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.

Antique China head dolls

Published May 10, 2020 by AntiqueMystique1

Well, I quit counting and I better quit. I’ve downsized my Victorian era dishes entirely. I’ve since found antique China head dolls to be a joy to collect. But they’re the TLC antique variety. I really don’t favor near mint condition antique dolls since I love the unique characteristics all of my China head dolls have. The difficult thing is trying to identify the makers. All of them are German made. I get my Bawo & Dotters mixed in with my Hertwigs. I have a few ABG China head dolls and some Kestners. I enjoy the pet name Hertwig dolls, the best.

My second favorite are the turned head styles. Low brow, high brow, flat tops… my cat LOVES to nap on these dolls. I haven’t made sense why cats love to curl up on dolls and knead their claws into the cloth limbs, and sometimes my cat will happily flop herself down onto a large Bertha doll with porcelain legs. I keep my dolls displayed behind glass so my cat won’t figure she can ruin those beautiful dolls. I don’t find antique china head dolls to be creepy. I always thought the French bed dolls of the 1920s/ 30’s to be eerie. And the composition crier dolls are high maintenance due to their composition not withstanding sudden temperature changes.

I originally thought my collection was completed with “Peg leg”, the one-legged antique tiny China head doll in my display, but the inevitable happened, rather tragically and suddenly, and dear little Peg leg went into perpetual mourning. She never got to meet her name-giver, my late Fiance, who gave her the nickname, peg leg. My late Fiance had another favorite he had seen pictures of. She was another TLC beauty, hair- stuffed and stamped such on her pink cloth torso in faded purple ink. She’s bigger than Peg leg, her companion. I sized down a locket for this doll. I worked until the wee hours just a week after finding out about my late Fiance’s death. I was a hopeless wreck and losing your soulmate will cause a person to go through a rollercoaster of mixed emotions, unbearable exhaustion and the ever present sadness that accompanies losing one so dear and special. The China head dolls filled my spare time with projects. But they’ve been a great source of comfort, and happiness.

I’d say if anyone wants to begin their collection always try Ruby Lane, although some of their dolls might be expensive. Ebay is another great place. If we weren’t in self quarantine right now, then I’d say shop local at the thrift store, antique shops. etc. I also had a few little French pocket dolls, mignonette dolls, but they are expensive and quite fragile due to their size, and wood pulp bodies that were crude in design. But those I keep on a bookshelf in a separate room away from my cat, who would have a field day throwing them around like an astronomically expensive antique cat toy. As always thank you for following, commenting and liking. I always appreciate it. 🙂😉😊

Dangerous Antiques: my experience.

Published March 18, 2020 by AntiqueMystique1

I’ve been busy. In fact, I’ve been getting massive overtime. Since the death of my late fiancé in Aug. 2019, I had to find something to fill my time so I don’t grieve all the time. My escape had always been a visit to my antique store.

I had recently watched a documentary on Hidden killers in the Victorian home on YouTube. I also watched Hidden killers in the Edwardian home. I got an education in a particularly scary dark green used in wallpaper, textiles, etc. called “Paris green” and “schnells green”. If I can’t find the correct spelling, then I’m sorry. I’m typing my blog post on a tiny keypad.

So I found an old antique steamer trunk. It was $33 and extremely low for what they commonly sell for. But, what I wasn’t fully aware of is that the inside reeked of a sharp, unidentifiable, almost nauseating scent.

Oh, and by the way, the glued pretty papered interior may contain arsenic powders mixed into the old glue and pictures from eons ago. Yikes!

But, I had to quit restoring this trunk early on and removed it out of my house. Arsenic in wallpapers back then, (as it would be no different nowadays), can be lethal if constantly exposed. In fact, arsenic is poison. So it made me wonder.

I re-watched the Hidden killers documentaries on YouTube. I then made a quick observation run to my antique store, and concluded my findings that the 1880 camel back trunk I recently bought, quite possibly, might contain aresenic paper.

To strip it away entirely, or write it off as a loss? I wasn’t entirely ready to give up hope. It’s quite beautiful, but the trunk’s nauseating chemical scent, could be it’s undoing.

Therefore, always do your research. I didn’t get seriously ill from it, I just felt mildly dizzy and slightly nauseous when I tried to begin restoring it. I was trying to re-glue the images back, and the tacky glue, mixed with the vivid dyes in the paper really didn’t get along chemically- speaking.

Long before this, I had bought another trunk with similar inset pictures pasted on the inside and didn’t detect any horrible scent, nor weird chemical-like smell reeking from it. My best advice is to please do thorough research before buying any antique trunk.

Aresenic wallpaper began production in 1840, I think if I did my research correctly, and ceased production around 1900, maybe earlier/later. But another color to be leery about is Lead white. Yep, it contains lead. It produced a very bright, almost intense white. Painters in the Victorian era, even going back further than that, used lead white in their paintings. Also, those lovely French Victorian era glove boxes might fall into this same category.

Skateboarding part 4: protective gear- 1980s- present day. A Day at the Skate Park- my critiques.

