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“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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The move of a lifetime.

Published December 26, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

A shaky transition:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The only antique to get broke during the move was…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Happily ever after…

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Dangerous Tune: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Published March 6, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Yay! Our book has been featured on a blog. Way to go Evan Asher. 🙂 – Rosemary Carr

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a dangerous tune

The trouble starts when Kristol Henderson inherits her grandmother’s antique phonographs, old machines that Kristol loves but are not worth all that much. So, what happened to the rest of the woman’s fortune? Kristol’s resentful relatives believe she holds the clue to the missing money. To complicate things further she’s fallen for Derek Castle, the attractive man appointed to be executor of the estate. But he seems to have a secret. His passionate kisses thrill her even as his evasiveness gives her reason to question his true intentions. Kristol has no answers, but she knows one thing for sure: someone is targeting her.

Book Reviews:

“I enjoyed this book very much, story line kept you interested throughout the book. I look forward to future books by Evan Asher!”

“A suspenseful quick read. Kristol is the innocent recipient of a generous inheritance from her Grandma and as a result is confronted…

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1980s makeup influences/MTV (original)/ Last days of print rock music magazines 1989-1993):

Published January 12, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

ozzy and lita ford circa 1989 My top pick for another makeup influence has to be Lita Ford (shown in photo with Ozzy Osbourne, circa 1989). Makeup by this point wasn’t all heavy on the glam like it began with Cindy Lauper back in 1983. Everything by the late 80s beginning around 1989 was starting to spell the end to a fascinating era. The likes of Marilyn Manson weren’t gracing the covers of Metal Edge yet. In fact, nobody had heard of him unless you dig further back and watch an episode of The Wonder Years. He played “Paul” on the show.

Metal Edge was one of the last print rock/heavy metal magazines that struggled to hang on before everything moved into the paperless internet age. I believe RIP magazine was the first to fade away and Guitar Pix (?), circa 1989 was one of those flash-in-the-pan  rock magazines that I never seen surface anywhere, not even on the internet. The Grunge movement would kill off the rock world as I knew it. Heavy metal had already bitten the dust as far back as 1987-88.

By 1993 everything got “weird” in way of popular music is how I described it back then. Music was making the transition into the digitally re-mastered and compressed age. The likes of Columbia House offered gimmicks like pick out so many xxx amount of CD’s for a penny. Often times my CDs never arrived, and when they did (the shipping took about two months), then the sound quality was very poor. I just couldn’t see where the fascination was with CD’s. In my eyes they’re great for music preservation and little else. The compact disc never flew with me anyways. I was strictly an LP, cassette tape, and 8 track cartridge tape gal myself.

My makeup and hairstyle didn’t change for the remainder of the 90’s. I wasn’t dying my hair so it wasn’t chemically compromised (nor thin because of it). I did tease my hair big and called it ‘ratting’ my hair. But even that didn’t last long since I cut out more tangles than I could count back then.

My makeup remained consistent: black eyeliner, blue eye shadow, light shade of foundation/ powder compact, light shade of pink lipstick throughout the early 90s. And Wet n’ Wild metallic blue fingernail polish. Somewhere there’s a picture of Lita Ford sporting metallic blue nail polish in one of my heavy metal magazines. Then by the last half of the 90s my fashion completely changed. I went through a Goth faze and dyed my beautiful hair black, and for a while, dyed my bangs Manic Panic Vampire Red. I never gave it one thought about all the damage I was doing to my hair. My Goth makeup was very poser-ish, at best. I say poser because I was. Since I never adopted the ‘depressed’/ morbid mindset that the previous Goth subculture might have had, I clearly didn’t fit in with the Goth subculture of the mid/ late 90s, that’s for sure.

