early 1980s standards, that was a fire hazard waiting to happen. The house wasn’t insulated to my mom’s memory, but the house still had all the antique fixtures and an old claw foot bath tub and pedestal sink in the bathroom.  Out of all the homes we lived in over the years, nothing quite topped that Victorian and it had a good vibe, like, “welcome home” every time we stepped in and that same familiar kitchen scent lingered in that Victorian. The one me and my mom detected was likened to that one. I haven’t removed the rug from the suitcase since that day and just keep it put up. Also, my new house came with two original antique doors that I plan to replace and remove the hollow core doors that are there now when time and my schedule permits. I believe these doors go to the bedroom and bathroom, but we’ll see if I’m right about that. And I do have a set of skeleton keys that fit the locks as well.

When time wasn’t all digital, electric, or battery-operated…

And that’s what I wanted in my new antique house, key-wound clocks and pocket watches. I have several of each. The pocket watches are more suited for a man rather than a woman, but eh, we all can’t find a woman’s antique pocket watch. Now for the clocks nothing beats hearing them chime out of sync.

The mantel clocks were surprisingly the first antiques to acclimate in the new old house long before I brought over anymore of my clutter– I mean, ‘stuff.’

The Ansonia mantel clock (circa 1899 or 1900 for the history buffs) with the broken striker coil that needs to be re-soldered works perfect. Does the fact that striker coil is broke bother me any? None at all. Since all antique clocks have a loud chime, this clock fits beautifully into my bedroom and doesn’t wake me up.  My other two clocks one of them an Eastlake kitchen clock stays on my Hosier in another part of the house. The Eastlake clock can chime all it wants to, and although pleasant, will be loud enough to wake the dead.  My Seth Thomas mantel clock… grrr. I’ve tried to get this beautiful clock to remain ticking, but there’s something off-balance about it and it must never be moved an inch since I’ve owned it. But it will keep perfect time and it chimes very loud when level. So for now, it sits silent on the bookcase with the dolls.

 

My new antique home is 96 years young. I don’t like using the term ‘old’ since I associate it with something used up.  The house I settled on retains a lot of its old-fashioned interior including the old knob and cloth-bound wiring. Now before anybody on here has a freak out moment of mammoth proportions, keep in mind, that yes, I did have an inspection preformed prior to my closing date, and the inspector checked out the electricity and it passed inspection. Also, in other areas of the house, there’s been newer wiring installed. And me? It brought back vivid happy childhood memories when my eyes saw that antique wiring that I hadn’t seen in years. The porcelain insulators remained with their white shiny glare from the gaudy curly-Q eco-‘depressing’ light bulbs. Oh, that’s on my ‘to-do’ list. Those eco-unfriendly light bulbs from China were removed the day I took possession of my house. I placed incandescent bulbs in the basement.  There’s a lot I disagree with regarding the eco-curly Q light bulbs that I find frankly, annoying and too dim. I could prattle on about the eco light bulbs contain mercury, etc. But this blog is about my experiences as a first-time home buyer: the joys and upsets of a long butt-kicker of a move.

The only antique to get broke during the move was…

Not great, great grandmother’s bed doll. And it wasn’t any of my antique furniture, either. The two standing pole lamps made it in excellent condition. The Victrolas (or as my relative told me after moving the last one into the house exclaimed; “These coffins on wheels that play music, and if you ever will these to me make sure you have an antique moving company written in your will to deliver them to my house!”). The relative stepped away from the Victrolas and Edisons and sat down elsewhere to take a breather.

My heart sank and I thought to myself as a listened and watched the Edison C-19 hit the last porch step with a violent bang, “And that’s the nail in the Edison C-19 phonograph’s coffin” as the horn lift rod completely came un-soldered in two places and rattled in the cabinet. My worst fears were revealed later on that late night when I inspected all the Victrolas and Edisons. The oak one (my very first antique phonograph) was out of order.

I didn’t panic and I wasn’t seething mad with my family. Yes, the machine was strapped to a two-wheeler that can support the weight of a refrigerator.  But it still broke likely due to the fatigue it was already under plus playing it after the repair wasn’t such a wise idea. “The horns are impossible to repair.” My repair guy once told me. But rather than accept that advice, I tackled the horn repair and made the impossible possible, or at least, do-able.

What I once thought was a bur inside the horn lift knob turned out to be the horn and the solder that began to fail due to constant temperature changes during the transition phase of moving.

What kind of solder was used? Lead. It’s what they used in the old days when those antique phonographs were new. Also, my ex-boyfriend and I used fluxing compound, the old kind that plumbers used to use back in the day.  And I all I have is the lead solder. I don’t have the hand-held propane torch nor the extra helping hand anymore. So I had to wait, save up a couple paychecks and bought a replacement horn for the machine.

I installed it myself, and boy howdy, I suffered for it the following day. I’m not strong like I once was and after everything was back in the cabinet a washer decides to drop out of the old horn…. arrg! That means I inspect my two other identical Edisons to figure out where the washer goes and I visually can’t find one that matches. I don’t know if it supports the horn lift rod inside the cabinet or if it just decided to fall off from another part of the mainboard assembly.  Collecting and servicing these antique phonographs can be a frustration at times, but it’s the love of them that outweighs the guesswork.

Interchangeable, my foot! I spent two and half hours take parts off the old horn and installed them on the other horn that I could have spent getting caught up on my sleep and still had to work the next day. I’ll tackle it some other time and I still need to email my repair guy and see what I’m doing wrong with the replacement. Anywho– I’ll get that problem tackled in my spare time.  The original repair job lasted for more than 11 years and finally failed completely on Thanksgiving Day, 2016. The last song played on the Edison C-19 before it broke: “You’re the Cream in my Coffee”-Fox Trot and “He ain’t Never Been to College”. The last Edison Diamond disc to be played on the Edison C-19 oak machine was “Invitation to the Waltz”.