Published August 15, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

I did it at the skate park. I was told to leave by some teenage d-bags that, “This is a boys only park, so get outta here.” This teenage boy’s brass balls snide remark irked me, for one. Secondly, it further goes without saying that skateboarding is still a “male” dominated past time and this will never change.

And third, it solidifies my previous feelings about this upcoming rude punk a$$ generation: they are raised by the internet, not their lousy parents. They have no respect, no morals, either.

Well, that’s just tough. I stayed and made my videos much to the irritation of those morons aiming a hand-held megaphone that was equipped with police siren effects and other annoying 💩 .

I cursed under my breath as I did a few laps on an empty basketball court. The NOS Rector pads felt okay, flexibility in them was amazing for being decades old. I didn’t put too much faith in my new mass-produced Chinese elbow pads since they do shift on my elbows.

I watched those never-will-be posers take their spills while attempting to grind rails, do verts on the metal half pipe portion. Ah, yes, the days of old– their skateboards went flying over the edge of the half pipes, but they never attempted to make a half-a-rat’s assets to practice, practice, practice their tricks. They just did it once, gave up and sauntered back to their picnic table.

Most of the time they were glued to their phones, seldom looking (nor doing) anything else. Their skateboards scattered on the ground like spilled Legos. Never in arm’s reach, never sat upright, either.

No audible conversation at all amongst them. I found it odd that they were so pre-consumed by their cell phones and didn’t bother to provoke me anymore. One of the boys very lazily strode to the highest half pipe; put the megaphone on police siren aimed in my general direction and returned to his lazy pack. And this is supposed to irritate me that I give up and leave? Ha! Such ineptness.

There was just too much immaturity running amuck that it made me wonder why I got out of bed on my day off? Oh, yeah, right. I wanted to test out my NOS gear, plus skateboard around (cruise) on my new deck to break it in more and see how it preforms on different concrete. Maybe pull a few front nose fakies. I never said I was ever going to attempt these with a devil-may-care attitude. I take my time, I take it slow since I know my limitations and don’t go beyond those unless I feel confident doing so.

My outing on this beautiful, albeit humid, sticky, gross heat of midday wasn’t all for naught. I brought my other “go-to” board “weeble wobble”. Yes, I will adjust those king pins to remedy this issue all skaters encounter. I’m still in my ‘shake down’ period right at the moment and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

The best gear I know and love will always be Rector. It fits very true to size and won’t shift. The size smalls run very small, mind you. This is fine by me, but may not work for the next person. My helmet probably pre-dates 1985, and it’s light weight.  My gloves are all new old stock. I ditched my long board gloves since the size small/medium were WAY too big on my hands. I never wanted anything new again.

I made myself have fun on this hot day.  I slid down the metal half pipe; remembering my old practice runs from back in the day. The metal was screaming hot and on bare skin… Ouchy! Woo-hoo!!! Alrighty then…

Keep in mind that the city planners were idiots when this skate park was built. The metal half pipes can be ridden, however, its sheet metal meeting a not-so-level slab of concrete.  The metal has a lot of  questionable “give” and does produce a creepy, unsettling loud ‘ping’ sound as the wheels make contact with its surface. So skateboarders beware. I say take caution when attempting to ride this to all skateboarders, not just newbies. I caution the seasoned, the intermediates, etc. There are no plywood half pipes. When I first took up skateboard 30 some odd years ago, I learned on plywood, even helped my oldest brother in the final construction phase of his first half pipe. It was a real learning experience, very grueling hard work, and once completed– very scary, yet exciting and exhilarating to be the first to test it out.

Nowadays, I take my skateboarding slow. I’m not about to risk a bone fracture by skateboarding at break neck speed. My attempt at front nose Fakies are taken with  cautious approaches. I’m there to get the feel of both board, wheels, and terrain underneath my feet. What do I need to correct on the hardware, if any adjustments need to be made? That kind of assessment. And its all about having fun within one’s own ability.

I stood atop a massive slab of steep concrete that jutted out of the pavement like a pyramid with the point left unfinished. I’m not here to be grammatically correct with any skateboard terminology, by the way. I’m trying to describe the skate park layout. There are tiny rails anchored into the pavement. I view it as another accident that could mangle beginner or even intermediate since they were placed too damn close to the proximity of each half pipe. I’m observing as a spectator and an old-school skater.

I watched the lazy punks take many spills. There popsicle decks went skiddering, the wanna-be skaters tripped head over heels every time. They skated poorly like something out of Skater 3, a video game. I wouldn’t have even put them in a poser category nor even beginner. Perhaps a weekend warrior at best.  There was no true form nor unique style all their own that I could see. They sported tattoos and smoked cigarettes. They rode the half pipes with no zeal. There wasn’t even any ounce of passion. It was like bland nothing-ness. Almost giving off a ticked off message to the world that they didn’t want to skateboard, but did so anyway just out of boredom, perhaps.

