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Thrash and Speed Metal (a wild, exciting time 1989-1991):

Published July 31, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

“…a face obscured by hair leaving just a dog like snarl while playing devastating music, how very thrash…”- Harry Callahan, Youtuber

And that sums it up in a very sweet, poetic way when describing Megadeth. I didn’t hear about this speed/ thrash metal band until I was around the age of 12 during which time I was still going through my classic/hard rock/ heavy metal faze of the late 80s. Yes, I was one of the many in my youth that would ‘head bang’ to this very fast-paced, almost break-neck speed music and play air guitar. Oh, and can’t forget about that huge, long spiral, wavy hair that would obscure and twirl about Dave Mustaine’s face.

And it was the tale end of an exciting era for many in my upcoming generation as the late 80s ushered in the very early 90’s. It took me awhile to warm up to seeing the likes of Vic “Rattlehead” for the first time and I believe I saw the album Peace Sells But Whose Buying and So Far, So Good, So What and the reader might be thinking, “Who?”

Vic Rattlehead is Megadeth’s ‘see no evil, hear no evil, do no evil’ skeletal mascot very much like ‘Eddie’ is Iron Maiden’s recognizable mascot. And the sound that graced my [then] young ears wasn’t mumbling, guttural or shouting that to me remain undecipherable and unattractive, personally.

I don’t want to put down any newer music that would trample the thrash/speed metal time period, it’s just me expressing my opinion. The mainstream thrash/ speed metal music I was introduced to at the time for me had to have that certain ‘edge’ or magical appeal rather, and the lyrics must be at least 50 percent understandable for me to either like a song or few or not at all.

Could I relate to the aggression, angst and mediocre music industry standard supply with demand? I didn’t view any of the thrash/speed metal as angst-ridden or even depressing. Sure there is mention of death, dying, wars, destruction, etc. but the meaning had an opposite effect on me growing up. I was neither made sad or depressed listening to it. It was the perfect music to skateboard to or just hang out in my bedroom drawing and sketching and maybe hum along to the song. To me it was exciting and passed the time between studying and homework. The lyrics might sound ‘dated’ nowadays, but the newness never left.

‘Symphony of Destruction’ was the first song I heard on the radio by Megadeth and it was popular right around the same time frame that we were in the Persian Gulf war. So no, our country was not going through ‘peace time’. I was fourteen at the time and didn’t take an interest in politics and I certainly didn’t like seeing all the violence that the war coverage brought onto the small TV screen on the evening news. In those days we didn’t have flat screens because they weren’t thought of yet.

On the eve of the Persian Gulf war though, a few acquaintances I had made during this time spoke of the ‘what-if’ scenario of what we would do if we had been caught up in a draft. Simply put: we’d become draft-dodgers like that of the 1960’s/1974 generation. I can’t speak for my entire 80’s generation but we certainly didn’t believe in taking up arms or be shipped off to some foreign country we likely couldn’t point to on a map only to then return home in box. And none of us were even old enough to vote, be turned loose with our first driver’s permit, or even apply for our first stepping stone job.

We saw plenty of war depiction music videos to show us that war never solves anything. I remember I wept when I first saw Metallica’s 1989 video “One” when I was twelve. I was so shocked by the brutality and felt this hopeless sadness for the fictional soldier who can’t speak and is missing his limbs. I had to ask my older brother if what Metallica showed in that video really happened to soldiers when they go off to fight for our country. My brother glanced up from repairing a stereo speaker, grim expression and told me, “Yes, that’s a real possibility when a soldier leaves for war.”

I never learned about the behind-the-scenes of warring nations because public school will gloss over this and how wars get started. I remember there was a major push to tie a yellow ribbon on everything that wasn’t nailed down to show patriotism and if a student was indifferent or didn’t take any interest being patriotic, then they were bullied relentlessly in school by their peers.

I don’t miss those school days from my youth because I was indifferent when it came to wars and never liked to be a neutral party to anything ‘war’-related once the aftermath of two custody battles in my family was still on-going. A year before I had to play mediator between two arguing sides that just made false accusations. Finally, at thirteen it drove me nuts and I was a nervous wreck because of it. When I turned fourteen I had decided I didn’t want no more of that adult responsibility of fielding the phone calls. It was very difficult on me to hear my grandparents putting my parents down constantly, too. Parents don’t come with a handy ‘rule book’ just like teenagers won’t quit their dramatic, turbulent times when puberty hits.

All I wanted was to get happily lost in this new thrash/ speed metal music that I found fascinating. I wanted to forget about trying to act all ‘adult’-like at fourteen and just skateboard until my heart was content. I wanted Eddie Van Halen to amaze me on 8 track tape since I bought two of Van Halen’s albums in 1991 from a thrift store: Van Halen (self-titled) and Van Halen II. I played those 8 tracks until I wore them out. And David Lee Roth could sing! And he had long hair and was cute too I thought. My mom had a very different viewpoint (from a well-meaning concerned ‘parent’ perspective) and made me throw out the black and white poster depicting David Lee Roth chained to a chain link fence, bearing his chest looking at the camera with a sultry stare. Yep, too much sex appeal was my guess as to why my mother made me throw away that poster. It was very mature to be tacked to a teenage girl’s bedroom wall.

Oh, yeah, and Peter Criss still had to put a shirt on and quit showing off those leather studded bandoleers across his chest even though my parents had trashed my first Kiss collection the year prior. My mom thought the Peter Criss picture was too suggestive, and I believe I tore that out of a Peter Criss 1978 songbook that was given to me by my friend’s uncle who was a die-hard Kiss fan and grew up during the time the band was in their heyday of the 1970’s. But he expressed to me as he placed that song book in my hands that I could have it under two conditions: I keep it safe because in thirty years from the time he gave it to me in 1990/91 it would become a valuable collector’s item if kept in good condition, and secondly, that I never, ever do street drugs of any kind. Those were the two promises he made make to him. I didn’t follow through on the first promise to keep the song book in good condition, but I kept it safe as possible when it was in my brief possession and should it ever surface in my lifetime by remote chance unknown to the universe, I’ll know it when I see it because I colored in the KISS logo on the first inner page and put my contact information on the back inner cover and it’s missing one of the three color pages too. I did uphold my second promise to my friend’s uncle and never touched street drugs, by the way.

And there’s too much ‘male’ manliness going on an average typical healthy teenage girl’s bedroom, I suppose. 🙂  Although at the time the word ‘healthy’ and ‘normal’ don’t enter into my teenage vocabulary at all. In fact, I’m very much uninformed at fourteen because I don’t ask twenty questions and the word ‘hormones’ doesn’t exist yet since everything seemed to me at the time to be strictly taboo in my household. The word and definition of hormones finally enters my vocabulary when I’m in my early 30’s. And no, this doesn’t make me inept. I simply have to locate the word and look up its definition, then do a palm smack to my head, say “Doh!”  and laugh it off. 😀

Due in large part of the heavy censorship in my household growing up I never got to see the new video by Megadeth for Symphony of Destruction since MTV was scrambled on the cable box. However, many years later I did see the video, or at the very least, a very well put together fan’s tribute to the aforementioned song perhaps. There were two different videos for Symphony of Destruction. One video depicts a mock (fake) presidential campaign where a fictional presidential candidate or senator gets assassinated. And there’s the other version where a group of WWII soldiers parachute behind enemy lines from their cargo plane that gets struck by enemy fire, and before the fiery plane explodes and later crashes, one lone soldier bails out in the neck of time and lands safely behind occupied enemy lines. The rest I won’t spoil for those who may not have had a chance to see either Megadeth video. But the latter version appealed to me, not for its gory, horrific and traumatic depiction of war, but I felt the lyrics matched up better for the visual story-telling of the song.