At first I used sunscreen as my liquid foundation since I wasn’t aware that Manic Panic also made Goth makeup as well. I used “No-AD” sunblock since it was fairly inexpensive at the time. Then I would dust my face, ears, neck and any exposed skin with baby powder (to achieve the pale complexion). For the black lipstick I easily found some in a nail polish combo pack around Halloween and stocked up on that. The lipstick/ nail polish combos were very low quality, but they’d do in a pinch, especially on a budget. And my eyes weren’t made up to be spooky. I didn’t go all intricate with my eye makeup. I used a very dark maroon-colored eye shadow, and colored my lids with a black eye brow pencil. For a while I did experiment using other colors, but they didn’t look right. So, that was my Goth makeup until I could save up the money to invest in some Manic Panic makeup. And before I knew it I had quite a collection of Manic Panic lipsticks, nail polishes, foundation (some even a light purple almost lilac shade), and white face setting powder that comes in a compact with a sponge and mirror. For a while I also bought some LuLu Goth makeup– I wish I could remember the internet company I ordered it from, but its been many years and don’t know if they’re still in business or not. But they had some good quality makeup and their eye shadows were intense and long-lasting. A little bit went a long way and the colors were very intense.

When I was going through my Goth faze I listened to The Cure and heard about a very unusual group the Astrovamps completely by happenstance. I seen the group in some random magazine offering a mail offer freebie CD sampler in 2002/2003. Well, the cd came busted in pieces and therefore, seldom ever sent off for Cd offers.

I didn’t like any of the new music coming out around the late 90s nor did I keep up on any of the music news beyond 1991 which was my cut off point. When I first heard Grunge I was like, “What’s this ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit?’ Isn’t Teen Spirit a name of a deodorant?”

I tried to force myself to listen to Nirvana, but what I didn’t like about it was all this inner rage, depressing, mumbling undertones, oh and grumbling and sometimes shouting lyrics from other newer bands got on my nerves as well. I happy returned to my roots which has been classic rock/hard rock/ heavy metal with a little bit of speed/thrash metal thrown in the mix.

What’s so jaw-dropping about open flannel shirts, baggy pants and disheveled appearances? I thought to myself when the Grunge trend began taking off. And where’s the glam makeup bands? They all disappeared overnight it seemed like. There would be mentions, a few editorials about the veterans of heavy metal and rock in the music magazines, but not much by 1993-95.

I believe I only bought one issue of Metal Edge in the late 90s, but even that went downhill when Gerri Miller (exclusive editor) left and some unknown guy took over and ran the magazine into the ground. Gerri Miller kept Metal Edge clean and it was a very popular music magazine with kids and teenagers alike.

Fast forward to 1994. The hair band police cave in. Well, okay, not entirely. Compromises were made regarding what bands we could have (without the albums first being confiscated and automatically trashed. As a unanimous decision, we instituted ‘family meetings’. If there was ever an album that contained questionable lyrics/album cover artwork, instead of the hair band police automatically tossing said album in the trash, we’d listen it and decide. I’d come home with some controversial bands my parents loathed. And most of the albums I found for $1 at a hole-in-the-wall second hand store, thrift stores that sold cassette tapes for 25 cents in 1993 and a majority of my LP’s I spent $5 each on.

Some of the bands I did bring home had surprisingly made Tipper Gore’s “filthy fifteen list” years earlier. Did I intentionally set out to find these groups? You bet, once I found Tipper’s filthy fifteen list and it wasn’t easy to find in the pre-internet era. I had to do three years of research to find it and spoke with people who knew more about it than I did and kindly pointed me in the right direction.

For those who don’t know who Tipper Gore is other than former senator Al Gore’s wife, she started the Washington Wives who instituted the Parental Advisory– Explicit lyrics ‘Tipper Stickers’ tacked on every album of nearly every rap, rock, heavy metal, folk artist. They also liked to dictate to 80’s parents what the youth won’t listen to. This started around 1985. It also served to help and harm record sales. Help because all the controversy surrounding Tipper’s filthy fifteen list made some of us kids want to see these groups in concert. We lived in some exciting and serious times. The country was still largely conservative and very strict. The ‘Tipper Sticker’ did some harm because a lot of the record buying public were under eighteen and if our parents told us ‘NO!’ we had to listen.