The very first song I heard as a demonstration to be played on the Edison C-19 oak using the incorrect steel needle Ken-Tone reproducer, “Wreck of the old Southern 97” by Texas crooner Vernon Dalhart. And that’s the song that had me sold on the antique phonograph.

In retrospect it’s hard for me to believe that I am this phonograph’s second owner. I made a lot of improvements to the machine cosmetically-speaking and made sure the mainsprings were serviced by a professional. And as time went on that was my ‘go-to’ machine to record from. The acoustics were beautiful long before the machine ever got broke. And even after our repair held, the machine sounded good, but not great as they do when left entirely alone.  And now, my dear Edison C-19 phonograph remains out of service for the present time.

As for my house, everything’s good. The bathroom still has an original claw foot tub which was a plus for me when I was looking for an antique home because I grew up with such outdated fixtures in those old Victorians that were chopped up into apartments back in the Twenties, so that took me back to a happier time. Oh, and shared garage can’t fit a modern car and I know what that means, the garage itself was original to 1920 when my house was built. That means it might accommodate a Model T or a Model A. The Model A came after the Model T, by the way and it doesn’t have to be a FORD exactly, but I’ll see what I can turn up (and mind you, this is one of my long-term goals that won’t happen overnight it might take my entire lifetime to buy one outright since I don’t believe in going into debt or taking out loans either).

A Happily ever after…

The house came with a washer and a dryer. Thank goodness no ‘smart’ appliances. Yay!  But it was my determination that got me to my American dream of home ownership and I had to really sacrifice a lot both physically and budget-wise. Oh, and another good thing to do: create and follow a monthly budget. I was so used to stocking up on groceries at the first of every month before my housekeeping took off that my new house is overstocked and I don’t need to buy anything other than bananas and eggs twice a month.  And I made sure to have all of my food provisions for me and my cat in place. The rest like gas for the vehicle, paying bills happen on my days off.

As for my cat, she’s still holds a grudge with my mom who snagged her in the pet taxi and brought her to the new house. And my cat goes through depression whenever she sees me in my work uniform. I believe she and I were so inseparable in the beginning when she adopted me as her person five years ago that now not to have me in her universe 24/7 has really upset her that she’d cry and bellow out this lonesome meow whenever my mom would stop by and work on my new house. And my cat would wander up to the front door, expecting me to enter, and when I wouldn’t she’d run to the basement and hide out under the staircase.

But I do hope my cat understands that I’m working my tail feathers off to provide her a much better life. At least now my cat will never have to worry about abandonment like her previous owners did to her I can only guess this and left her behind to fend for herself and survive all those harsh cold winters, starvation.  And now, my cat packed on the weight and gets fed quality wet and dry cat food.  As a treat I will give her a mini-moo on occasion when I get off work, but even that I wouldn’t recommend giving a cat all of the time since its half n’ half and probably unhealthy for pets.  There’s got to be some kind of kitten formula that’s safe to treat a cat with on occasion.  That and my cat still gets a tiny piece of baked potato since that’s the thing she inhaled the first time I encountered her outside five years ago at the old house.  She was so rail thin you could see and feel her ribs that it was scary.

She was a pitiful mess when she and I first encountered each other and she wasn’t a friendly feline. She used to hiss and spit at me when I’d come outside with the compost.  Over the years she gradually warmed up to me and I let her inside during a severe winter snow storm back in 2013 and she had been an indoor/outdoor cat ever since and we became inseparable.

Nowadays since moving though she’s adjusting to an indoor lifestyle and getting adjusted to my hectic work schedule. She has her toys , free reign of the entire house, which for a cat, that must be like top of the world and she’s got a person that dotes on her constantly and she knows she’s well loved, too.  As for the new house, its great. I couldn’t be happier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victrola model G: the outtakes Sept. 30, 2016

Published October 1, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

In all of my nine plus years of amassing a huge 78 collection that vary in condition from playable to excellent, there are a certain few that fly under my radar that are in extremely poor to terrible condition. There’s surface noise and that’s to be expected for a 78 that was released eighty-eight years ago. There’s no buyer’s remorse on my part. I buy 78’s if I feel they are in ‘playable’ condition at the very least. Condition-wise, I’m not too terribly picky if the 78 is near mint, very good, excellent condition, etc. And I do realize I could be doing my Victrola more harm than good opting for the undesirable 78s. So long as there’s no needle drops, huge scratches or gouges that would render the 78 unplayable, then I will buy it if the price doesn’t exceed $5 per record and even at that I find that’s a tad steep for the more common 78s.  Oh, yeah, if they’re cracked, don’t waste your money just some helpful first-hand experience. 😉

I don’t know what possessed me to stop in a used furniture store on a day I had to be somewhere. Normally, I don’t like to browse when I know I really can’t make the time. But it was the same place I acquired my Victrola model G. I was very excited that I finally got it fully repaired from the mainsprings to the sound box that required an overhaul and new rear flange gasket. That much about it was well worth it and I knew it would require some extensive work that was beyond my capabilities since I haven’t serviced any of my antique phonographs in over nine years. Yet again, none of them require any work since I had them restored professionally eons ago.

I glance at my wrist watch, counting off the minutes. I appear to be in a hurry, but I still have time to look around before I head off and start my day. I always try to make it a point to take in the beauty of various antiques at least once a day. I always use antiques in my daily life. Its what brings me happiness. Some people can’t start their mornings off right without their favorite cup of coffee or a latte, maybe even a cappuccino. And other folks probably don’t get off on the right foot without their nicotine fix before their lunch break.