And Megadeth’s song Hanger 18 was about the Roswell incident from what I heard about and the song became very popular on the radio in the winter of 1991. Again, I never got to see this music video either, but enjoyed seeing Vic Rattlehead depicted as a main character in the Hanger 18 video many years later instead of seeing this mascot as a one-dimensional depiction on Megadeth’s album covers and in magazine album announcements.

Vic Rattlehead

Megadeth ‘Rust in Peace’ 1991. No copyright infringement intended. Used for entertainment purposes only.

I never bought the cassette tape of their newest album “Rust in Peace”, but did have the magazine album announcement taped to my bedroom wall for the longest time. I elected not to buy the album because I knew my parents would have thrown it in the trash since they still ruled the house with a ‘zero’ tolerance policy in regards to the music we were allowed to have. I always heard from being a [then] young ‘metal head’, if you couldn’t name at least a band’s first three albums or even know one popular song, then you weren’t considered a ‘fan’ by any stretch of the imagination. Nowadays, I’m happy to see this is a thing of the past. I’m also very pleased to see the older music being embraced and loved by a whole new generation as well, although the special meanings might get a little confusing since my generation got to experience it and live it first hand and the new generation is discovering it like staking their claim to a new land mass.

But this thrash/ speed metal wasn’t all about to annoy the parents or crank it up so loud that they’d gladly throw out their teenager’s stereo setup. And that’s how some 80s ultra conservative more strictly religious parents dealt with noise pollution in their households from what I later heard throughout the years. I thanked my lucky stars that my stereo speakers just had too many miles put on them when I bought them second hand, and my parents never went that overboard. Sure, there was some questionable lyrics dripping with sexual innuendos that flew over my head when I was a teenager. I didn’t ponder or even analyze the meaning of the lyrics growing up. If the visual appeal of the album covers caught my eye, I wanted to hear a sample the music. And how was this possible? You can’t hold an LP or a cassette tape up to your ear like a sea shell and hear the music.

And what I’m about to describe is what I seriously miss about music shopping nowadays since everything is instant with a few clicks of a mouse button. Have you ever seen those price check scanners throughout stores they have nowadays? Well, back in my day this ‘listen before you buy’ of hearing a song was made possible by scanning the barcode of those old single-song cassette tapes and it was phenomenal!

I remember my older sister showed me how to scan the barcode of the albums and we listened to a snippet of several songs by different bands one at a time and smiled. I remember I was a little worried about the red laser that scanned the barcodes since in my [then] young mind I still considered these laser scanners as being potentially harmful which didn’t turn out to be the case. I was twelve years old at this time and you couldn’t expect me to know everything about laser technology advancements. I was both awed and intimidated of the laser barcode scanner because I viewed it as part of the mark of the beast we heard so much about growing up. This isn’t to say we were living in the dark ages, far from it. And my older sister and I certainly weren’t living under a rock. The information about what exactly this ‘number of the beast’ was all about became muddled from one religion to the next.

Now scanning the barcode and hearing a one-minute of music was something very brand new and revolutionary that was launched sometime during 1989 when I took new keen interest in music. And like some new technological advancements, this barcode music sampling vanished very soon after for reasons then unknown to me. The department stores I patronized growing up had all fazed out this way of hearing a snippet of a new album and I didn’t see anything similar take its place until a good eighteen years later when a song from a CD could be sampled in similar fashion.

Most of the time Wally World’s music sampling scanner was out of service and I didn’t like to listen to it through a pair of headphones. To me I found putting on a pair of publicly shared headphones was gross and very unhygienic, for one. Secondly, the excitement and thrill was lost when the music could no longer be heard blaring throughout the electronic department. And if you were still using the model T of computer connections, mine was the incredibly slow ‘dial up’ since it was cheap, then often I’d have to wait about three hours for one new song to download without it re-buffering or the connection being lost. But that was the downside of sampling music nowadays. The album can either be worth the money or a waste of it if it doesn’t have any good songs.

I didn’t buy any new albums for a few years once the five dollar or less cassette tape bin became non-existent. I still loathed compact disc and the compressed, flat sound it produces. There’s no bass boost. The lead singer sounds like their crooning out of a Mason jar. Did they find the guitarist in a garage band? And was the drummer pounding on pots and pans or trash can lids? And did the bassist just decide to go back to their day job?

What’s become of music nowadays… I shook my head in dismay and often didn’t bother to give the album or band a second glance in most cases. I will forever be an LP, 8-track tape and cassette tape-collecting aficionado because those are my creature comforts that I’m familiar with and know well. 🙂

Megadeth never released an album on 8 track tape to my knowledge. Please dub one of their albums on a recordable 8 track cartridge tape for me and I would be a happy camper. Anything is possible with an 8 track player recorder and the proper stereo setup. I’ve done it before as a test in the past so I know its possible to dub from cassette onto 8 track tape and vice-versa because I wouldn’t settle for hearing these early formats of music being re-vamped, polished, digitized, compressed, and to my ears, ‘lost’ on a compact disc. Now Iron Maiden I know released some of their early albums on 8 track tape, but boy howdy, those are extremely rare and are way out of price nowadays when they do surface.

Am I regretting the time I downsized and threw out almost all of my cassette tapes? No, because they were so worn out there was a lot of bleed through and the music had begun to oxidize. That’s where the music becomes ‘whisper quiet’ sounding and this can be due to touching the tape thus ruining the magnetic pickup that reads and plays back the music and of course as the years pass by this can speed up the oxidization process.

Stay tuned for more and as always, thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, commenting, tweeting, etc. I truly appreciate it! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How not to impress a lady:

Published May 25, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I was standing in the check out line waiting for the cashier that seemed to be nowhere in sight. I have patients like a saint. I don’t get mad or rude if the cashier isn’t there behind the register at that exact moment. Even if I’m in a hurry and feel this enormous pressure that I have to be elsewhere at any given time, I still try to plan everything ahead of time. The cashier could likely be busy doing something else like talking with their boss or maybe they’re in the middle of stocking shelves. And it never fails that a line forms at the most busiest time of evening—right before supper. Maybe the manager just stepped out for a smoke or the cashier doesn’t see that a long line was forming behind me and I had been at the check out less than two minutes.

And there’s some random guy standing too close for comfort behind me. He was one of those stealthy types that just cut in line and was there. And he might be thinking that by raising his voice in a holler while pounding loudly on the check out counter will make a woman like me turn to him with an expression of gratitude or fall head over heels… and if that’s the case, forget it. In the real world that kind of rude behavior doesn’t cut the mustard with me, pal and just gets on my bad side extremely fast.