I wanted to hear Ozzy Osbourne again and the wait to do so was well worth it by 1993. I was like a kid turned loose in a candy store. I bought nearly all of Ozzy’s solo albums on used LP and half-priced $5 cassette tapes. By 1993 standards MTV was branching out into liquid television, Beavis and Butthead, some MTV news, new Grunge videos, but all the glitz and glamour of MTV’s heyday went by the wayside beginning around 1986. It was too bad too because I liked seeing J.J. Jackson and Martha Quinn. Those were my favorites out of all the five video jocks. There was also Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, and Alan Hunter. Therefore, hearing and seeing rock stars wasn’t easy as watching Youtube.

The early 80s brought us music videos to go with the hit songs we were hearing on the radio. The internet wasn’t thought of yet. A computer as we knew it still took up massive wall space and crunched numbers. The newest classroom computer to be introduced was an Apple II. It crunched numbers on a black screen with green font and floppy copy paper disks were a nightmare to load correctly without ruining them.

When MTV first debuted on cable Aug. 1, 1981 it created a firestorm and not in the good way from religious leaders. They felt MTV was a new tool by the devil to brainwash the 80s youth. Similar echos from the past were said when Jazz was first pressed onto cylinder records and 78s. And I’m sure same went for Elvis Presley when he appeared on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time shaking his hips back in the fifties. And each generation to come afterwards had their upheavals and revolutions.

I wanted to know why my dad once listened to Black Sabbath and why did they appeal to him when he was a teenager. I wouldn’t settle for just a cassette tape. I’d be tickled pink to find an 8 track tape or on LP (old school ‘vinyl’ for you 180 gram 33” hipsters). But back in these days we didn’t have to run out and purchase expensive turntables just to play all these new re-issued LP’s that are heavier than their lighter weight inferior plastic 33 1/3″ cousins. We had cheaply produced records to keep up with demand back the 80s and despite what a young twenty-something will smugly say about the older LP’s being very poor in way of sound, aren’t listening to an old LP correctly. Yes, old LP’s will have scratches, warping, popping, cracking, skipping. That was the allure to my ears. It wasn’t how they sound to me twenty years down the road. I listen to them and tell myself, “Wow, my LPs stood the test of time! Woohoo!” 🙂

I do remember reading about the LA Glam/Sleaze music scene from the L.A. Sunset strip in 1989 and it was a literal overnight thing. A few of the new upstart bands being cranked out by 1989-90 were LA Guns, XYZ, Trixter, Faster Pussycat, etc. Their images were very cookie cutter, almost carbon copies of each other. Their music was nearly identical in some cases, but it wasn’t violent as to what I hear pouring out of the radio nowadays whenever I enter a store.

Years pass and I was working extremely late one night on my autobiography and hit a portion I wasn’t ready to face emotionally so, I quit and searched eBay for authentic 80’s black jelly bracelets, necklaces, earrings and happened upon some vintage 80s music magazines (most I remembered my older sister and I bought brand new when they hit newsstands) and decided to put together the perfect gift since I couldn’t build a time machine. I bought two of each vintage magazine same back issues. (One for myself and the other for my sister).

Lita Ford’s mother I believe was “Ask Mama Ford” and she was an advice columnist for Metal Edge. Dear Mama Ford was like ‘Dear Abby’, and someone that teenagers could write to anonymously and Mama Ford would respond with her advice. I did not know how many teenagers in my generation had serious troubles and stress going on until I read a few shocking letters printed in the likes of Metal Edge magazine, and looking back it pales in comparison to all the shocking news I read about nowadays online that makes the headlines on a daily basis. That’s when I shut off the computer and go do something else.