 

I don’t smoke. I don’t consume caffeine. I will, however, pack some toothpicks on me and some steeped hot tea for when its cold outside. Otherwise, I keep my creature comforts to a minimal when I have to be at work. I reward myself when I do arrive home after work. And here I found myself in the small second hand store on the corner. I browse through the books and a dusty, massively thick Webster’s dictionary catches my eye. The binding has come completely loose from the spine. The pages are all there and in tact. I gingerly remove the antique dictionary. It was an “Original Webster’s Unabridged” dictionary published in 1874. The price scared me. $39.99, holy mackerel! Are they serious? :O

I scrutinize the antique dictionary for a long moment, then glance at the time. I needed to be on my way. Another day, another dollar so the saying goes. I return the dictionary to the bookshelf and get ready to leave when something small catches my eye. I’m gazing at two 5 ½” Little Wonder one-sided disc records from 1909. These were actually tiny shellac records made for a child-sized upright antique phonograph. However, I couldn’t say for certain whether or not they’d play on Victrola since I didn’t have any Little Wonder discs in my collection to say for certain. I know from past experience I had difficulties with similar 7” Parakeet shellac records manufactured sometime during the early 1900 to mid-Teens, so naturally, I wrongly assumed the same would hold true for these Little Wonder records. And there was a Cameo 78 that called out to me.

I ask the man at the counter how much for the 78’s and was told $2.99 per record. Uhm… I feel that is asking a bit much. I politely thanked him, placed the records back and waited until I could do some research. Depending on the rarity of the Little Wonder records and who the artist was that recorded the song(s), I surfed onto eBay and did some price-comparison. $2.99 was looking okay for what these tiny records are. And so I bide my time. I return to the store when another person is working. I’m quoted a steeper price for the records. Again, I kindly thanked the person and went on my way.

Yeah, they’re one of a kind. Okay, they’re “special records”, but Cameo 78s are common to run across although inferior in sound quality and material-wise. Little Wonder shellac records don’t turn up all that often, so I’ll give credit where its due on that for being extra special. But the prices for the Little Wonders online vary in price and their condition were no less than what I discovered in this store. I think about it for a long while. If they’re still there come some other time then I’ll know it was meant to be.

And they were there when I returned, so I bought them and the Cameo 78. Another Fox Trot song and who is the artist this time? Sam Lanin and His Orchestra “You’re the Cream in My Coffee” and the flipside “He Ain’t Never Been to College” by the Varsity Eight. Both songs were released in 1928. And last night I finally made the time to do more recordings, something I haven’t done in quite a while. But the recording process doesn’t always run smoothly, thus the outtakes and bloopers happen.

Oh, the Little Wonders played excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed the songs, “I Want to Go Back to Michigan” duet disc No. 60. It sounded a lot like Ernest Hare and Billy Jones from the Edison Diamond Discs I have of them. And the other song, “Beets and Turnips” – [Little Wonder] Band disc No. 30. Both songs were released sometime in 1914. The Michigan song dates somewhere between 1914-15. The flipside of the one-sided Little Wonders have patent dates of Nov. 1909. These are some incredibly old tiny disc records pushing 107 years old (if going by the patent dates, that is). The sound quality of the Little Wonders exceeded my expectations. I was satisfied and my little one-bedroom was full of cheerful music for a little bit. I tried the Cameo 78 next. The song He Ain’t Never Been to College recorded nice in one take, no problems there.

 

Then the unexpected happened and it worried me when I played the flipside of the Cameo 78. It sounds very worn out due to the surface wear and tear that’s common for a record that’s likely been played many times over. But until last night I never encountered a 78 that would make the sound box lag and the turntable slow down and eventually stop all together. Worried doesn’t cut it. I was almost heart sick thinking of all the problems that can happen to a Victrola. The mainsprings might have hardened grease, but this would have been eliminated since the machine was completely overhauled by a professional in July. Another troubleshooting idea popped into my head; maybe the mainsprings slipped out of alignment in their barrels. Yikes! That’s an invasive and costly repair. Then I decided to try playing the same 78 on a different baby upright Victrola of mine that’s been my secondary recording machine. Surely, two machines are not alike.

Well, same problem occurred on the baby Victrola. And I couldn’t figure it out.

How can two machines encounter the same exact problem? Was this particular song cursed? Is the past deceased owner of said 78 trying to send me a message from the great beyond? What about the… oh, heck. Just try a lighter weight reproducer and so that’s what I did. Now the final recording didn’t come from the Victrola G as I had planned. I had to record the 78 playing it on my Edison C-19 with the proper 78 Ken-Tone attachment and it played okay. Not good, but its late. I’m tired. I want to get this last song uploaded to my MP3 player so I can call it a night. Edison has always been my ‘go-to’ phonograph when making recordings. In the beginning I didn’t always have a Victrola to fall back on. Therefore, my Edison C-19 picked up all the slack of my recording processes. I was relieved to know that my expensive Victrola G didn’t fall to crap after all and neither had my baby Victrola. Do I care to try Cream in My Coffee Fox Trot on my other upright?… Nope. So, hopefully I haven’t bought a cursed 78 and if I did, then eh, oh well. I suppose if the darned Fox Trot is cursed it wouldn’t be the first song to go down infamy for that. Thanks for reading, commenting, blogging, sharing, tweeting. I truly appreciate it a lot! 🙂

 

 

Antique Fountain Pens: where to buy and how to use them.

Published September 30, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Writing is difficult enough as is nowadays. Can you imagine that somewhere during 1955 through the 60s all public school children were taught how to use a fountain pen and ink well? According to one such tutorial website I gleaned some helpful insight into the often ignored bygone use of a fountain pen.