It was like watching a dull skateboard follies without a laugh track nor any blooper sound effects. They just went up the half pipes without any real sense of feeling. There was none of this: “I’m awesome!” or “Look at me!” And there was zero sense of “practice makes perfect” attitudes nor even any positive energy, either. To me, that was very odd. In my day teenagers couldn’t wait to out-best their friends or try to impress them, either. Teenagers of my generation took a tumble, jumped up, and kept trying it over and over again until they felt they got their tricks partially correct to their liking. But I see none of this in today’s youth, nothing but this massive laziness boredom. And god-forbid if their Ipads or cellphones just quit working due to some cosmic solar interference, they’d have a snowflake meltdown and need to find their “safe” place.

Teenagers in my day would have thrown their non-working cell phone or Ipad in the street and went on their way regardless of what caused it to quit working. They might have retrieved said device later if their parents made them, other than that, an 80’s teenager was vastly different to this generation. And I’m sure the generations of teenagers before my time might have taken similar approaches to modern technology, perhaps.

I didn’t detect angst, per se from the lazy teenage boys at the skate park. I mainly sensed it was for them just killing time between texting their friends, like something to do to pass the time before they had to head home before another school day rolled around.

I wish I could have “shredded it” as one older male with long hair cheered me on as I strode over to the skate park looking like a throwback of a typical early 80’s skateboarder. I gave the long-haired older dude a warm smile in return, nodding in approval, and gave him a ‘thumbs up’. My old Rector gloves linger with the new leather scent, “fresh out of the bag” newness/ Saddle soap treatment. All is awesome applesauce on this day and I don’t let the snide remarks deter my determination to stay at the skate park. 🙂

My old stock Rector pads lovingly shed their black lining like an affectionate cat. I remedied the sticky rub-off with non-GMO cornstarch and aluminum-free baking powder before I left the house. I figured it would also combat chaffing and sweat build-up.

I ignored the teenage village idiots seated at the picnic table. I practiced my falls, sliding on my knees, just having fun again that I hadn’t got the chance to have in many, many years.

I didn’t try any dismounts since I was putting the old pads through their first ever durability test runs. I felt no unpleasant jarring aftershocks striking concrete and metal. In fact, my knees were cushioned the whole time and comfortable.

Concrete though isn’t a good sliding surface, by the way with pads. The metal will scorch skin and that’s the only thing that burned. Otherwise, Rector pads get two thumbs up 👍. And that’s my initial critique on the new old stock gear. I never tried out the Clawz gloves yet since these were probably first generation designed for the second generation of skateboarding in 1989-90. They were for street skating, but do not have any full wrist support at all. The only minimal support (if one can call it protection) is a Velcro wrist wrap design. I used one Clawz glove back in the day without a thought that there was really no wrist protection at all. These were made of suede leather, minimal pads sewn on the palms, top leather with Clawz logo sewn into the glove. The Clawz logo is prone to cracking as with anything vintage and being thirty years old is to be expected.

Also, eBay is an excellent source to find a lot of vintage skateboard stuff at reasonable prices. Depending on the seller(s), they may even offer best offers and free shipping within the United States. Hope this helps. I’d also include Amazon as another online buying source for skateboard related stuff, but I find that eBay is vast and has more to chose from.

Just a word of advice buying on eBay: always try to review seller’s feedback rating. If they have a ton of negatives, I’d recommend shopping with another seller since you may (or might not) get the item(s) you purchased on there. And its a let down, believe me when the item you work hard for never shows up in the mail. It happened to me recently with a couple of rock n’ roll trading cards, although the seller was very quick to issue a refund, I was searching for the cards for last couple of years. So, it just a matter of buyer beware on eBay. It’s still a good place to find anything you a person could ever possibly want/need/ add to an existing collection, etc. The selling aspect would be saved for another blog entirely.

Thanks for liking, blogging, following and sharing. And please, stay tuned for more future posts from me when I can find the time to do so. Have a great day everybody and happy skateboarding! 🙂

By the way, have any skateboard related questions? Please, feel free to send me a comment on here and I will be happy to respond to the best of my knowledge.  Mind you that I don’t know a whole lot about how to do skateboard tricks and I’m still learning myself even after all these years. I have very minimal skateboard mechanics under my belt (self-taught), but I do try. I am a very old-school fashioned skateboarder though.  🙂

 

Skateboarding Part 3: phase II- resurgence 2017- etc. Old school, new old stock= “like, totally radical!”

Published August 13, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

Bullet Speed Wheels

Bullet speed wheels made by Santa Cruz. These were ideal for both street and half pipe back in my day. They are 66mm 92A

 

Vision Skateboard deck: Fat Lady

Vision mini-deck: Fat Lady 1989 Mark Gonzales. I believe the blue rails are possibly Santa Cruz. Since I don’t own said skateboard in the picture I can’t say for certain. However, this was the very first “true” mini-skateboard my brother bought me for my 12th birthday. Totally awesome! 🙂 And yes, I’m still searching for this particular skateboard deck to this very day! I never give up hope. 🙂

What was once viewed as extremely unpopular thirty years ago has now become accepted, and darn near a “must-have” in the new skateboarding scene. I speak about protective gear.