Please stay tuned. I will also being doing a blog feature on the vintage music magazines I had while growing up and a follow up nail polish review blog. Thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, and commenting. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

Studio Rockstar 6 pack nail polish- Glow in the Dark and Dollar General ‘after Christmas’ sale reviews:

Published January 12, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

First of all, I love neon colors when they fall in the nail polish realmnail polish neon pink rockstar. Secondly, the colors glow in the dark. Normally, I don’t wear nail polish simply due to the questionable (and downright dangerous) chemicals they contain. I also quit wearing nail polish simply because I couldn’t find any eco-friendly brand out there yet that doesn’t contain or substitute one bad chemical for another. Sure, I know, this Studio Rockstar nail polish pack is made in China, so buyer beware. I skimmed over the ingredients listed on back and compared them to another inexpensive nail polish Broadway, which is commonly found for a $1 at Dollar General and sometimes even the Dollar Tree. Then I compared this six pack nail polish contents to another brand L.A. Colors.

Oh, and what’s this have to do with the ‘after Christmas’ sale going on at Dollar General? Well, it’s extremely misleading. (I would capitalize ‘misleading’ but don’t want to make it appear as though I’m shouting in all caps). They have 50% off of all their Christmas items excluding chocolate covered Cordial Cherries. Nowhere on the excluded list did I notice nail polish gift sets, makeup kit gift sets, etc. So naturally I assumed all was good and it was at half the retail price.

I selected two 6 pack nail polishes and one similar 6 pack called Spice City or something like that and the colors were more metallic and dark. I did the math in my head and figured at most my total for both nail polishes (and oh yeah, can’t forget the nail file and buffer kit for $2) also found displayed in with the Christmas sale items wasn’t going to set me back too much. I also did my usual grocery shopping and got in line to check out.

My turn arrived, and as the checker rang up my purchases, the nail polishes rang up at full price of $5 each. I caught it in time and asked if they were part of the Christmas sale. The nail polishes were not. In fact, neither was the nail file/buffer kit and it was in the stocking stuffer last minute gift-giving display.

Well, crapola. That bites. Oh, well. This is the fourth time Dollar General has done this. They need to state specifically what is and isn’t included in sale so the consumer won’t hold up the line. And seldom does Dollar General honor their printed offers on purchases totaling a certain amount before tax when you get a receipt.

I made a snap decision and very kindly had the poor checker go ahead and void the nail polishes and the nail buffer kit from my order. I paid for my groceries and left. I had totally phased out I did have a few spare dollars on me. And after I put my groceries in my vehicle, I returned and bought the neon glow in the dark nail polish kit. I think if they aren’t included in the Christmas sale, then Dollar General really needs to display this neon nail polish 6 pack kit in the nail care section, but that’s just me. Their after Christmas sale is vague. So, don’t make the mistake and think it will be fifty per cent off.

These neon colors are very reminiscent of the 1980s and those that grew up and/or were teenagers during this time can remember with great fondness all about the short-lived fads, fashion, big hair, door knocker earrings, extremely loud heavy metal/  rock music, Atari and (first generation) Nintendo games, etc. and I was no exception to this either. And I believe this same nostalgia holds true for every generation that came before and after.

Studio Rockstar packaging—yes, the neon pink, zebra print and oh, so retro-styling packaging caught my eye. It looked like something that could have been plucked straight from the 80s and placed on display in 2016. That’s a plus when the typography and package design appeals to my sight. It’s something familiar. The questionable chemicals were ‘iffy’ at very best because I doubt there’s a nail polish on the planet that can escape the formaldehyde chemical that likely goes under a million trillion sneaky names to intentionally mislead the health-conscious consumer. If I don’t plan to use it as nail polish, then I could always use these in place of hobby paints, for example. So, I bought one of the last neon glow in the dark packages they had left.
The pros and cons about getting said nail polishes out of the packaging on a scale of one to ten (1 being the worst, 10 being the easiest), I’d rate the difficulty level in opening this package a -1. You’ll need a pair of sturdy kitchen sheers, pliers and a good pair of work gloves since the plastic is sharp!

Whoever glued these nail polish bottles inside the inner plastic container is an absolute dumbbell! Are all the nail polishes packaged this way nowadays? Good grief! Maybe they’re just sold for looks. I don’t know what industrial strength crazy glue they use over in China, but I was never able to extract the nail polish bottles yet from the plastic inner container. :/

Are the neon colors true to what was around during the 1980s? Yes and no.