 

And the fact this guy was literally breathing down my neck the whole time made me feel extremely uneasy, nervous, and always got to watch my stuff on that counter. The guy behind me just dumps his crap load of Little Debbie snacks, sodas, Gatorades, and junk food onto my purchases and doesn’t use one of those plastic divider bars or even bother to separate his stuff from mine. So there I am hoisting two 1 gallon jugs of water and clutched a can of tuna. My poison ivy rashes are flaring up badly. I’m in no mood for this guy’s sarcasm.

 

This guy lacks common sense, for the most part. He seems to have no clue about decency while shouting and pounding on the counter, “Hey, can we get some service over here?!” Then, looks at me and says with a grin on his face like he’s Mr. Macho, “That’s how you get them to get off their damn standing asses around here.”

I’m thinking, “You [to the guy behind me] belligerent simpleton!” and I felt like politely speaking up and telling this guy to a.) back off and respect my personal space! and b.) Never raise your voice to the cashiers. They work hard for what little they do earn, and its morons like this guy in particular that make their long work day equally grueling and tiresome. I don’t work in retail and don’t ever plan to and this guy would be a prime example as to why not. I’m just a customer. However, I do try to place myself in the cashier’s shoes whom wasn’t the least happy with the guy behind me and it showed. I do sympathize with those that have a billion trillion other things they’d rather be doing than checking out…

The obnoxious guy that hollers and thinks it will impress a lady like me? I think not. I gave the obnoxious guy behind me some disgusted glances and quickly moved to the opposite side at the far end of counter just so he’d stop with the invasion of my personal space so I could pay for my stuff and get the heck out of there.

Well, it’s that guy’s particular behavior that makes me steamed and I don’t care what time of the month it is for me. That guy’s stupid behavior should have ended in grade school—eons ago. And its just one of the many unpleasant, rude, and disrespectful things I deal with from some men (not all, mind you) who constantly try to either a.) impress me with their childish loud, disrespectful behavior like obnoxious guy tried. b.) constantly try to flirt with me and these men aren’t even in the neighborhood of handsome nor are they the clean-cut, church-going types in appearance and c.) some men just feel the need to fly off the handle at me when I politely refuse to accept one of those plastic fresh produce bags that they try to hand me.

The guy I refer was neither a store clerk nor did he work at the store. He was just another customer with sleeve tattoos I guess they call them and his neck, hands and fingers were all inked as well.

I’ve been chewed out for simply hesitating accepting a produce bag from a lowlife who was recently let out of jail. I only know this because he was one aisle over from me in another store boasting to a store manager how he gave attitude to his parole officer like he was so proud of his cocky attitude and then proceeded to question the manager why he got fired from his employment of only three days. The convict’s explanation was simply dumb. He didn’t feel like showing up for work because it was “…too early in the morning and boring.” The manager simply explained to him that if he doesn’t call or even notify them he won’t be at work, then the boss reserves the right to assume he didn’t want the job very badly in the first place.

The convict had the mentality of a third-grader because it was like he still didn’t understand even when the manager tried to simplify it in terms even a kindergartner could understand. I recognized this lowlife as the same man from the grocery store where he became extremely irate with me when I, at first, politely refused to take a plastic produce bag he offered to me. Then he lost his cool in a flash and shouted at me where everybody around me could hear, “What’s it look like? That I have some god-damned disease or somethin’? Now Take it!”

“Fine!” I huffed under my breath, feeling like if I didn’t, he’d be the type to knock my block off at any given moment.

I wouldn’t doubt what landed him in jail in the first place was probably domestic violence or something similar of that nature. He had a pregnant young woman with him and she was pushing a baby stroller with a baby in it, completely unfazed by his hot-headed attitude. She appeared to be one of those types that didn’t care too much about her personal appearance, was dressed between boho-ish on a wally world budget/ sloppily dressed in a long sundress, hair unkempt and greasy in a sloppy pony tail. She forgot to put on some shoes or sandals before leaving the house because she was barefoot. Uh, when did grocery stores throw out the ‘No shirt, no shoes, no service’ signs? I haven’t seen those since the 90s.

I loathe men like that one that pitched a royal fit in the grocery store when I tried to refuse the produce bag he was handing off to me. And the guy behind me in line today that was obnoxious just got on my nerves. Maybe it was my recent horrible bout poison ivy that literally rubbed me raw on this day in particular and that didn’t help. I felt like a real crab apple but thank god I didn’t take it out on those around me.

And then there’s the jogging Jaywalker I encountered on my way home.

She was standing at the end of an alley facing a busy street. She has on massive huge headphones, completely tuning out her surroundings. She’s doing a move like she either has ants in her shorts or its some kind of new uncontrollable dance move. She’s eyeing me as I approach like Grandma Moses behind the wheel since I don’t know what she’ll attempt. I’ve had random people try to walk into my vehicle (not walk around it, in front of it or even behind it, mind you). I don’t know what these kinds of people must think or what they’re on for that matter. And these types of people always appear to be in a major hurry and/ or they get annoyed when you [the driver] stop to yield to them even when you know you’re risking a potential fender bender from behind.

Just this evening as I was going home I caught a glimpse of a man in my review walk behind my vehicle while I was stopped at a red light. He jay-walked out in front of traffic without so much looking to where he was going with an air about him like he owned the town. And the jogging jaywalker’s looking straight ahead, her body jerking all over the place like someone with Tardive Dyskinesia. I’ve seen a lot of folks around town with this same uncontrollable herky jerky body movement. Whether it’s from them being meth addicts or if they legitimately have some kind of nervous system damage, it’s anybody’s guess. And if you see them in the store they always seem to be talking a mile a minute with themselves, very pre-consumed like they’re off in another world, and racing to and from their carts to dump stuff in it and go back for something else all the while rambling onto themselves like they haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in days or weeks even.

It’s one thing to see meth heads hanging out at the library or when they’re at the store and try to pay for a chocolate bar, bag of chips, and a bottle of soda while jerking so badly they can’t even stand still for a single minute and hand over the change which they wind up dumping out on the counter anyway. And it’ll scare the crap out of you when a meth head suddenly appears out of nowhere, knocks on your vehicle window and smiles revealing their black/rotted and missing teeth, hoping that you (the driver) will spare them some money, or perhaps they’ll just try and rob you, etc. They look aged beyond their years like they’re fifty or even sixty and have open sores all over their face, arms, hands, and yet, they might be no older than twenty-something or just barely out of their late teens, give or take.

As always thanks for liking, commenting, sharing, tweeting, etc. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

Aloe Vera leaves, scarves for soft, luxurious hair and Chinese chopsticks: how I discovered some remarkable benefits for the least amount of money.

Published May 10, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Okay, I admit, it still costs money to buy these things to get started if you don’t have them around your house. However, since I’m always cramming my cranium with more knowledge about health benefits, pros vs. cons using everyday commercial hair care products that I grew up with my entire life and studying up on tons of articles out there both in print (freebie magazines from the health food store and via the internet and Farmer’s Almanac). I used to read the Farmer’s Almanac religiously when it was inexpensive years ago. An issue nowadays will cost $6.97… ouch! And along the way I discovered some fascinating healthy tidbits in my own pursuit of continuing my good health and overall well-being, especially from the of the dusty antique pages of my beloved set of late natural path Bernarr Macfadden Physical Culture encyclopedia. Now, I’m not saying this man is god. His methods and remedies, although outdated by today’s standards, may seem very far out there in left field, but the knowledge he presented (and updated from time to time clear into the 1940s) I find to be highly invaluable and educational. And it was Bernarr Macfadden who essentially opened my eyes to a healthier lifestyle. I also have a copy of his book written specifically for women that includes tailored exercises of the day, ditching the corset, health(ier) clothing choices although plastics weren’t invented yet when this book was written and a host of other information.