Oh… are those the fancy quill pens with a beautiful, graceful feather, right?

 

Well, okay, maybe those can be included too…but I was more inclined to add the Calligraphy pen/ fountain pen, and one thing that had always piqued my interest was whenever my great grandmother would write me snail mail letters. She would always write in this extremely fine penmanship that was lost to my generation. How can I describe her penmanship? It was dainty-like. Her cursive always straight even in cards and pages that weren’t notebook paper. Her penmanship was always graceful and it  always garnered my interest. It was always the same ‘sepia-tone’ brown ink, sort of faded that I knew wasn’t possible from a standard ball point pen. And I knew that no writing pen no matter how cheap or crappy could produce such eye-catching legible lines. In fact, it had me so curious and I never did ask in my letters to my great grandmother what type of pen and brand of ink she used. And for the life of me, I don’t know why I never asked. I only recall one time when she wrote to me in pencil and that was something that was very out of character for my great grandmother to do when corresponding in all the years we wrote to each other. I knew then something wasn’t right and my intuition was correct, sadly.

When my great grandmother could no longer write me back, I continued to write to her (wishing, hoping and praying) for a response only to no avail. By this point I had no idea how badly her mental health had declined. I was kept in the dark about a lot of the horrendous details of what went on while she was still alive. She required the assistance of a caregiver who didn’t look after her well at all. Were my letters thrown in the trash unread? I began to think to myself. They were getting delivered to somebody since I never had one returned to me during the entire time, so who knows.

I was intrigued, and me being… well, me wanted to teach myself this lost form of fountain pen penmanship, and as luck would have it, I purchased an old antique Palmer’s fountain pen writing instruction red soft-cover book. The book had been around with black ink stains on the cover, and a partial missing corner from its cover. I was missing two more things: a fountain pen and ink. The ink I use is India ink and a very helpful antique store owner told me to always water down the ink with cold water prior to use or else the nib of the fountain pen will get gummed up and the writing won’t appear as fluent nor clean, and always allow the page to completely dry first before folding it and cramming it into an envelope. I thanked the antique store owner (her name is Carol), but she couldn’t help me track down a bottle of brown ink and didn’t know if any even existed or not. So, the curiosity regarding where my great grandmother’s mysterious ‘sepia-toned’ brown ink came from will forever remain a mystery since my great grandmother is no longer alive to tell me or even show me.

It still didn’t stop me from picking up something a new form of long lost writing. And oh yes, I LOVE to write. I love it so much that I’m known to write incredibly long snail mail letters to family and friends and always have loved doing so. I’ve been told by strangers even that my penmanship is beautiful, graceful and very legible.

“Legible?” I think to myself. “Why wouldn’t my penmanship be otherwise?”

And here again my quest for knowledge was never-ending and I wanted to know why. I don’t ask, silly me. 😛

Instead, the answers I sought was a long time in coming, but eventually I would see why. I see a younger generation’s writing and doesn’t just stun me, it makes me nervous. It makes me crook my eyebrow and scrutinize every word and line. I cool it on my inner need to ‘proofread’ what they wrote. That isn’t part of my job requirements, but making sense of their writing is important, and if I can’t understand it, then miscommunication often occurs. And not to down on anybody that was born during the 1980s and are part of the millennial crowd, but boy howdy, I never knew chicken scratch was a perquisite to learning how to read and write while in elementary school nowadays. Actually, most of it I can’t even say is chicken scratch, it’s likened to pre-school scribbling and its coming from a twenty-something youngster.

So maybe it will sound as though I’m being hard on these millennials, but their writing is atrocious. Any English teacher would cringe if they saw it turned in on a hand-written assignment and their butts would be served to them on a silverplate platter because of it.

In my line of work I have to jot down any information that would be pertinent if ever a situation arises while I’m on the clock. There are days when nothing happens, and then there’s the hectic days where anything can happen and it needs to be logged.

And then there’s the pre-school scribbles that often appears and misspelled words. I try to decipher it the best I can, but the writing is often very illegible. Now I see why I’m told my penmanship is legible and this is thanks in part to my older brother who taught me cursive writing when I was young as four or five years old. Yes, that young believe it or not because he didn’t want me to go through life not knowing how to read or write since public schools would barely cover the bare bone basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic (a bygone name for mathematics). My older brother was already in school at the time and was a few grades a head of me.

In retrospect, I sincerely believe we came from the last generation that was taught cursive writing when it was still being taught in public schools during the 1980s. I later read that anybody that attended public school post 1955-60s lost out on learning how to use a fountain pen and ink well though. And it brings me back to the antique writing instruments of yesteryear. They can range in price from a dollar on up to a few hundred. And it depends on the make of fountain pen and when it was produced.

When I attended college in 2013 (per my course requirement), I had to log into a message board to converse with the instructor and fellow students, and while on there, somebody chimed in how excited they were to receive a fancy pen with a very fluent, sensitive response. Well, they weren’t talking about a pen you write with. They referred to a stylus pen for their Kindle or some other technological touch-screen device.

I barely batted an eyelash when I figured out it was a pen for a touch screen device.

I don’t get all s**** and giggles over technology. In fact, I don’t find myself running out to buy the newest updated computer setup. I don’t have any new generation Kindles on my wish list and all of my stylus touch-screen pens came straight from the Dollar Tree where everything’s a dollar. However, I do collect antique fountain pens and antique ink wells. Some are very basic heavy glass, I’d say likely used in the rural public schools way, way back when. And other ink wells I have are slightly more fancy with a pen holder and two ink wells with silver caps. And another one I turned up recently has a brass design around it. I don’t know the specific dates when these ink wells were produced, but the fancier ones I’d guess were produced in the 1800s or very early 1900s. The basic no bells or whistles ink wells could likely date anywhere in that same time frame. The antique fountain pens I have scattered in an old wooden cigar box are plastic with brass nibs, which tells me they were produced post- 1930’s probably in the 60s or 70s maybe. I have about four or five fountain pens that go way back to the early 1900s and these I didn’t acquire all at once. I would occasionally run across them in the antique stores from time to time, and if they appealed to me, I’d buy them. At least fountain pens are a light-weight antique item to collect unlike my Bavaria porcelain dishes and silverplate.

