Sitting in the lunchtime sun

No, I’m not promising a blog each day this week, but enough has happened for one today, so lets roll with it.

Today, for the 4th trip in 15 years (yes, it is the stat leader), I visited the center of Seattle. Fine, strictly it happened yesterday, but that was just a flying visit, to get the phone activated, whereas today was for real! Now its 2 visits where the way into town is by light rail, to match the 2 when there were only buses! Light rail has extended at both ends since last time though, which helps me at this end, and means I will visit the University at some point this week too. The other big change since that first visit, my first hotel is now gone, area is seemingly just another airport car park now. Other 2 are still there, though one seems to have had a change of name, and upgrade since my last trip.

My first stop, Westlake Center has changed too, and not for the better in my opinion, but maybe I’m just not a fan of change? I went looking for the food hall that used to be there on the top floor, but its gone, seemingly for some time, though I didnt stop to find out. Monorail is still there, so will probably use that to get to Space Needle at some point this week. Then to Pike Place, which seems to have had a makeover, but it so fits in with the old building, I found it hard to tell exactly where.

One other landmark of my first visit was a massage parlor, where some lady had worked on easing body pains in the past. Was still there on last visit, but that was nearly 10 years ago, but no sight of it now. Shame, as my body needs that massage even more nowadays!

Lastly, I found my way down to the front, where all the ferries, and cruise boats set off from. Yes, the stairs down (lots of them) killed me, but it had to be done. Well, it didnt, but more on that shortly! A walk along the front, I had lunch at a hot dog vehicle, who seemed to do pretty good business, and it was good too. Sat at a table, by the van, in the midday sun, by the bay…you might have worked out the video lol!

Anyway, rather than trying to struggle back up over 100 steps, I took a stroll along the front for further options, and found an elevator back up to the top, which was out of order! Thankfully, it directed me to one that was working, so I used that, and ended up back in Pike Place!

So, the last thing, yes, I heard back from the Mariners this afternoon. A phone call, a few questions about details of what happened (so they can discuss with worker), and where, and an offer of a ticket for the weekend, in an accessible seat. Somehow I suspect this might be a bit closer to the ground than yesterday lol! So yes, credit to Mariners for doing what needs to be done. Was actually offered 2 tickets for game on Friday (my preferred night), but as there’s only me, and I really dont know anyone in town, I said 1 would be fine! So I will go to the (base) ball, it seems, lol, though I have no plans on wearing ball gowns!

OK, video. As I say, you should have worked out this classic song, or at least I hope you have. Sadly, Otis Redding didnt even get to live until the end of 1967, dying in a plane crash. Video is a bit of a compilation mix,  due to the age of the song.

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Just don’t tell Trump!

Firstly, a quick reminder for the newer folk around here, and numbers do seem to have exploded viewing this, so…I’m on holiday now, in Seattle. What this means for those lucky people who know to read both blogs, there’s no point, they just get copy and paste treatment, as most would want to know the same things, and besides, I dont have the time to write 2! So… Yes, I know, its been a while, but more on that in a moment!

Strictly, the holiday made an early start on Thursday, as I went into Am Dram mode again in Cookridge, with a couple of work friends. I would spend time praising the performance to the hilt, and telling you to go see it, but there were only 3 shows, its finished by now, but…It was really good, I must say, as was the meal before that, both the food, and the company.

I was going to post something on Friday re the reduction of stakes on the ghastly machines in betting shops nowadays, from £100, to £2, but firstly I ran out of time, having my hair done (shock horror, I’m not a natural blonde!), and then packing to come here. So it never happened. Mind, as the reduction wont kick in until 2020, I shall probably be rude about the betting industry before then!

Yesterday was just a typical US Travel day in so many ways, that I’ll only pass on the interesting details. Yes, Manchester Airport redeemed themselves this time, though they get one more chance to mess up yet. As does Seattle, where a lovely young lady not only helped me through, and got my baggage for me, she actually ran me over to where the hotel courtesy shuttles pick up, and I’m sure thats not in their job description. But the middle one… No, it wasnt bad, just the opposite in fact, really good service, but…

Every other airport I’ve seen in the US (even before I needed this ‘old crock’ service) has either had a separate line for wheelchair passengers, or mingled them into the crew column, or a mix of both. Ah, but this is Vegas, so…Its not the biggest International sector, I suspect it doesnt need it. So there is a crew column, but access passengers…no! Seems we, regardless of nationality go into the US there, in the US citizen queue. So yes, lol, dont tell Trump, but I’m a US citizen, of sorts! Not really, but yes, it was amusing.