And I wanted more than just the egg hair rinse. I began my new hair care routine with the natural and health benefits of the aloe vera leaf. Sure, you can buy an itty bitty spindly aloe plants at Lowe’s on their discount/ distressed plant shelf for about $4 or maybe even at your local grocer for an astronomical amount for a little plant containing three puny leaves that look half dead… and let’s face it, unless you live in an arid, hot year-round climate, then growing your own aloe vera in your backyard for harvesting is nearly impossible to do in cold climates unless maybe if you bring it indoors for the winter. Believe me, I tried keeping small aloe vera plants alive indoors and just didn’t have the right terrarium atmosphere for them to survive. And then again, I only knew as much as my pre-Internet knowledge allotted me back in the day. I understood that aloe vera are desert loving plants and that’s was about it. And I knew back then the juice from a snippet of aloe leaf did wonders for burns, bruises and minor cuts. However, I didn’t come to realize just how beneficial these plants truly are until just a few months back. I live in an area that do stock aloe vera leaves (huge leaves at that). However, sometimes I can find two or even three large aloe leaves bundled for 40 cents-80 cents in the reduced merchandise cooler. Even if the aloe vera leaves look a little expired, I still find that they come in useful for my skin and hair regimen since I don’t consume the juice in smoothies.

 

And what are the health benefits? For starters, the aloe vera juice extracted from a leaf when applied to a burn, minor cuts or even scrapes helps promote healing. But did you know you can also cut open the aloe vera leaf of that clear slimy substance and whip it up in a blender to use straight as a natural skin and hair softner?  Yep, and it feels baby soft to the touch from my personal experience, gives natural luster to the hair follicle, again based on my experience, and when added in with fruit and veggie smoothies packs a lot of vitamins and antiseptics. In actuality the extracted aloe vera gooey stuff has no taste whatsoever. The kind that is produced in the bottles is oversaturated with nasty sugars.

 

It is advised to avoid consuming the yellow-ish aloe vera gooey substance because this acts like nature’s fast acting laxative. And when adding in aloe vera juice to a smoothie, do so sparingly as suggested by some health advocates and avid juicers due to a laxative effect. Also, the leaves I have found to be of use long after I remove the gooey clear substance. I like to cut the leaves in chunks and then freeze them for use later on and scrape the remaining gooey substance and use that to shave my legs with (makes the skin velvety smooth when dry shaving) and it feels excellent after a hard day working outside in the heat as well.

 

The shelf life of aloe vera juice when blended into a frothy foam that settles in the container can be stored in the fridge up to one week. I have heard from many women who also add in olive oil and coconut oil for their hair care routines, but if you hate the greasy weighed down feel it might produce, avoid using these oils entirely. It’s all about personal preference though. Personally, I found the DIY coconut oil and olive oil leave-in hair treatments to soften and restore damaged hair make my hair look and feel really gross as though I haven’t washed it in many months. And it doesn’t help living in a hard water area with nasty, industrial waste fluoride treatments, either. And it took several repeated ACV washings to get said oils out of my hair. I have alternated with the no shampoo, or “no-poo” trials with not so impressive results, either. My hair doesn’t look dirty or anything, but it’s either dry or brittle as a result even though I refrain from using shampoos and conditioners. I do, however, find that washing in city water isn’t helpful at all. I find that I’m literally at my wits end trying to get rid of the chemicals out of my life, especially when it comes to finding a shampoo that doesn’t contain Dimetheicone and its many sneaky aliases which is a polymer silicone and used in a wide array of hair products, skin care products, etc. and I believe I when doing some extensive and exhaustive night owl reading and research into this chemical is also classified as toxic according to the EWG (Environmental Watch Group). Dimetheicone also belongs to the polymeric organosilicon compounds (silicone). It is also used as an antifoaming agent, skin protectant, and skin conditioner. It is also approved for use in food as well. Eww, I’ll pass on that second helping of mystery pie. Here are Dimetheicone’s many different aliases:

 

DIMETHICONE COPOLYOL; DIMETHYL SILICONE; HIGHLY POLYMERIZED METHYL POLYSILOXANE; METHYL POLYSILOXANE; SILICONE L-45; DC 1664; DIMETHICONE 350; DIMETICONE; DOW CORNING 1664; MIRASIL DM 20; VISCASIL 5M.

 

Whew! Now that’s a long list to add to my shopping list of no-no’s. Moving along… the aloe vera leaf has many healthy properties. I heard it might help with anti-aging although I’m a firm believer we all grow ‘old’ gracefully and that is a fact of life. No amount of beauty creams and downright overpriced anti-aging concealers and beauty ‘add-ons’ that are pushed onto us women will amount to much, except perhaps do the exact opposite of what the products promise and could, for example, maybe exacerbate the natural aging process and help it along rather than magically ‘fix’ something that  isn’t broke. I also go by the philosophy, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

 

I noticed first hand the benefits of using pure aloe vera after the first week of using it like lotion. I’m not talking about the chemically-laden fake aloe vera that comes loaded with man made sugars in a 10 gallon oil drum for $1.80 at Big Lot’s. Okay, I exaggerated on the 10 gallon oil drum serving. I think it was more like 32 ounces, but still—that’s sugar overkill if you ask me. I don’t even use sugar in my evening/ morning beauty routine, although I have heard it makes the skin soft and so does pure raw honey. But skin can also absorb the sugars just the same.

 

I like to use straight aloe vera juice and go through one leaf per two weeks (when I can stretch it that far). It does wonders when your hair is damp and you’re drying it naturally (without heat of a hair dryer). I also wrap my damp hair in a soft cotton and/ or silk long scarf and let it completely dry. Using long scarves as in place of a bath towel or hair dryer to dry the hair I stumbled upon quite by accident and I highly credit a youtuber Steph Arizona for using scarves when applying hair masks to prevent it from dripping all over the place and also for throwing out some helpful advice on what to do with all those plastic grocery sacks that can accumulate like dust bunnies around the house. The grocery sacks make really good ‘one use only’ improvised shower caps and you’ll save a few bucks as well.

 

So, I gave some of Steph’s hair care tips a try and went at it with a somewhat skeptical approach at first since most of these DIY hair masks never worked for me in the past. I tried the coconut milk hair mask Steph uploaded on her youtube channel and individual results will vary. Therefore, I wasn’t discouraged when it didn’t work for me. I was only out $1.25. But I didn’t like the chemical they sneak into the Polar brand of Organic Coconut milk that I purchased wasn’t a natural ingredient and the actual coconut content didn’t amount to much. My result was my hair was very weighed down, limp and felt like it had a thick film on it that wasn’t easy to wash out even with repeated ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinses and followed up with a full strength distilled white vinegar rinse with distilled water.