And so I’ve returned to practicing my fountain pen writing. This is something I enjoy doing in my spare time when I can make the time that is. I do it mostly for fun nowadays and I’ve read that it isn’t so much what you write but how you hold the pen which is balanced on your knuckles and not clutched between the thumb and index finger. It was awkward for me to try at first, but once I quickly got accustomed to it, my writing was less complicated and flowed onto the page a lot easier. And this is all for my blog about antique fountain pens and ink wells. If interested I’m sure places like eBay, Etsy, and Ruby Lane might have fountain pens and ink wells for sale. Thanks as always for reading, liking, blogging, commenting and sharing. I truly appreciate it.  🙂

Antique Bavaria, R.S. Prussia, and Austria Porcelain.

Published September 16, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

bavaria-set-9-14-16

I know, don’t make it a habit. Don’t eat off of them. Don’t drink from those gorgeous delicate Bavaria tea cups, and steer clear of those antique silver plate Demi spoons and put that antique Demitasse cup back as it was. You can appreciate it with your eyes, just not your taste buds. It was once called The Rich Man’s curse because only the rich fell ill with lead-poisoning from porcelain dishes they used everyday back in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

It was at the antique store a while back where I discovered a demi-cup (not a bra), a Demitasse cup for drinking espresso coffee that was usually served after supper. Prices vary for antique dishes. Sometimes you might get lucky and find a near complete set of beautiful antique pristine dishes for dirt cheap.

bavaria-sugar-and-creamer-9-12-16

And where did I find out about it being a ‘rich man’s curse’? I actually had to do a lot of research on this topic of antique porcelain dishes to find this out. Way back in the Victorian era and I’m going to include the Edwardians in this as well since high society tended to drink and eat from gold-painted and hand-painted porcelain dishes. Those crazed, dusty, often times, aged antique porcelain dishes that appear too fragile to even look at with an undecided glance are what I’m talking about. The kind of dishes that would have given our ancestors lead poisoning in accumulative doses over time.

However, the low income Victorians and even the Edwardians did not have disposable incomes to throw around in their time when these antique dishes were brand new, so they more than likely ate and drank from inferior table wear and/ or tin cups perhaps.

The most expensive antique porcelain I’ve come across recently was stamped R.S. Prussia, which I later discovered, is incredibly scarce to find in mint and flawless condition nowadays. Even at that, expect to pay upwards of $85 for one sugar container that has no signs of crazing under the glaze, no chips, no cracks, and no blemishes, etc. I’ve even scoured eBay for price comparisons and was shocked by the higher prices for similar near complete sets of antique R.S. Prussia porcelain. I assume the prices reflect the era in which they were made somewhere between 1847-1914. Well, when pigs fly or if I ever win the lottery, then I might upgrade to some exquisite antique R.S. Prussia China.

I’m a little wiser now than I was a year ago in terms of collecting antique porcelain dishes and what to look for. I know to avoid using those gold-rimmed tea cups, plates, saucers, bread plates, oh and tea tiles. Excuse me?

I believe they were once called ‘tea tiles’ back in the 1800’s and a pot of steeped tea would be placed on the tile like a trivet. I don’t know when the tea tile fell out of fashion. In fact, I had no idea tea tiles existed until just recently when I laid eyes on a set of Bavaria stamped antique dishes and discovered a few miscellaneous tea tiles placed in with other misc. antique dishes.

Do I plan to use these antique Bavaria dishes? No. They will be for display until I can do further research. And since they’re one of a kind I may display them in a inset book shelf. I scoured the net and came across some porcelain collectors’ blogs describing in length what to avoid when buying/collecting antique porcelain dishes and whether or not they’re safe for everyday use. The verdict on how safe they are is still very up in the air and there’s a lot of inconclusive answers floating around.

The very early makers of porcelain dishes may have maker’s stamps, or they might not have any markings. Transferware is nice. However, it didn’t call to me nor does it ‘fit’ in my Victorian-themed porcelain dishes. My heart and eyes were set on that particular ‘Bavaria’ porcelain set that included a covered butter dish with pink roses. And it was pristine white. Can’t beat that. There were no chips, no cracks, no crazing under the glaze, no stains, but one or two dark spots likely from when it was produced and trapped under the glaze.

And that wraps up my antique dishes blog post. I do apologize if I’m unable to blog as often as I used to on here, but will continue to do so as my new schedule permits. I will continue to answer all comments on here like always, but there might be a delay due to my work load. Please keep checking back for more interesting antiques I might happen across. As always thank you for commenting, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting and liking. I always appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Music in the Pre-Internet era; How fans kept updated on their favorite bands.

Published August 2, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

In this blog I have scoured the annals of time to present some fascinating back issues of the music magazines my 80s generation just loved! Some of us had subscriptions to these music magazines, other times, we didn’t and/ or couldn’t afford it. Therefore, we would wait anxiously (in a good way) for the next issue to hit newsstands.