The most precious and delicate: your head. The elbows and knees. I admit it: when I returned to skateboarding I didn’t always have the extra money set aside to purchase new skateboarding gear. I returned to skateboarding like I had first taken to it; no pads, no helmet. I skateboarded at my own risk, and maybe not within my abilities being a mere thought in my [then] young brain. I also dismissed a helmet as a potential lifesaver since I was thoroughly convinced I seldom, if ever, went head-first flying off my skateboard back in my day.

I never had an attitude of, “I’m invincible!”  I likely thought since I was getting bullied daily in my public school transfers, then surely showing up at the a$$ crack of dawn in a skateboard helmet would have pegged me for a “retard” and dropped my unpopular status to a new all-time low. The only bare minimal protection I doned was my brother’s hand-me-down Clawz  skateboard glove for my right hand. I never grew into that glove. My fingers barely poked through the finger holes. But I used it everyday and seldom removed it even when school had begun for the day. I really didn’t care about dress codes in school and loathed not being able to just break from conformity; from that cookie cutter mold kids are expected to abide by in school. They may preach diversity and being “you” but in reality, I found it was a contradictory in terms.

Dress codes aside, I never even strapped on a pair of pads. They were bulky on the half pipe and would have slowed my speed to a snail 🐌 pace once on the street and I would have viewed the protection as “dumb” and a waste of money since I wouldn’t have used it.

As a teenager, skateboarding to me was about going beyond my own limits. Speed-wise, my Independent trucks slowed me down more than anything. I still pushed off like a poser since I had no prior street skating experience and very little half pipe as well. I had maybe two or three months of half pipe by the time I quit hanging out with my brother in 1990. He sent me on my way with zero street skating experience. I was bummed out 😔 (depressed).

What began with enthusiasm turned into a lonely progression in my teenage years since I was also without my skateboard mechanic: my brother. At 13 I knew nothing of cleaning/ greasing bearings so the shields won’t wear out entirely. Speed rings… Come again? Those little tiny frustrating “rings” that just dropped out of my wheels need to be cleaned and oiled again?!

I did my best and enlisted the help from my stepdad who mixed graphite flakes and Vaseline together and helped me clean the shields, bearings, and it took us two or three hours to re-assemble. It didn’t lessen the annoying squeak my wheels produced.

New Old stock vs. New protective gear: worth it or leave it in the past?

 

rectorpadsblue clawz gloves

In the fall of 2017 I was a housekeeper. And every day I always pushed my cleaning cart by a skateboard kiosk, when one day, something familiar caught my eye. No, not a spill. Not a discarded candy wrapper, not even a black spot.

Jim_Phillips_screaming hand

“Screaming hand,” I murmured to myself. I snagged my spray bottle and cleaning rag and sauntered to the nearest trash can lid and began to spot clean the mirror surface. The skateboard was popsicle shape, not old school re-issued. A slight frown crossed my face. It was definitely Santa Cruz. I was very familiar they were also a surf board manufacturer as well. I always associated this company with the best skateboards money can buy. I also remembered my first Vision deck from years prior. Fat lady’s image never left my memory. I often wondered had my board survived all those years, or had the neighbor kid I traded it to, destroyed it?

Little good thinking of the regret I did would do me. Screaming hand was still there. Every day he’d get overlooked, except by me.

I turned down the radio chatter on my walkie-talkie, and taking a huge leap of ‘on-the-clock’ no-no’s, I had to inquire about the price.

Screaming hand was so iconic for me. It was like getting up close to a new vehicle and having the dealer welcome you to try it out and see if it suits you. A similar scenario unfolded for me. I wanted to go back: to re-visit a happier chapter in my life.

Without a doubt I knew the Fall of 2017 was the right time to take up an old love of mine. I never doubted I couldn’t still do it. I just had been skateboard-less for many years since me and “Big Bertha” parted company in 1993.

$185 for Screaming hand. He was pre-built. As time and money allowed, I bought a set of Spitfire wheels. Screaming hand was “my board”. I sat down on it, the kids gathered around and asked me questions about skateboarding. I was in uniform, and happily answered their curious questions. Young kids nowadays can’t comprehend what it was like back then. I did my best to explain skateboarding in simplified terms. I wasn’t budging from Screaming hand. A few of the kids all-of-the-sudden hounded their strapped-for-cash parents to buy them that particular board, the one out of several that appealed to me.

Before any of the parents could cave to the pressure their kids exerted on them, I contently shot the owner my reply; “sold” and I bought a layaway hold on Screaming hand and paid it in full in three installments. I slaved at my new housekeeping job. I also worked a second job to compensate. I was going to be Independent, just like a set of old 1980’s trucks the owner had scrounged up and I later wound up putting on one of my self-assembled decks of which I later sold.

Then came the pads: a new set. They get me by, but they shift on me. Any smaller and my circulation would be compromised. Given time though I would find what I wanted and needed all along: New Old Stock.

What was the best skateboarding gear in the 1970’s throughout the early 1990’s?

Rector. And say goodbye to swellbows.

And there was Pro-Tec. And more lesser-known skateboarding protective gear too. I recall vividly for me and my brother it was Rector. My brother had the blue set. I found both colors on the ‘bay recently along with an NOS Rector helmet.