Although it did make my hair look shiny and silky, it was a huge mess to wash out. I then tried Steph’s ‘rice milk’ hair mask. Although, here again I didn’t allow my rice to ferment for three days (I believe that’s what she recommended) so I didn’t notice much of a difference in my hair. And mind you I did these hair mask recipes two weeks apart to give my hair some rest. What I didn’t do was reach for the Mane and Tail conditioner or the even the vegan shampoo (found at Sally’s Beauty Supply). However, even though its listed as vegan the shampoo is still loaded with chemicals in extremely small print, so you’ll need to carry a jeweler’s loop on your person to read these ingredients on the bottle. So I only reserve the vegan shampoo when the olive oil and coconut oil hair mask blunders made my hair greasy, albeit shiny. Also, I had some success with an avocado hair mask mixed with some aloe vera juice in place of shampoo.

 

But since doing the scarves for the hair mask recipes, I do strongly urge to make careful buying choices when shopping for scarves. I admit I buy mine from thrift shops and often times they don’t have tags listing the fabric content. Sounds icky to buy second-hand stuff but if you add a little bleach to the wash (before you put your laundry in), this helps and believe me, anywhere I can save money, I opt for that and leave the big box retailers and online shops alone.

 

Also, when purchasing used scarves for these hair masks I made quite a few ‘disastrous DIY infinity scarf’ shopping blunders, not ‘buyer’s remorse’ per se since I didn’t know said scarves weren’t wide enough, but instead thin, long and slapped together likely by a newbie to using a thimble, needle, and thread (hand stitched in most cases, not that that’s a bad thing). Most of these disastrous homemade infinity scarves I do happen across are less than $1. Sometimes they’ll set me back 49 cents here and there. And if there’s a tag attached to the scarf look for silk and/ or cotton. If its polyester this is spun plastic. And rayon is even worse yet since it’s a chemical that can leech out toxins.

 

Oh, and some helpful buying advice: always look for the tag and read the label for the fabric content. This threw me off a few times since the scarves would lack their tags and feel like soft cotton, when instead they were still stretchy, clingy, and made of either nylon, rayon, and viscose fabrics. Since I did some major spring cleaning yesterday, cleaned out my overburdened closets and donated ten large bags today, I got rid of nearly all of my clothing that not only no longer fit me, but also contained polyester, rayon (which is a toxic chemical and potential carcinogen that can seep into your skin), and nearly all nylons (including hose, trouser socks, trousers, and tank tops). This included many of the scarves that I just recently purchased for my hair mask treatments and natural hair drying.

 

Then what is advisable to wear in place of all these synthetic fabrics? And what if you have extremely sensitive skin? Then what? Look at the tag in the clothing and/ or scarves before you buy them. And do TRY on the clothes before you buy them. I am a repeat offender of ‘assuming it will fit’ mentality, when in fact, it’s the opposite in some cases and it make not look good on me or it make look fantastic on the dress form, but too small around the bust or too large around the waist, etc. And why is this a ‘one size fits all’ society all the sudden nowadays?! Aw, man!

 

I hauled ten trash bags crammed full of clothing and that outgrew me since I lost weight and changed my diet for better and made (hopefully healthier) eating choices for myself in the long run. I’m almost completely vegan now, except I do eat the occasional hard-boiled eggs about once a month. So if I were to say I was full vegan, then it would make me a hypocrite. I am a full vegetarian though and don’t consume meat, chicken, pork, or even hamburger. I don’t even do those ‘veggie burgers’ since here again its all highly processed foods on my ‘no-no’ list.

 

And what does this have to do with Chinese chopsticks? Well, aside from wanting to learn how to use a pair of chopsticks (that’s on my bucket list of things to learn how to do eventually when consuming rice), I also found a new pair of wooden chopsticks today for 29 cents and they were a lucky thrift store find. There’s nothing special about them and they’re not fancy or anything. When I opened the package I was slightly disheartened to see a few splinters so I designated these pair of chopsticks as hair sticks. Hunh? Hair sticks to hold your bun in place. I found some beautiful, elaborate //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=antiquemystiq-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00RHL8XR2&asins=B00RHL8XR2&linkId=89fc8d0b469478d24b773175273788f6&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank”>hair sticks on Amazon. So, I did a quick skim on youtube for tutorial hair stick videos and used one of the chopsticks to draw my hair in a bun and let it completely dry.

 

I used to keep my hair in a bun all the time back in my younger days with plastic hair clips before I fully understood that plastics are bad for the environment, etc. and keeping my hair in a bun constantly used to give some natural curls to my hair when I let it down so I wouldn’t have to kill my poor [then] chemically treated dyed hair or submit it to harsh hair spray. I used to be a fan of Aqua Net ‘concrete’ super hold hair spray back in the 90’s and that’s how we younger women got that ‘big hair’ look. Back then we called it, “teasing our hair” since the term ‘big hair’ didn’t come into vogue until about, oh… let me think here, around 2008 when I first heard of the term, that and the saying “big hair bands”. We simply used to call our beloved rock stars “hair bands” back in the day and not to be confused with the pony tail holders.

 

So, I’m trying out the chopstick bun in my hair as I write this and will give an update later on. I have a very tough day ahead of me and I need to get some beauty sleep. Oh, and I haven’t packed my lunch, either. I was more pre-consumed with food prepping earlier this evening and making space in my fridge for my leftovers of mashed potatoes mixed with red and yellow onion, fresh broccoli, and Chia seeds and my one pot meal of tri-color Rotini (spinach and tomato variety) without the added man made ‘enriched’ junk. I will post my mashed potato recipe for anybody that might be interested. It’s simple and takes a few minutes of food prep work, but so filling and good after a long day of running one’s legs off. I always say a hot meal, iced herbal tea (not the cheap instant teas), and some dessert of cut up fresh banana, strawberry drizzled with homemade chocolate sauce using Baker’s Unsweetened Baking chocolate bar, two tea spoons of raw honey and a few Carbo unsweetened chips is a real treat! As always thanks for reading, liking, commenting, re-blogging, tweeting, etc. I always truly appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Dead Malls Everywhere.

Published March 5, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I have nothing against malls. In fact, I find mall-walking very fun compared to the marathon ‘out-of-breath’ beat the huge crowds that mill around Wal*Mart all day long. The reason why I don’t shop at Wal*Mart and haven’t for quite a while: parking spaces can’t be found. Secondly, it is crowded day and night. All of Wal*Mart’s merchandise is bottom of the barrel Made in China cheap and/ or chemically perfumed articles of clothing/ jewelry. But then so is about any place you shop.

As I approach any store my sense of smell is heightened. I usually know right off the bat if the dizzying whiff of ‘chemical’ or a plastic odor hits my nostrils is going to repel me or not before I even pass through those metal detectors. And I can get a general summary that my sinuses will love me back in the worst possible way for the entire evening and that means a migraine headache.