Yes, since the neon colors are vibrant shades that are true to what was around back then. And no, because during the eighties finding these neon color nail polishes especially if they glowed in the dark were non-existent in my [then young recollection]. The only time I had ever seen wild neon colors was when my next door neighbor friend Mindy showed me her painted fingernails one day. She had just returned from Boston, a place I could point to on a map, but never seen in person. She spoke of how she tried the original Boston baked beans, and as I listened, I tried to wrap my head around what she was describing to me in excited detail because it all seemed surreal to me. I didn’t travel much, if at all from the state I lived in during the eighties/ early 90s, so all of what she told me was new and exciting when she told me all about her visit to see her relatives. And there was also a lot of ‘carry over’ from the late eighties that hung thick in the summer air like Super hold Aqua Net hairspray by the early 90s and disappeared entirely by 1993.

The only nail polishes I wore during this time was Wet n’ Wild’s metallic blue since my parents forbid me and my older sister to wear black nail polish. That was once deemed by many straight-laced 80’s parents like ours to be rebellious and wild. Go ahead and laugh you newer generation. 🙂 But my generation “Started it first!” so, there. Nanny-nanny boo-boo. 😛

But we all have to make compromises, right? Let the young kids wear what they want and blow their parent’s hard-earned money on more body modifications/ piercings and another tattoo? Not even in your wildest dreams. Back in the eighties it was a very different era, far removed from the generations coming up nowadays. Our fashion included (if you had extremely rich parents) Gitano jeans, Reeboks, and preppy shirts bought from the Brass Buckle (nowadays just shortened to “the Buckle”). Shirts were tucked in the waistband and slightly tugged to show off the girl’s figure) and jeans were rolled at the ankles, socks scrunched.

I’m very grateful looking back that our parents did give us some compromises about our strict household rules on what we could wear out of the house. But those neon colors Mindy showed me never left my mind. They were very bright, almost gave me a headache they were so intense, but nowhere available in my area at the time or even in the big cities that I was aware of. And like always I never asked Mindy if I could write down the name of those neon nail polishes. All I remember is she told me something to the effect they were one of those hard to find items. And back in the early 90s, neon nail polish was scarce to find since I never seen them again until endless searching lead me to discover Manic Panic makeup and their impressive line of nail polishes; black, dark metallics, neons, etc.

And now years later that package of neon glow-in-dark nail polishes that I saw in Dollar General today reminded me of those exact colors that Mindy once wore proudly. She had each fingernail painted a different shade of neon yellow, neon orange, and I believe neon-lime green and it really made a bold silent statement for the times, not one of rebellion, but rather one of something drastically new and unseen in our teenage cliques. Like, like, like… (yes, that’s how we spoke in the 80s). We would start our sentences with “Like” as in “Like, hey that’s totally radical!” and “Like, no way!”

Now the colors included in the Studio Rockstar package will vary. They had some glitter nail polishes and other neon-colors that don’t glow in the dark. It’s all a personal preference.

The chemical smell of the Studio Rockstar nail polishes might make you think you just opened up an automotive paint shop in your front room. The scent lingers, but with ventilation, the fumes should eventually go away. So I give this brand of nail polish a -2 because the chemicals are very overpowering.

The color when it’s applied will require 4-6 coats to get good coverage. The colors are watery and sheer. At least was the case for the neon blue and neon pink. I modeled the neon pink for the picture and that was a mere two or three coats I applied. So I will rate the coverage a -4. It states on the package it will take two coats to get good coverage. Really? Like, I don’t think so. It takes more than that.

Anyways, if you want some neon glow in the dark nail polishes (6 in a pack) the $5 is worth it (for looks and the nostalgia). But for good coverage forget it. I’m willing to guess that these colors probably won’t last very long and would eventually chip and flake off easily.