It works…. kind of. The helmet fits great. The Rector pads are victim of time, sadly, and natural deterioration due to the age of the lining. To remedy the ‘rub off’ I cut up an old pair of shocks and pull those on over my knees before doning the old gear. The small pads, ha!! I laughed. They fit me like a dream! The new scent clings to them and the plastic cups seem to be in as good of shape as any for its age. Mind you, this is likely 30 ++ years of being in storage from some closed up skateboard shop somewhere. And there are no warranties, no returns of any kind. No nothing.

There are skateboarders who use old stock daily, if not, then whenever they can. I can’t vouch for any durability of this old gear, so if in doubt, buy new gear. I fall in that “one small size doesn’t fit all” category. But the initial test runs are still to come. I don’t skateboard for speed. I’m not about to bail on my board on a slab of concrete in a pair of old stock Rector pads just to see if they’ll hold up. And I’m not about to ruin a good pair of $1 matching tube socks. 😂 lol! But I’ll return with my verdict if Rector is a ‘go’ or a ‘leave ’em in the past’ blog post. Thanks for reading, liking, blogging, posting, etc. I always appreciate it and any comments always welcome!

Skateboarding-part 2: late 1980’s reputations, feelings, experiences.

Published August 12, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

From 1989 through most of 1991 I was never made aware that the whole skateboarding scene was being twisted and morphed into something largely misunderstood. Skateboarding in my teens was no longer wholesome. Long gone were the original “Bones Brigade”.

bones-brigade-bros-2010.jpg_600x455

Original Bones Brigade 2010. These guys went pro in the early 1980s and mid-1980s. They rode for Powell Peralta, another skateboard manufacturer. 

From the time I was 12 onwards, I never heard of Natas (the actual skateboarder), I never read nor seen Steve Caballero . I had heard of Mark Gonzalez, but never seen any VHS tapes of him nor any other [then] professional skateboarders. In my teens I never read many back issues of Thrasher skateboard magazine.

Transworld, another skateboard magazine, was non-exstintant to me. We had a spin-off of Thrasher called, “Skateboarding” from 1991 to my recollection and it was quite bland. It was geared more towards a “pre-processed”, all junk, no newsworthy nobodies off the streets that tried their first generic Veriflex and/ or K-Mart blue light special “Nash” skateboard for the first time. The skateboard clothing was in my eyes very “no frills”. I’d say “preppy”-looking, almost borderline on Grunge even though the Grunge scene was still years off into the future.

The clean cut image that I know from the late 80’s skateboarding generation was still there. The clothing that my older brother did hand down to me was Vision Streetwear. I always wanted that t-shirt depicting a 1950’s lady in tears, a comic strip design with her thinking 💭 “Oh, God, why can’t my boyfriend skate?!” And the boyfriend, (a Clark Kent-looking dude), is depicted on the shirt as stepping into the room. This t-shirt debuted around 1989 in Thrasher magazine. Finding the same t-shirt nowadays from this era will set a person back a little bit. There are reproductions of said image, but it doesn’t appeal to me: the new re-issues, that is.

I still find the original design hilarious 😂 and it happily takes me back to my younger days when I laughed seeing it for the first time via mail order in Thrasher magazine. The t-shirt came in white. The comic strip depiction, black and white.

Another iconic hand-me-down from my dear brother was two large/ x-large t-shirts; Rat Bones (Powell Peralta) rat with crossbones in a washed out, faded red color, and another skateboard t-shirt that stated; “What part of…(reverse of t-shirt stated); “NO don’t you understand?” The shirt was sending a wrong message, but I cherished every article of skateboard clothing that my brother wore out and gave to me. I remember safety pinning a pair of flimsy material Vision Streetwear shorts that were very baggy on me. They were beige in color, and had a crackle pattern design. The fabric was very thin, so I often had to wear a long t-shirt untucked to cover my assets. 😂 I couldn’t believe the low quality that Vision Streetwear produced in the late 80’s/ early 90’s. Maybe it was a supply and demand thing. Vision Streetwear was extremely expensive back then. But even high-priced clothing doesn’t always mean “better” nor even long lasting, either.

Skateboarding and anarchy; what I didn’t know…

Well, in retrospect I can see how skateboarders got ridiculed a lot by society as a whole. In fact, skateboarding in the late 80’s/early 1990’s was breaking away from a once wholesome image of “do your own thing” and protective gear was being less depicted in the magazines if it was street skating/ public building, parking lot areas and downtown skateboarding.

I found myself being ostracized all the time in the Podunks I lived in. There was no skate parks yet. I skateboarded wherever I felt like and wasn’t aware back then that skateboarding on a downtown sidewalk is illegal. Oh, well, live and learn. I was never busted and I doubt the cops would have cared much in the Podunks so long as you showed respect, shared the sidewalk, obeyed traffic laws, and weren’t going all Willy nilly wrecklessly on a sidewalk. Street skating took guts. In 1990-91 there was less traffic. Driving distractions with modern technology wasn’t around yet. Motorists would honk, shake their fists, maybe even shout a profanity if you deliberately ignored them, but for the most part, I’d skate on the margin, near the shoulder of the street with traffic, seldom against it unless going home and I couldn’t find a route to get me there. Skateboarding for me was about transportation as a teen and less about seeing how many stupid ways could I think of to potentially hurt myself.