I am super-sensitive to certain smells and various plastics. If I linger looking at the garment tag instead of the price tag, it doesn’t mean I’m picky. I’m checking to see what materials the garment is made of. If there’s a large percentage of polyester, nylon or even rayon, forget it. If it comes to a pair of slim low-rise stretchy denim shorts that have 2 per cent of spandex or less, then I might consider it. Again, it all boils down to three things: a.) price. If the price is asking more than what I think the garment is worth, forget it. b.) If it reeks of chemicals/plastic or states anywhere on a tag that such garment can cause reproductive harm/ cancers in the state of California, then again, forget it. I realize a lot of man-made materials winds up in clothes. Heck even recycled bottles make up the garment tag that sewn into it nowadays. States right on the tag. And with all this outcry over how bad plastics are in ours daily lives, especially since plastics continually leech out toxins into our beverages and foods, the last thing I’d ever want to do is bound myself in polyester or any plastic ‘blend’. Modal is just wood pulp. Yep, essentially paper but its used as a filler because its so cheap to turn into a synthetic fabric but won’t hold up well to getting wet at all.

I’m at probably one of the last 20th century icons that’s seen just about every generation; the mall. But what makes all these malls dead nowadays? And what gems did I bring back from my own day at the mall? Pictures. A few of them and I even wrote down the prices of the items I looked at. I really should do some ‘then and now’ comparisons to show the very bleakness of what became of most malls (some struggling, others since closed and demolished).

But for now, the familiar stores struggle to hang in there. The ones that have made it through the 2008 ‘second’ Great Depression (as I term it) are Claire’s, Victoria’s Secret, Sears (which is really dwindling nowadays in 2016). I saw one browser and no sales clerks asking me every two minutes, “Can I help you find something?”

Yep, something’s wrong here.

And in Dillard’s forget it. No sales clerk even approached me my whole five minutes I was in there looking at their polyester garments. Prices were low on a few items, but not much different than Sears (Roebuck and Company).

I assume my resurgence for my local mall was like touring through a living history museum. For one, the interior and exterior hasn’t changed much (if at all) since the mall was built somewhere in the late 1970s/ early 80’s. Secondly, there used to be a second mall that went up (don’t know what year), but it was on its last leg in 1993, and most stores that were in there originally went bust. There was a lot of dead space, lack of any interior design. There was a fitness gym that went in, then closed down, and the last store to actually be in there was a place called Tuesday Mornings, and by 2010 or so, they ceased all business. The space sits abandoned. The large portion of the second mall now houses a dollar store, and on the other side of is a tack and saddle shop that’s been in the same location for ages. The second mall also housed a movie theater before the interior was re-vamped to expand the dollar store. Before renovations ever began there used to be one over-priced fabric/sewing notions store that never re-stocked their shelves. There was one popcorn place in that second mall and one very itty bitty bead store where a lady sold beads individually and they weren’t cheap. Oh, and can’t forget about the single payphone right in the middle of the second mall. From what I heard about the second mall and why it went under was due to its competition and bad design flaws. It was extremely hard to find the only entrance and exit to the second mall.

So the only remaining mall wins out, and at some point, was a victim of the changing times. Teenagers aren’t allowed to stay past a certain time on Fridays or the weekends. I can understand wanting to make the mall a safe place for family-orientated people to congregate and (hopefully) buy and/or eat at the food court. There’s only five food places in the food court: soft-baked pretzels, pizza, Taco John’s, Asian food, and a cookie place. And its  nothing I’d want to snack on since I’m a strict Vegetarian. A slice of pizza is $3.99 and that’s without a combo or a drink.

Families are some of the very last folks out there that might have some extra money to burn. But again, everyone of all income brackets have to hang onto their money. Mall shopping is nearly a thing of the past thanks to Amazon and other online retail outlets. This practically cuts out the need for the middle man; the physical brick and mortar store to go pick up said item(s) that are ordered. Why go there when you can shop at home and have it delivered to your doorstep?

There’s something ‘dated’ about every mall and it’s no different. If you ever happen to watch a Youtuber’s channel  ThisIsDanBell, he takes you (the viewer), on some spooky and downright accurate ‘memory lane’ tours of America’s deadest malls. You can check out his Dead Mall Series. It’s worth a look see. He runs a close second with Adamthewoo. Adam the woo also goes on urban explorations. Sometimes hilarious and both Youtubers are quite the historians on the locations they film. And then there’s Exploring with Josh, a young Youtuber who goes exploring. And the thing that people reminisce about and is highly requested: malls, abandoned amusement parks, abandon buildings, abandoned schools, etc. And malls seem to be largely popular with every generation. There’s a fascination with how things once appeared, the styles, mullet hairstyles, big hair, and look over there… jeans were normal denim, not the ‘skinny’ look nowadays. Yes, I’ve seen how the 80’s acid-washed and even stone-washed look is trying to make a come back. However, it’s just not the same.

Denim of the Eighties was cotton. It did not stretch or have that luxurious feel of ‘second skin’. It was heavy, and in the summer your waistband soaked up all the sweat and didn’t allow your skin to breathe. Spandex filled that ‘second skin’ in the 80’s/90’s and looked better than the crappy-made polyester leggings I run across far too often. I shouldn’t be downing leggings since I own two *cotton* pairs myself, it’s when they are near see-thru, very thin, or too thick that makes wearing them uncomfortable. Denim of today is mixed with a large polyester content, spandex (about 1-2 %), modal (tree pulp) and I’d almost say tree poop which would be no different, Viscose (again, another tree poop– eh, pulp/paper byproduct), ‘other materials’ that don’t state what ‘other’ includes. And the list goes on.

We remember the sights, sounds, smells, excitement, and Dan Bell puts a lot of special effects and great care in his videos. Adam the woo, and Exploring with Josh are equally good with giving the viewer a strong sense of being there with them on their journeys.  Sometimes there’s a clip of vintage TV commercials, sometimes a sound-track playing in the back ground with that vintage ‘era’ mall/grocery shopping music (kind of like elevator musik) was back in the day. And Dan Bell has inserted in one of his clips of an eerie sounding vintage PA announcement of specials and sales going on store wide while zooming into a closed department (anchor) store. All of their channels are well-worth checking out. They’re awesome. Yet it’s sad to see some of the last time capsules rotting away or being sold at auction where any given mall’s fate will likely be with a wrecking ball.
Forget re-habbing these malls for the ‘hipster’ generation. There’s no stores nowadays that would appeal to me unless upgrading your cell phone or some other techno device every two weeks is in vogue and plays a vital role in one’s life.

Who needs three cell phone stores in a mall? I assume this is what a hipster store is all about, and if it is, then it bores me to tears simply because I don’t see how mall cell phone stores make enough to cover the cost of rent. I imagine mall rent has to be extremely astronomical. Secondly, technology is good, but it goes overboard when all I see are boring cell phone stores and cute little cell phone ‘bling’ (accessories) that serve no actual purpose other than to show off and look cute. There’s a cell phone store on every street corner just about.

I look just like I time-traveled from 1989, albeit my jeans are skinny (modern), my jacket and shirt are ‘pulled together’ goodies bought second-hand. I waltz into Sears and it’s like a ghost town. I’m waiting to hear an intro to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly blare out of their PA system and hope a tumbleweed crosses my path. It wasn’t that dramatic, but it was eerily silent and reminded me of that 80’s film where a meteor wipes off everybody on the planet, (those unfortunate enough to have been outdoors when it hit), and yet, everyone that remained inside survived. If you ever get a chance to see that film (and the name of the title escapes me at the moment), it would be liken to what I pictured a dead Sears store would look like during an apocalypse or even nowadays.