Glow the dark rating: fades easily when exposed to short light exposure. However, I’m sure these colors would look awesome under a black light. I also presume these nail polishes contain possible carcinogens, so wearer take care.

The colors rating: 10, and if they ever improve getting the bottles to pry loose from the packaging, then I will rate it a 12+. Overall given the name “rockstar” brings to mind the 80s big hair bands and heavy metal of my youth of days gone by, but also conjures up a time of girlish delight and happy innocence if that makes any sense which is another reason why I purchased it.

Thanks for liking, commenting, re-blogging, sharing, I truly appreciate it. 🙂 I will have some other blogs strictly about 80s fashion, hair, and makeup (from a metalhead’s perspective) and will provide a do-it-yourself tutorial on how to re-create the ‘shredded’ concert-going 80’s styled jeans that were all the rage back in the day, too. 🙂

Something old, something new: One Victrola’s mysterious journey.

Published December 29, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

Vic VVXIV for wordpress Picture of a Victrola VV-XIV.

There’s a poor behemoth Victrola VV-XIV tightly wedged between a long metal filing cabinet and a tiny portion of bookshelf space in a used furniture store. I promised myself, “no more” in regards to restoring these beautiful wind-up antique phonographs simply because the cost to restore them can outweigh the price you pay for the machine.

And it was only twice I seen a gold-plated Victrola model. The last one I had seen at a thrift store was beat to heck and back. There was rust all over it and it reeked of stagnant mold damage like it had been dredged up from the depths of a leaky basement– or worse, perhaps. And the thirft store was charging $368! There were 78s adhered to the storage shelves. It was a pitiful mess of Tetanus waiting to happen. And that baby upright Victrola didn’t stay in the thrift store very long. Don’t know if it was ever bought or sold, or made its way to the landfill.

But this large upright gold-plated Victrola was in far better condition. The cabinet was clean (although dusty), and it requires some major and minor TLC. It’s a labor of love I’d happily accept.

And this Victrola’s provenance (history of its previous owners and what state it came from) is completely N/A (non-applicable). This Victrola didn’t come with any paperwork and that’s to be expected. There was no instruction booklet (sometimes these do surface).

I have no clue who owned this antique talking machine, but it likely dates around Aug. 1, 1913 (checked the sticker on the back at the lower left hand corner). And I did some cross-reference from this fantastic site: The Victor Victrola page before I decided to return to the store.

This talking machine has been around a day or two. Sure the cabinet has a few nicks, a minuscule white paint speck here and there. Overall the ornate carved moldings are present and appear to be in good condition for their age. And nope, it’s not even close to being museum quality or even pristine condition. Most antique phonograph collectors with disposable incomes won’t even consider these less glossy talking machines or rather, let me say, cosmetically-challenged Victrolas that have veneer loss and/ or alligator-like cabinets due to separation of the original gloss. The stain appears to be red mahogany or something similar. And my Christmas present finally arrived yesterday morning.

I had the sales person give me an in-store demonstration long before I ever decided to get this particular Victrola. I cringed when I heard “At the Pawn Shop” by Guy Mitchell. I have nothing against this artist. For the love of Nipper, (Victrola’s mascot Fox Terrier), don’t ever play a 1950s 78 on a Victrola—ever. I stress this because the record grooves are different and can’t handle the heavy weight of a talking machine’s reproducer nor that of the steel needle that will act like a pumice stone thus causing groove walls of the 78 terrible wear and tear. Plus its very damaging to the mica diaphragm and creates an unpleasant shrill to the ears. Also, 78s recorded on or after 1935 is the cut-off point due to differences in the recording/cutting processes.

And I will always have Guy Mitchell’s song stuck in my head from now on whenever I lay eyes on this once proud, stunning glorious talking machine that was one of two flagship models in the Victor-Victrola line. It was $200 brand new back in 1913 or thereabouts. It is well over $4,000 in today’s money according to the Federal Reserve inflation calculator.