When I street-skated, I wasn’t relaxed. I rode my board fast and stiff-legged. I struck those dumb pebbles, rocks, twigs with a jarring skid. I went air born a few times, never skinned myself badly, ironically.  I would just “pretend” to make my skateboard come to a screeching halt, and I would two-step (or three) off it with my feet. Sometimes, I’d for no apparent reason, just dismount instantly (jump off) if anything grabbed my attention.

I never learned to grind the tail to a stop simply because I wanted to preserve the life of my first Vision skateboard. And tail (tail bones) guards were unpopular and would slow down your speed. Tail bones were by 1990-91 standards highly unattractive. You were a poser and made fun of if your 80’s deck sported a jaw bone (nose guard) and a tail bone. Those accessories were like a soccer mom van in the mid-1990’s, no teenager wanted to be caught dead with that additional “protective” physical baggage being an eyesore.

My Vision Gonzales had both jaw bone and tail bone which made me cry 😭 when I picked up my brand new deck from the skating rink. My brother worked his magic once we managed to buy the deck. The major hold up was the skateboard kiosk couldn’t sell the deck to us with that hardware pre-removed since it would be a potential liability/ lawsuit waiting to happen had I ever gotten severely injured. Hearing that the protective “baggage” had to remain on or else no sale just made me weep at 12. Hey, I was a kid. I didn’t like having something so close to me,especially a new expensive gift being taken from me right before my very eyes.  And secondly, I thought my skateboard was my decision and I’d get exactly what was shown in the advertisement I seen in Thrasher. But all these rules… bah! I was irritated by “stupid rules” at 12. I was entering my “I want it this way,” not “you can’t have it because I say so even though I’m not your parent,” phase.

My brother worked tirelessly to make “fat lady” right with me and to my specifications we had already planned on. He involved me in on our massive undertaking: skateboard overhaul.

Once home, deck in shrink, I recall I had tore through the shrink wrap with my small hands. I was giddy! I was the first to get my small fingerprints all over that beautiful deep red stain. Fat lady’s neon yellow face and neon blue hair weren’t spared my touch. I christened her; “Big Bertha” after a babysitter my brother and I adored when we were just toddlers. I doubt Erma is even around anymore, but she made a positive impact in our young lives whenever mom had to head off to her second job to keep us above poverty. I never knew as a child the greatest sacrifice my mother had made for us; Providing us with a better life. I appreciate all that mom did for us and continues to do for us.

Now, Mom and I were going rounds with my first skateboard, the top image was questionable for the times, mind you. The late 1980’s were still about censorship galore. And religion played a huge role dictating what we can/ can’t hear in way of music. The “Tipper sticker” was an ever-common eyesore to my generation. Lyrics were questioned a lot. Bands were subject to controversy, our music as we knew it, was being blamed for the cause of our upcoming generation’s problems. When instead, the Washington wives failed to take into account the bigger picture and look at the shape of the current state of the nation, rather.

Skateboarding was seen as rebellious. It was falsely categorized as having ties to druggies, satanism, anarchy, drop outs, and societal degenerates, basically nowadays it falls under the “rock n’ roll listening weirdo, hell bent on never losing touch with that ‘young kid at heart'” category.

And skateboarding in the 21st century might be reverting back to its once wholesome “do what comes natural” roots, or something seen as a way of life for some. My era was an age of innocence that somewhere along the way collided with a bad erroneous reputation that damn near ruined skateboarding for many years to follow.

I dropped off the skateboard map in 1993 when I was 16. I didn’t like the ushering in of the Grunge scene. At 16, I rode a bicycle 🚴 and swore to myself I’d never pick up another skateboard. To be continued…

Oh, and Thanks to all my followers out there. Thank you for sharing and comments always welcome. 🤓  🙃🤙

Skateboarding-part 1 1989-1990 experiences. The love ❤️ begins.

Published August 9, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

Well it’s been forever since I was able to publish on here like I used to. A lot has happened, and I do apologize if I haven’t kept up on comments, blogging about antiques, etc.

Since I last left off, I moved out of my little money pit. I’ve got a secure job, but it has its share of new stress. I’m not complaining. I love working. I enjoy staying late when asked. It helps my nest egg I just started on.

Oh, and my old passion has resurfaced with vigor; skateboarding.

Before I break out my tube socks, let me state: I’m from the old school. I graduated top in my class from “Hard knocks”. 🤓

No, I’m not a cement-eater, although I’ve had my fair share like the skateboarders before me, of taking their falls. One of the first things I learned at 12 years young was practicing taking falls, tumbling off of my [then] brand new fat lady Mark Gonzales mini-deck. My older sibling taught me fast that summer of 1989. I was the first crash test dummy to test out my sibling’s newly constructed plywood half pipe. It was a blast! I loved the half pipe once I got the hang of it. The many hours of practice… that was a grueling, tedious, exhausting experience, but by midnight going into the wee hours of the next day was worth it. Me and my new mini-Gonzales were both broke in. Ha! 😁

The most exciting experience I’d never be physically capable of attempting again was pulling off a mid-air twist, crouched on my board with my eyes partly closed likely from fear and this sudden rush of intense excitement at the same time.