The time is 1989. Twitter doesn’t exist. Cell phones aren’t even discussed as a technological possibility. We have no computer in my household. The internet is non-existent to a large majority of the population. Computers were a rich kid’s plaything and the newest computer is still the Apple II used in a few public schools and not every school had them. Everything is researched in books checked out from the public library and a card catalog system consisted of a span of pull out drawers chalked full of index cards with the author’s name, circulation number, and title. Information is jotted down on pen and paper, or if you were me, then pen and index cards. That’s how I complied information back in these old days.

Metal Edge 1989 Music news traveled by word of mouth, in print (in the music magazines), MTV and the radio. Who’s opening up for who again? Was it Guns n’ Roses or some upstart band calling themselves ‘Slaughter’? I just used this as an example even though Slaughter did open for KISS on their HITS tour in 1989.

And Sebastian Bach, lead singer of Skid Row blurted out on the American Music Awards program, “Well… shhh-iver me timbers!” since swearing wasn’t allowed on national television. It made me laugh so hard when he said it after receiving an award because I hung onto every word. Am I fan of Skid Row? Around this time, no. However, my older sister simply adored this new rock band that was quick to grace the covers of all the music magazines: Metal Edge (pictured), RIP, Circus, etc.

I was a Kiss fan at the time, and despite what my parents told me about this particular band and how infamous they were, it made me love them even more. Shock rock at its finest. The only other rock star that achieved such a reputation was Alice Cooper. My mom saw Alice Cooper in concert back in the 1970s, and she took my uncle to his first Kiss concert around the same time, too. They lived it and are original fans from an era not too different from that of my own.

But the sound was magical. There was special meaning to those chart-toppers and power ballads—every new and veteran band had to crank out at least one of those in the late 80s. Kiss had theirs with ‘Forever’. Alice Cooper had his with ‘Poison’. I remember hearing Alice Cooper’s new song on the radio and my mom would crank up the car stereo whenever the song came on the air. And maybe somewhere we related on some level. I realize that a parent isn’t supposed to be their child’s best friend, far from it. And I also realized at the young, impressionable age of Twelve that parents are meant to be respected and feared. I grew up in the era where we respected our elders. We’d have hell to pay if we sassed back to adults and those in authority. Discipline was dished out as a parent saw fit.

I didn’t like Alice Cooper when I was Twelve and really couldn’t wrap my head around his shocking theatrics. The guillotine act was a show stopper.

I kept my nose in those rock magazines constantly. ‘Dear Mama Ford’ (Lita Ford’s mother) had an advice column in Metal Edge. She fielded a lot of problems my teenage generation were experiencing in their lives, no matter how serious or minor. A lot of it went over my head when I was thirteen, but I thought Mama Ford had sound advice and she was a lot like a “Dear Abby” to readers of Metal Edge magazine. At this time Lita Ford was my biggest fashion inspiration. Her two hit songs Kiss Me Deadly and If I Close My Eyes Forever were still popular on the radio even though they were previously released in 1988. (I had to do some quick research on when they were released). My opinion of Axl Rose and how I thought he was so mean to his fans didn’t change. I wouldn’t say I was a fan of Guns n’ Roses simply due to his onstage antics, but in another sense I wasn’t really giving this band a chance. Yes, they had some hit songs I really liked. I remember my older sister and I would make fun of the song, ‘Paradise City’ and sing, “Take me down to Paradise City where the girls are green and the grass is pretty,”

The real lyrics go: “Take me down to Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty,” We needed to do something to alleviate typical teenage boredom we seemed to collectively experience. We just changed the lyrics around for the fun of it.

And those magazines we bought didn’t survive into adulthood. Some pages were removed (by us) because we loved to tack those color band pinups to our walls which our parents hated because they felt it made our bedrooms look tacky. Yet we kept tidy rooms and it didn’t look like a tornado dropped a bunch of dirty clothes, empty dishes and a haphazard array of LP’s and cassette tapes tossed on the floor. And those rock magazines were neatly stacked either on our nightstands or kept on a bookshelf. I had all three copies of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and a mismatched set of Child Craft encyclopedias.

Out of anything that ties in with 1989 that I saved was a book mark that depicted a shark and the words, “I Said Hands off!” I bought that bookmark from a book fair hosted at our local school. I used to hate these book fairs because we had to look through a circular and check mark the books we wanted to buy. Well, I didn’t want to read whatever this Weekly Reader cranked out and I didn’t want to spend my allowance money on them either. I also walked my neighbor’s dog for extra money too. I certainly didn’t want to pester my parents to ‘please give me money for books I’ll never read’. I observed these circulars as being ‘forced’ to read some boring cheesy preteen books that wouldn’t keep me interested in turning the page.

I guess there was a problem with my generation experiencing an increase in the  illiteracy rate and there seemed to be this huge emphasis for the book fair to get kids excited about reading, when instead, it did the exact opposite. And we had to promise the promoters of this book fair and the school librarian that we’d read the books we ordered. Well, I skimmed the circular. I can’t find any books on my favorite new rock band Kiss that’s because I missed the boat on scaring up some Schoolastic books that featured Kiss from the seventies. I can’t find any subscriptions for RIP or Metal Edge magazines in this book circular either. This bites! :/

I wasn’t a fan of Circus magazine, but that was my older sister’s favorite. All I saw were the average Highlight magazines for children (grades K-3rd). I was in the fifth grade and a twelve year old. I considered Highlight children’s magazine to be pre-school reading material. All preschoolers read, right? Maybe I was an exceptionally rare breed when younger. I was onto bigger things and wasn’t a fan of those Babysitter Club books, either. I liked those Choose Your Own Adventure books but this book circular didn’t list any. Hmmm, alrighty then!

I wanted to read about Ace Frehley. He was my favorite guitarist in the entire Kiss lineup. I wanted to read more about Peter Criss who was the original drummer. It was around this same time frame I had a fascination for drummers, in general regardless of their style of music because my dad played drums and was in the drum and bugle corps for his high school. And my mother played in a few bands here and there and there’d always be a drummer. From a very early age I was drawn to drum kits no matter if the drums were a famous brand or a cheap, crappy kind.