 

So when I tired of taking a “selfie” and another picture of that same old, cracked, asbestos-tile mall floor that’s standard in almost all mall designs, I walked the full length back to browse in Claire’s and returned to the [Brass] Buckle. The Buckle is one of those things on my bucket list (if I ever sit down and actually write one up on actual paper, that is). It wouldn’t be a high priority ‘to-do’ thing, but I did miss out shopping there the first time around when it was still a new designer clothing chain and a very “Preppy” teen store. Not to mention so over-priced even for the 80’s that I never stepped foot inside of one until decades later. Originally the “Brass Buckle” never did have a boho fashion/skinny jeans/ shredded vests, shredded jeans, or shredded jean jackets back in the eighties. They had very straight-laced, high-end designer clothing aimed at rich kids and their parents that could afford to charge it to their credit cards. Somewhere I have a vague memory the Brass Buckle had a paper punch card kind of like a shopper’s reward card is nowadays. I was just reminded of that the day I was at the cashier counter.

But here again, at one time I could never have fathomed me waltzing into a Brass Buckle store now years later. Times have changed. And thankfully the styles have moved away from the plain and somewhat boring fashions for teens of the late 80’s/90s. I say boring because everything was pin-stripe t-shirts, normal jeans, some acid-washed styles minus the rips or shreds in the material. There was no tight long sleeve shirts, fringe vests, Hurley [brand] attire, or even form-fitting shirts like there’s an avalanche of nowadays.

Everything now appears to be boho-clothing, beach/ summer wear, thongs (flip-flops), sandals, hats, sunglasses, shirts, tops, tanks, shorts, Daisy Dukes, acid-washed (the second generation) that still kind of sorta resembles something that looked like original acid-washed did back in the Eighties. Oh, yeah, the rock stars back then also wore acid-washed clothing so it wasn’t strictly for the young, but even the older generation could wear acid-washed denim with style.

And that’s what my eyes fell on, two denim vests. The prices would make one shrink back in fear. But the friendly sales team at the Brass Buckle would make you think otherwise. And they do offer law-away plans, too which was surprising considering they were at one time, a very popular clothing store. I suspect though this isn’t the case anymore. There was maybe two other shoppers in there when I was there as opposed to the place being packed on any given week night years prior. But that’s a sign of the times, as the adage goes. Trends are now mass-produced straight from China, and it’s “Better hurry while the offer lasts,” kind of deal.

Hope you enjoy the pictures. Thanks for reading, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, commenting, and liking. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

The High Price of Fashion: The Upscale Boutique.

Published February 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

More like the “Oh, dear– this is one of those ‘high maintenance’ women’s clothing stores.” But it was also a good place to get a free sample of Vera Bradley perfume, and a generous freebie at that. I believe the one I sprayed on a card had rose-scent to it. The little sample I was given was apple-champagne scented. Hey, at least I smell like a million bucks and the kind sale’s woman was very encouraging when recommending to do try on garments which frankly, surprised me. I say this because I’ve never shopped in one of these places much less stepped foot inside one in over a decade. I had a negative assumption and presumed all upscale clothing shops were the same when it came to trying on clothes for proper fit.

Upscale independent clothing stores (not counting the mall chain stores) used to display this snooty attitude, “Know your size!” and “Pick it out, pay for it, and leave.” I was quite amazed to see this negative impression I clung to for many years didn’t exist in this certain clothing store.

And yep, I also read countless dressing room horror stories about women being belittled by salespeople for trying on garments either one size too small or one size too big. Hey, we all got to find that happy medium somehow. I don’t know about you but I didn’t like the pair of Daisy dukes I wore that day suddenly turning my bikini bottoms into crotch floss. It was a pain, literally… but anywho–

I can’t ever (and don’t) see myself spending three–maybe even four paychecks just to purchase one ‘made in China’ boho-style garment from this upscale store. I will admit I was impressed with one or two articles the saleswoman encouraged me to try on. I really didn’t want to overstay my welcome and it was near closing. I still had several miles to cover on foot to make it home before dark. And looking at it in terms from a ‘retail world’ viewpoint, the hours are long. Sometimes the hours drag on. Salespeople have lives outside of their stores. As a customer I do understand this and I don’t think other customers are so mindful of this aspect. Why? Because we linger, we see something else that catches our eye or there’s so much too look at given the few short minutes before closing. I’m always the type that will come back when there’s more time in the day. Plus it gives me time to research the clothing brands and see if they sell for below what the local asking price is. To my surprise, no such luck. They’re still very pricey even on Amazon. I haven’t tried flea bay and since most of these garments are ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ mass-marketed it would be difficult to find them on there.

And there’s something about stores in general that will make you lose track of time. And just when you think you’ve seen everything, you discover something else that catches your eye. And that was so in my case. I was asked if I had ever heard of Vera Bradley. I answered politely with an amused smile, “No, I haven’t,” and before I could finish, the saleswoman was all smiles and told me all about this line of hand bags, cosmetic bags, small cute over-the-shoulder cell phone purses that can also hold credit cards. But can it pack a water bottle and a full course vegan meal as well? I didn’t think so.

I’m sure Vera is laughing all the way to the bank. I think to myself while curiously looking at the price tag first, not so much at the hand bag or the design thereof. I reviewed the price which was $58. Well, that’s not the most shocking price I’ve seen here. There was a boho long fringe poncho for $95-104. Now, that’s outrageous. 😮 And then there was the other crocheted fringe hippie vest by either a brand Cherishh or Others Follow for around $75-85. And the Blu Pepper fringe vest that did appeal to me was $40. Nope, I shake my head in private when in the dressing room. I love the cut, style and flower pattern. The price turns me off automatically without a second consideration. Cami’s were priced at $28 for one. I was encouraged to try on a red extremely OS (one size fits all) cami and before I could politely decline, it was whisked off to the first dressing room. I was directed into the first dressing room.

First thought that crossed my mind; “Cooper’s ligaments are going to hate me in the morning for this.” And then, “Oh, no– no, no. Way too constrictive!”, “Gawd, the Chinese sure do love us long time.” :/

I didn’t care at this point if I had a man in my future or if he would even love to see me trying to master the art of getting said cami off without taking my Swiss Army pocket knife to it just to extricate myself.  For the asking price of this cami I could very easily have five or ten in many different colors for about five bucks and still have money left over to treat myself to some chia seeds, organic corn chips or more fresh fruit and call it good. After some struggling like Houdini extracting himself out of a straight jacket, I had the cami off and back on the hanger in the same nice condition. Even though it was made of spandex and acetate I believe, I still rejected it. It wasn’t designed for comfort. It was more for looks.