The take off was very happenstance. I didn’t plan on pulling off this mid-air turn and minutes are actually seconds when me and my board went high up off the half pipe and that famous saying popped in my little head; “That’s one small step for man, one  giant leap for mankind,”

I not only astounded my brother, but the two neighbor boys that came over the same day to ride the new half pipe. And in the process I managed to literally astound myself.

And clank! Clank! The new Bullet speed wheels came down hard with a fierce aftershock that rippled through my half pint frame violently. I landed safely and very carefully had to pry my tiny fingers from my new rib bones (grip rails) screwed onto the underside of the deck. Very shakily I stood up from my crouching position. I just pulled off an amazing feat; my new position was “crouching “. I dubbed my new trick; “the ballerina twirl”. I never again tried mid-air turns since I was half pipe skateboarding without proper protection, for one. Secondly, I went at it with no knee nor elbow pads. My brother’s skateboard gear was way too big on me. And I ditched the dirt bike helmet early on the same day after our first trial and error sessions.

You “drop in” on your parents…

I never called it “dropping in” when skating a half pipe . We called shoving off a “nose dive”, likely in reference to the aerial maneuvers of war planes from both past World Wars. We wanted something aggressive-sounding, very edgy and unique and the term, “nose dive” fit for me. The term “drop in” is a new term for another skateboarding era I’m not familiar with, although “drop in” does go far back to 1980, from what I’ve researched thus far. How the skateboard terminology skipped me is a mystery of this great universe.

“Protection in the beginning for my pint-sized self was…”

We had several test runs/ fittings since my older brother couldn’t find any child-size, nor even itty bitty adult-sized small skateboarding gear that wouldn’t be huge on me.  And all he owned were adult large and XL Rector elbow and knee pads, no helmet to my recollection as these were considered “lame” back in the day to wear and you’d be laughed right off the half pipe. Helmets were cumbersome to don for hours at a time and the sweltering heat buildup would make you sweat a river. So we improvised before I ever took to the half pipe for the very first time.

My brother and I found one of my uncle’s dirt bike helmets: glitter red in color with a black diamond pattern, very late 1960’s/early 70’s design and style, but eh, this was the late 80’s: a time of “use what you can scrounge up”.

The blue glitter helmet of similar style and design was way too big for my tiny pin head. We found the helmets discarded in a shed of junk at my grandmother’s house. The lining was shot and rotted, cobwebs galore, we brushed those away and vaccumed out the selected helmet. This was a hoot! But my brother and I had such a blast during the final construction phase of his brand new first built half pipe. Oh, and the weather was sweltering hot! I don’t recall the heat index, but I chugged so many New York Seltzer peach-flavored sodas (the Dom Perrigon of all brands of soda pop in 1989-1990), that I swore I had a sugar high for the next week.

And us being typical improvising, clever kids, my brother took safety to a new level: we tried to use grandma’s favorite hot pads as a helmet liner. Well, we couldn’t lie although we tried. Grandma discovered what we were attempting to do outside, and she wasn’t happy that we outright lied 🤥 about ‘borrowing’ her favorite hot pads as our first ever improvised helmet “padded” liners.

My initial reaction to the cumbersome dirt bike helmet: It bonks. The hot pads slid down obscuring my sights. I was blind. I can’t see my new Vision Gonzales mini-deck… help! ha, ha. I can feel the half pipe below my feet as I stumble around aimlessly like a blind-folded birthday kid ready to hit a pinata full of candy and other sweet goodies. My brother roared with laughter. He’d been skateboarding since 1986 and was all- too-used to the half pipes made of plywood. This was long before the invention of city skate parks which are, in my humble opinion, very poorly designed, not thoroughly planned out well at all, and the metal constructed half pipes in a skate park are death traps waiting to happen, and broken bones and other sustainable injuries to give skateboarding an even more notorious reputation.

It was no time like the present to break in my new Vision fat lady. My new skateboard deck plus the components (all bought separately) cost my dear brother a large amount of money to buy me for my 12th birthday gift. What I didn’t know at the time was that he let me choose all of the accessories, but never let on that I was selecting my very own special gift.

I knew nothing of skateboarding at 12 back in 1989, but I was a very fast learner. My thoughts back then were, “I’m a girl. I’ll get laughed at.”

“I’ll be the laughing stock when I do enter a public school setting and the kids find out I do skateboard.” The opposite to this was true. They were actually amazed, but I wasn’t laughed at until I moved to Podunk towns and attended public schools there.  I was a prior learning disability student with no freedom while in school. 1989 was the year that marked my official freedom at long last and I was ecstatic! 😁

We lived in restricted times in the late 80’s. The late 80’s were from my {then} kid memory: turbulent. We had some family strife brewing like a dark storm; the beginning that would test us religiously, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Was I ready for my adult responsibilities that lay ahead? Nope. I blazed my own trail. I rebelled silently through my skateboarding, I threw caution to the wind with old rock music that I happily adopted as “my own” in 1989.