I’ll never forget the time I accidentally put my foot through my brother’s snare drum on his three piece drum kit (cymbal, snare and kick drum, if my memory serves me correctly). I was about knee high to a grasshopper when I had done that and my brother was infuriated with me. I never learned to play drums, but naturally seemed to gravitate to percussion and cymbals. And when I was still a little child, I was fascinated by drummers that played in bands. I would go up and bug them during band practice whenever my mom would cart me along because she couldn’t always find a babysitter at the last minute.

I never sat down and asked my dad who his influences were and why he decided to pick up the sticks and learn how to play the drums other than his favorite band was Black Sabbath. I can’t put words in my dad’s mouth and say Bill Ward was his musical influence. I will have to ask him because it garners my curiosity.

I’m sitting at my desk in the fifth grade skimming through the Weekly Reader, page open to a check list of books for the upcoming book fair. It brought back negative memories of when I had to complete those stupid book reports for the Book It! Program during the 80’s. I hated Book It! because I couldn’t read fast enough to finish a certain number of books in a single month, then go into a mind boggling, soap opera strung-out dramatic, slapdash outline of what the book was about and how special the protagonist(s) were to me and what lessons I took away from what I read. I was a very slow reader and one of those kids you didn’t want to call on in class to read a paragraph aloud. I loathed reading unless it was on my terms and given free reign to read what I wanted. I seem to recall the Book It program had very strict criteria what type of books students were allowed to read and it was very boring! :/

Also, the page count gradually increased with each new book selected. I didn’t like the very narrow reading selection we had to chose from. It didn’t leave any room to broaden my literary horizons at all.

Nope… can’t make me do it! was my new defiant attitude at ten years old. I viewed the Book It! program as this mandatory course that no student could get out of no matter how hard they tried. As a reward Pizza Hut would give a student a free personal pan pizza (very itty bitty pizza) only if they could produce their Book It! button and a free coupon signed by the teacher. I thought this was so wrong because not many students could get a personal pan pizza.

I scored only one personal pan pizza by happenstance because my teacher made a mistake. I had already taken the coupon down and got my free pizza the same evening and naturally couldn’t give it back.

Metal Edge November 1989 mag

RIP magazine November 1989 Price: $2.75 (in 1989)

My penchant for those rock magazines was my quiet way of rebelling, I suppose. I’d never come right out and say what was on my mind. I would draw out my frustration and began keeping a diary (still have it to this day) and that was my creative outlet to vent all my emotions, worries, fears, hopes, etc. I took a semi-serious interest in writing and fact-checking at twelve. I wasn’t keen on citing my sources when I first started out and was told that plagiarism is a major no-no when I hit the fifth grade. Plagiarism is also a serious offense that’s not taken lightly, and what plagiarism is is where a person copies a paragraph, article, or a whole book word for word and claim it as their own and don’t (or in some cases) won’t give credit where its due.

I would sit there at my desk, happily jotting down quotes by various musicians and doing my best to cite my sources. I loved writing when I was twelve even though I never had any writing credits to my name yet. I was a nobody and made an easy target to pick on. I probably fell somewhere in-between the geek and nerd category by the time I hit Jr. high.

1990-91: Censorship abound, ‘The Metal Wire’ never comes to fruition.

The concept was great because I thought up the name and had a design in mind. There was something edgy and new when it came to conceiving my first ‘music’ newsletter back in 1989. I loved the idea of being my own executive editor, journalist, layout designer even though I had no access to any kind of design program since computers weren’t available. At twelve could I have sat for long hours trying to make Adobe Photoshop to work? Likely not. I didn’t warm up to technology in the least and wouldn’t for a good decade or so.

I decided to find something else and took up a hobby at twelve. I discovered 8 track tapes and the 8 track machine when I was in the fifth grade like they were these long lost ancient artifacts often overlooked in thrift stores. I would fix the cartridge tapes using whatever I had at my disposal and cleaned the 8 track players with cassette tape cleaning solution. And in a pinch I would use record (LP) cleaner for 33 1/3’s and long q-tips designed for cleaning electronics, and when those became scarce, I would tape a regular q-tip to the tip of a pencil and clean the tape heads and capstan that way. I loved to hang out in my attic bedroom working for hours on a solution how to piece together an 8 track tape that got eaten by my Lloyd’s 8 track player that was discarded in the trash at my grandparents house. I took the little 8 track unit home and cleaned it up, let it air dry for a few days and tested it out with those damaging pillow cushion over-the-head earphones. My mom promptly made me throw those headphones in the trash because she was very worried I’d damage my hearing and they could produce a much louder sound than ear buds do today. The old pillow headphones were heavy I might add and caused me many a headache from long periods of wearing.

I received my first hand-me down Walkman that ran on four AA batteries in 1989. The newest features this used Walkman had were fast forward, rewind, pause and stop. At the very least, the inexpensive less impressive cassette tape Walkmans only had play and stop. Depending how much money a person was willing to spend, the more expensive models had rewind, record, and fast-forward and maybe bass boost and both FM/ AM included.

Growing up me and my siblings had the basic Walkmans that lacked a radio. To conserve battery power I believed that using the fast-forward and rewind buttons would drain the batteries completely and so would turning up the volume. Walkmans were a new novelty to me when I was a kid, but how I love them still to this day and miss being able to hear one. I did find two at my local thrift store recently but didn’t buy them and now I’m kicking myself for not doing it. They were off-brand cassette Walkmans, but still that’s old school technology that’s collectable nowadays.