I tried on the fringe vest (similar to this one, only the one I tried on had blue flowers on it) after I donned my shirt, and although the vest looked awesome 🙂 , the $40 price tag was an automatic “No” in my mind. Bummer! 😦

You’d have to be a stripper, super model, CEO, or married to a wealthy man in order to shop here. Not even with all my paychecks combined would I return simply because I know I can find similar boho garments and cami tops elsewhere for a lot less money. And all three clothing lines are very secretive about their prices if you try to find them online. I looked them up when I returned home. I believe it was Blu Pepper I discovered won’t even let you open an account with them unless you can submit proof that you’re an actual clothing retailer and have a license and other documents before you can even buy direct from them. On the other site, I believe it was Cherishh or Others Follow you had to log in to see those prices.

Why so secretive and picky about prices for garments that are sweat-shop produced and will likely fall apart if you look at them wrong? I think if I want some beach-looking, boho apparel I will be looking no further than my thrift stores. But one thing I find amazing is that I have never come across any of these off-brands turn up in thrift stores. A very good reason for this could be is they are very cheaply mass-produced and seldom, if ever, manage to last a year.

I thanked the saleswoman for staying open late to wait on me. I realize it’s no fun being in the retail world. I’ve heard both good and bad and downright horrible experiences from those that do have to work in retail. Everybody has to earn a living, but I think even if I ever won the lottery, I still wouldn’t throw away my money at any upscale women’s clothing store simply because the garments are no less better made. In fact, it seems they are worse. They sure won’t last one summer, at best. And the earrings sold for $16 per pair, and the necklaces were $24-$93. And their Hanky Panky sensible thong underwear sold for $22 each!! Only in Victoria’s Secret could I fathom high-priced underwear, but a small independent clothing boutique?! Give me a break.

And that wraps up my critique of entering an upscale woman’s clothing store. I do see where the term ‘high maintenance’ comes from now.  As always thanks for re-blogging, liking, tweeting, commenting, sharing, etc. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

Skinny Jeans- my take.

Published February 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Well, I’ve definitely seen some variations before they were commonly known nowadays as “skinny jeans”. And I’ve even bought some stretchy skinny jeans in thrift shops. But what is it about them that makes them a health concern for women? And why should it just be about us women? What about the men that wear skinny jeans? They have calves to ya’ know.  It’s the tightness, for one. And secondly, some pairs of skinny jeans can cut off the circulation in the calves so some school’s of thought will propose. And there’s the exact opposite of views that say wearing skinny jeans have no health concerns.

As a society some of us women still walk on stilts on a daily basis or throw on a pair of those to go to special events or a night club. For the inexperienced high heel wearer (yours truly) they do feel like being on stilts, and what’s worse about high heels: over time they’ll destroy your arches and balls of your feet if you wear them on a daily basis.

I didn’t have to invest in high heels to compete in an office workplace setting, but am guilty as sin for owning a few for ‘in-the-future I may be happy to own some. I’ve heard more bad than good about high heels from both women and men alike over the years, especially when shoe shopping. I’ve even watched a video where a man explains why he doesn’t like seeing women (from his cultural standpoint) to wear high heels and he explained it best something to the effect of: “High heels are meant for the woman’s husband to only see and they come straight from the brothel districts and into the runways of New York and women are conditioned to believe that to achieve beauty they must wear them.” This same man also went onto explain his thoughts about women wearing makeup– rather he was disgusted seeing women damaging their health by wearing drugstore makeup, the kind that contains a plethora of potentially carcinogenic-causing ingredients. And he went onto add that natural vegan makeup is out there. It’s pricey, but he hates hearing women say, “I can’t afford it.” His reply was simple: “Save up for it. But if you want to wear the cheap stuff, go ahead.” I thought he expressed his views alright, but here again it all depends on how one was raised.

And when high heels are paired with skinny jeans that’s a tough call. I guess nowadays the phrase is “rockin’ that —-” whatever a person wears and looks awesome.

Am I fashion expert? Nope. Do I get paid to or am I given a deep discount or freebie products to review? Nope. I just love fashion and always have even though I’m very opposed to ever shed my ‘dated’ appearance unless I feel like trying something new.

And to be honest if you skim through Amazon, the people that do give their honest reviews for a product to try out or use or get it for nearly free (I have to assume)—I simply do not have a clue how they get chosen for that. But that’s going way off the skinny jeans topic.

Skinny jeans and where to buy them: Pretty much those can be found at any retailer, thrift stores, and even the more upscale clothing stores like the Brass Buckle. Nowadays its just ‘the buckle’ or the logo “B”. I don’t get why everything has been shortened over the years, especially when it comes to retailers and their store names. Keep it like it always was and let it remain a familiar staple. That’s my take anyway.

So can a woman or man look awesome in a pair of skinny jeans? Yeah, but for a man I’d highly recommend going with Stretch F***** Jeans by Lip Service. I know, it’s kind of a punk/Goth trend in way of clothing. Had I not bought a pair of these particular jeans even though they didn’t stock a woman’s variety that I was aware of anyway eons ago, I could write an honest blog about them. I wound up buying a man’s pair of these Lip Service stretch jeans and don’t know whatever became of them. They were my favorite pair of stretchy black jeans that resembled skinny jeans I’d say it was around 2001 or 2002. And they weren’t constrictive on the circulation nor bad for the calves when worn for long periods. They were black, very durable and went through many, many, many launderings without fading too terribly much and held up quite well I recall.

Now, the only bad draw back I had about Lip Service clothing line is double check your measurements BEFORE you place an online order. And always email your measurements to a reputable place. I used to do a lot of online “Goth” shopping at Ipso-Facto, a California Goth shop. I ordered from them sight unseen and always provided my measurements. One of the last articles I ordered from them was one of the last long gauzy black corset dresses they had in stock and it was expensive!

The back and forth emailing helped to ensure the size Medium wouldn’t be so terribly tight that I wouldn’t be able to get out of said dress. It was beautiful, all black with some inset black velvet, lace up front with black ribbon ties made by Lip Service, gauzy long sleeves that went kind of off-the-shoulder. Somewhere I do have a picture of me in said dress, but where it wound up after I moved is beyond me. I might have sold off the dress on eBay when I stopped dressing Goth.

I believe if you get a pair of skinny jeans in your size, then you should be fine. And be sure to wear a shirt that covers unless you don’t mind showing your behind or underwear to the world when in public. Skinny jeans paired with the right top can look great. They can even look smokin’ (my word for totally awesome), with an old original 80’s heavy metal/ rock concert t-shirt. There was something more form-fitting about those old rock t-shirts from back in my day and even before that and they were softer cotton. I still have a few original rock t-shirts from the eighties. The re-issues of rock t-shirts and heavy metal they come out with nowadays are either too large or way too small, and if they’re a ladies Junior t-shirt then forget it. Those are too constrictive in my opinion and don’t allow the skin to breathe. And it seems like the album art has been enlarged on all of the rock t-shirts nowadays and cracks easily with a second or third washing. And it’s equally bad if it the garment contains 10 or even 75 % polyester. Polyester is recycled plastics which is why I tend to avoid buying garments if they contain polyester. And if they’re complete polyester blend like leggings for example, I don’t waste my money. I try to opt for cotton whenever I can although I realize a lot of the garments out there do contain polyester blend material and the cotton nowadays is extremely inferior, scratchy, itchy, and doesn’t soften with repeated laundering.

Hope you enjoyed this post about skinny jeans. Thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, and commenting. I always appreciate it. 🙂