I discovered Anthrax.  No… not the mad cow disease, Heaven’s no. The thrash band, Anthrax. State of Euphoria 1988 and Metallica And Justice For All 1989 became the sound tracks of our youth. I doubt the lot of us cared what our parents thought of it. We were trying to establish our own identities around this time frame. I wore my favorite pair of bleached out peach Converse high tops with silver duct tape holding the soles together. My shoe strings were a dirty neon yellow; faded and well loved. I refused to ditch my high tops for my 5th grade class picture and proudly showed them in the picture much to the photographer’s dismay and frustration with my stubbornness. I wore my black Swatch watch too. I was entering my “black attire” phase at 12. I loved black nail polish. Wet n’ Wild only made black nail polish. They didn’t make any black lipstick to my knowledge at 12.

Santa Cruz screaming hand is a new iconic figure, and one that years later, is never far from me. In my thirty years of skateboarding I’d never again find  another fat lady mini-Vision Mark Gonzales like I first had at 12. And at 16 years old, I stupidly traded it for some rock music pinups. So me and my first skateboard traveled far. Wherever I went, it was my true companion. I rode the devil out of that skateboard. I had Independent trucks: riser pads Independent, White Powell Peralta rib bones, and turquoise grip tape covering fat lady’s scantily clad top  image. It was censorship according to my mother or else she’d make me get rid of my new skateboard.  My dear brother outfitted my new deck with Bullet Santa Cruz 66mm, 92 a speed wheels for both street and half pipe use. The bearings may have been made in West Germany, no frills, no awesome neon colors. Just plain silver shields. Abec rating was unknown to me. They got me to where I wanted to go… at snail pace speed. Ha, ha! 😁🙃

My mother preferred I didn’t skateboard. She constantly took it away (groundings were commonplace), and skateboard confiscation was no exception to a lot of 80’s parents. I didn’t yap on the telephone so my mother  couldn’t take away that privilege from me. Skateboarding was/ is still my passion. I never learned any tricks. I promised my mom I’d never Ollie, and never attempted it. I wasn’t good at skateboarding, I just did what came natural to me. I learned really quick how to skateboard on the sidewalk and sometimes, street whenever sidewalks weren’t there.

Sure, we all take a few spills given any physical activity. That’s how you learn. Thankfully I never broke a bone. I learned to take my falls. I’m sure I skinned my knees back in the day. I recall hurting myself far worse on an adult-sized mountain bike and seldom rode that. I preferred skateboarding to bicycling anyway.

Being a girl skateboarder in a male dominated pastime made me a loner. In public school I was a looser, a poser, a (______) fill in the blank with choice labels. But I was never a delicate snowflake, far from it. I was a little spitfire and something my straight laced peers didn’t identify with nor comprehend. That was fine by me. I never set out to rise to the level of “Miss Popular” in school. Yuck!

I liked skateboarding alone as a teenager. I didn’t like Chatty Cathys or jabber jaws following me. Just give me a stretch of even pavement and I could entertain myself for hours! Back in these days I never owned the luxury items; a skateboard helmet, good pair of gloves designed for high impact skateboarding simply because finding them in my small size was non-existent, for one. Two, no skateboard shops anywhere within a 100 mile radius of the Podunk towns I lived in, either.

I cherished my older brother’s hand-me-down right hand Clawz skateboard glove until the day came I traded it off along with my beloved Vision Gonzales fat lady mini-board. I’d never receive the chance to own a new old stock set of Clawz until 2018. And as fast as I could find them, I’d happily buy out the seller.

I discovered old stock Rector gear from 1977 made here in the USA and never wanted to don unbranded Chinese-made crap pads again.

The Riot Streetwear Rector 80’s gloves I tried recently (and love) passed many vigorous trials and errors I put them through on and off my skateboards. The Rector gear old stock from the 80’s gets high recommendations from me. They hold up well under normal skateboarding conditions.

1980’s Clawz gloves are very true to size and they are suede leather, minimal padded gloves, used for half pipes and street skateboarding. They are great for Fall skateboarding, and very useful gloves to own.

Rector gloves are extremely small. Sizes are accurate. I’d recommend ordering one or two sizes up. Rector street riot gloves come in finger-less variety and thumb protection. They are very versatile for other purposes like bicycling, weight lifting, hanging from monkey bars, etc.

My work nowadays is extremely hectic and stressful. I try to skateboard whenever I can nowadays. I’m still very passionate about skateboarding, however, I don’t readily agree with how the trend in skateboarding has become in the recent years as wrongly portrayed as this: “disrespect”, “break the law”, “skateboard out in the middle of a busy street near dusk wearing all black on a longboard” kind of scene that’s popular in my neck of the woods lately. I’ll stick to my tube socks and Rector gear, thanks very much. Yep, I’m a geek, but oh well. 🙂

Stay tuned for another 1989-1990 skateboarding installment from my youth. Thank you! Comments always welcome. Take care fellow bloggers! 🙂

“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…