And the rock magazines filled the gap between catching concerts (if a person was made of money and had the chance to get tickets). Backstage passes I heard cost somewhere in the thousand-dollar range and that was unfathomable to me at twelve years old. I dreamed of attending a rock concert as a kid, but there was some intimidation holding me back. I worried about getting hurt at the concert and this is what turned me off from wanting to go to one. I heard horror stories and didn’t know that a nose bleed section was down front. Stage diving existed, but the barricades looked like the Grand Canyon in the live concert pictures in the magazines. But my height (or lack of it) went against me. Unless I could sit on a person’s shoulders I wouldn’t have been able to see the show.

The concert-going excitement was infectious, no doubt. There’s nothing like it in the world that can compare to it. When I listened to Kiss Alive II on 8 track and played the Alive! LP into the ground pretty much, I could be transported to that specific time. I could close my eyes and imagine being there in person to see the action, hear the amped up drums, screaming loud guitar solos, and vocal harmonies and the ‘sing-along’ audience participation that is typical of any band pretty much. And for that brief moment, I could see myself there among the throng of fans that were a wild emphasis of the 70s.

I returned to my rock magazines and thumbed through the articles. I may not have understood a lot of what I read at twelve since a lot of it went over my head, but I loved to read about the popular songs and bands climbing the charts. Metallica. Uhn, that’s a new band. Actually, they began their career in night clubs and bars. Fans used to call them ‘Alcohol-ica’ because the band members liked to drink. Okay, whatever. I didn’t get what ‘drinking’ was all about at twelve and didn’t care. To each their own, I thought. I had formed a crush on Lars Ulrich, the drummer for Metallica. He had long hair, almost a ‘Lost Boys’ look about him even though he wasn’t a vampire. The Lost Boys had long-haired young male teenage vampires that were typical ‘bad boys’ of the silver screen. At twelve my parents still forbid me to rent that movie. I do remember vividly when it hit theaters in 1987. I wanted so much to go see it and glad I had waited until I was an adult. It wasn’t the R-rating this particular film received. It was due to one particular scene where the vampires attack a group of people partying on the beach that’s gory and very graphic. Now I see why my parents forbid me to see the film. Still, for its time the teenage vampires were handsome and the special effects makeup was impressive. I read on a message board that the film also used some CGI (computer graphic imaging) for some of the scenes and other die-hard Lost Boys fans dispute this and think it was contact lenses, fang caps, and a well-rounded cast of new young actors that really gave this horror movie its shock factor.

Either way The Lost Boys is an excellent 80’s cult horror movie that’s worth owning. I was happy to purchase an original vhs copy of this movie for 10 cents at my local thrift store a month back. I have the dvd to this movie along with the film’s series. Like always though I wanted an original vhs copy too. But yeah, the ‘Lost Boys’ look as I summed it up back in these days, all the rock musicians seemed to have a similar look about them. Long hair, tight jeans, ageless beauty, fame, fortune and so on. Oh, yeah and scores of girls, but that comes with the territory when you’re a rock star.

Had I been the intrepid reporter I strived to be with my newsletter I would have included critiques of albums, chart toppers, pictures, news, more credit where credit’s due, first-hand experiences by those who lived it, especially my [then] P.E. teacher related a story to me at recess one day of his concert-going experience seeing Kiss and that it was, “Loud like crazy.” He took his daughter to one of their shows and that was sometime when the band was already famous, so I guessed it was around 76’-77’ which happened to be the bicentennial year for our country (1776-1976).

I didn’t add that last part to my diary. I just quoted my gym teacher’s concert-going experience. And he added that on the way home from the venue he saw a lot of white-painted faces and he was shaking his head as though he didn’t understand it. That’s where I filled him in that the early generation of Kiss fans always painted their faces up like their favorite member of the band. By the time Kiss was touring in the 80s they had long since removed their signature makeup. He was quite impressed by my knowledge and the conversation ended when I had to return to class. And then another teacher waved me over and told me about the time she and a friend of hers shared an elevator with Kiss and her friend began to hyperventilate. It was only when the band stepped off and the doors closed, her friend said, “That was Kiss!” and that was before the band removed their makeup. I need to interject here that a photo of Kiss without their makeup was leaked in Creem magazine in the 1970s. I know this sounds like general knowledge to most nowadays, but back in 1989 this ‘famous non-makeup picture’ was still floating around as just a rumor. It was oral history like this that I penned in my diary so many years ago and reflect back on it like a kid that I was with insatiable curiosity.

 

Bulldogs, Not-Man and Doris Lady Justice- Mascots galore!

 

The bulldog depiction was my grade school’s mascot. In 1989 I received a gym shirt with the school’s name and the depiction of a fierce-looking bulldog. Instead of groaning, “Do I have to wear this?” I thought the t-shirt was so awesome, yet sadly, it never survived. I also had a school folder with the same depiction. The folders were glossy white with the name and bulldog in green outline. When the folder was opened there was a printed ruler and times table along with some typical useless public school highlights that wouldn’t benefit me once I got out into the adult world.

 

Not Man was Anthrax’s mascot, and I believe one of the members of Anthrax would don a head covering that resembled Not Man and go out in the audience to excite the crowd. Not Man is a cartoon depiction on their albums and t-shirts.

 

Doris Lady Justice is Metallica’s mascot. In 1991 one of the rock magazines printed a flyer for the band’s Justice For All album and Doris Lady Justice is photo-shopped out with the phrase, “…find out in twenty years.” For long-time Metallica fans out there I will need some clarification if my memory serves me correctly about this. But I remember seeing something to this effect either in RIP or Metal Edge.

And that about does it for this blog post. As always thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting, tweeting, etc. I truly appreciate it. 🙂