And it’s going to need critical TLC. As I suspected (and scrunched my shoulders when listening to it play in the store), the mainspring(s) were broke, possibly. They weren’t thumping per se, one—perhaps all three mainsprings are possibly weak which is very common on nearly all un-restored Victrolas nowadays if not well cared for by its former owner(s). I suspected such and figured up additional costs it’s going to take to get this beautiful talking machine to perform as it once did.

Three red flags went up in my mind aside from the common potential mainspring breakage, the internal horn shifted inside the cabinet. Also, there was scoring to the main board bolts likely due to someone using the wrong type of screw driver. And its missing four tiny gold-plated screws from its lid, which indicates to me the lid had been removed at some point.

Regardless, I’m happy with the new Victrola. It came with its own record duster (not often found with these machines), three packs of old original needles, and the cabinet key that’s original to the machine as well. The folks in the furniture store told me that a man tried to walk off with the cabinet key. This is because they are extremely hard to come by, very pricey when found, and seldom if ever, are retained with the phonograph.
I don’t plan to get into a massive rush to get the mainsprings repaired nor do will I have the Exhibition reproducer overhauled anytime soon. I decided to take the leisurely (or lazy approach) with this machine. The talking machine plays, but the mainsprings violently protest while it plays a 78 and sounds like one of the springs is uncoiling inside the barrel. And no, it’s not the ever common “thump,” “thump”, “thump” from dried grease in the mainspring barrels, its more than likely broken. I know since I own and serviced my own talking machines in my younger days and can detect by listening if its going to be something major that will require professional assistance or something minor like dried grease in the mainsprings.

I froze outside yesterday without a coat on so I could clean the caked on grease from the governor and worm drive shaft. And I remembered to put a few generous drops of Hoppie’s oil in the bushing and tips before I re-assembled it. That’s the extent of my main board adventure. There’s a few things I didn’t mess with simply because the majority of it calls for a professional, something of which, I’m not.

The cabinet was cleaned using Murphy’s Oil Soap and a clean cloth and cotton balls for the more intricate wood carvings. I then vacuumed inside the machine after I extracted ten or so needles, both steel and Fibre (bamboo kind). I didn’t stumble upon any hidden treasures. There was no Prohibition alcohol stuffed inside, no money either. But, hey, one can always dream. I heard various stories of people finding peculiar things inside these antique phonographs when they go to restore them that is.
And something tells me my new Victrola spent its life either near the Ocean in a beach front home, or elsewhere in a similar corrosive environment near salt water. The gold-plated hardware shows corrosion and has seen a lot of use as evident by the worn mark on the goose-neck tone arm. It came with a few record books that contained several 12” 78s. There were some nice one-sided red and also black bat wing label records, two dark purple Victor 78’s by Harry Lauder (a favorite of mine) and some modern 33 1/3” shoved in the books. And the other books contain…nothing. Oh, well.

Here’s how to decipher the types of music commonly found on a Victor 78 (I didn’t get around to covering the Orthophoics or the “VE” (Victor Electric) series because its been a lazy, cold, blustery day:

Red bat-wing label one-sided (included double-sided) 78’s will have classical, instrumental, sentimental, operatic ballads for example Enrico Caruso, Erinestine-Shumann-Heink, Fritz Kriesler, John McCormack, etc.

Black bat wing one-sided (including double-sided) 78’s will generally include Vaudeville, Fox Trots (jazz and waltzes), country, etc.

Purple bat wing one-sided 12” 78s will contain Opera in most cases, unless the singer happens to be Harry Lauder, then the song(s) would fall into a Scottish sentimental song category. Harry Lauder was a vaudeville comedian and music hall Scottish singer.
Now I believe the record binders themselves were manufactured during the 1940s since they have “RCA Victor Victrola” and the legendary Nipper trademark image in gold. But they appear later produced, not earlier like that of my embossed record binders from eons ago (same company). When the Victrola Talking Machine company was bought out by The Radio Corp. of America (RCA) in 1929 after the stock market crashed, they then changed the company’s name to include “RCA Victor” and the like. Thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, commenting, I truly appreciate it. 🙂