Today has been relatively quiet, as I gave the body chance to recover in advance with planning. In truth, with the warmth here, less needed, but anyway… Just to say, for those who care, I now have an active US cell phone again, until next Sunday, so if you wish to talk, for any reason, just ask for number. If I dont know you of sorts, tell me why you want to talk to me, OK? Not saying I wont give it, but just curious, thats all. Only works for 8 days anyway!

OK, there has to be a down point, doesnt there? Yes, there is one, though hopefully the Mariners will sort it out, they have been emailed already. The game was great, the only snag being that the seat was up more than a few stairs, which didnt help, but I got there eventually, with only minimal soreness. No reason they should have known, I’m not obviously disabled (brace is under top/skirt, and fact not mentioned), so how would the poor guy picking my seat know? I did come down after 7.5 innings, I needed to go ‘somewhere’, and never went back up. Actually found a more comfortable seat for the other 3.5 innings, as it went to overtime. Then, after Seattle had won…

Given I was sore, and given there was a sign for a disabled elevator nearby, I decided to use that to get downstairs, rather than struggling down a large number of stairs, in a large crowd of people. Unfortunately, the lady in the elevator had either failed her disability training, had never been given any, or just didnt think it applied to anyone in less than a wheelchair! So when I, and another lady who said she had walking difficulties got into the lift, she bluntly told us that the lift wasnt meant for ‘people like you’, and pointing at a couple of mothers, with buggies behind us, said, “Its meant for them!”. I have no objection to them using it, but it does say its a disability elevator, so… Complaint email has been sent to the Mariners accordingly! Do I expect anything more than platitudes from them? Probably not! But put it this way, not that they will care, but I had planned a second game at some point Friday, or Saturday, but certainly wont be bothering now! I know, whats 1 customer to them, but all the same…

Fine, video time. I couldnt think of a song that really fitted in with all this, so just made a random choice of an under rated Soft Cell song.

The better you bet?

I must admit that when I heard this news yesterday, I was pretty stunned. Mind, its quite apt in the week in which I get (briefly) to Las Vegas, that the US decide to shake up their betting legislation dramatically.

For those who know, here in the UK, betting outlets are everywhere, in the form of betting shops, though according to some, nowadays they are more like mini casinos, or amusement arcades. As I now only go in once a year (or twice, if like this year, I get winnings), I have no idea of the pros, or cons of the glittery betting terminals now in all the shops, as I never even glance at the things. Apart from the Grand National, I havent had a bet since William Hill made me redundant in 2015, nor do I plan that to change…well, in the UK at least!

Up to now, if you wanted to bet legally on any sport in the US, you either did it in Nevada, or through a Nevada outfit, and that was it. Principally Las Vegas, though I suspect Reno had options too. Horse racing, well there is on course betting there, and some states have betting outlets, purely for racing, and thats it! Yes, I have actually been in an off track betting shop in New York State, firstly about 30 years ago (somewhere near Watkins Glen), and slightly more recently, when I went to Rochester, but they were like old fashioned betting shops over here, very basic, not places designed to stay in for hours. But other sports, oh no!

Oh, please, yes, people in the US bet on sports games outside of Nevada, very illegally, but it happens! So anyway, recently, the state of New Jersey started a court case to permit venues in their state to bet on all the other main sports. Yesterday, they won! In the case of Delaware, they seem to have only been waiting on the result of this case to start doing the same. On top of all this, numerous states have got things in early planning stages, and will follow in the near future. Some of those states listed didnt surprise me (Yes, New York was among them), but then there was ‘Bible Belt’ states like Kansas, and Oklahoma, wow! Yes, I could see the irony of me working in a betting outlet in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, in the footsteps of Clara Johnson! No, I dont imagine it will happen, especially with me being Transgender, but I cant deny I would love the irony of that!

Sadly, the only state I’m going to visit this year isnt on the list, Washington, and I dont think Florida was on them either, and thats only a maybe at this time. But yes, sports betting in the US, legalized, who would have thought it? So if anyone needs experienced staff to run one of these outlets for them…? Be a fun thing to do before retirement, I must admit!

Right, video time. The moment I knew I was blogging this, this song came immediately to mind. Not one of those songs that The Who are remembered for, but anyway…

You give me wheelchair rage

Well, not strictly, I hope, but yes, we’re approaching that time of year when I discover just how many people go out of their way to avoid people in wheelchairs! Only one trip so far, and I had low expectations, even then, but yes, it was pretty shocking, even then.

Yes, Saturday sees the delight of the flight across the Atlantic (I love the travel, just hate the long hours sat on a plane), which gives me the delight, now that I am disabled (thankfully not badly) by back issues, of travelling through airports by wheelchair! In truth, last year, 2 out of the 3 would have got good marks off me. Unfortunately, the one that didnt is the one I’ve got to use again, Manchester. Hopefully this time they wont leave me sitting at the gate, but not full of confidence. The show coming back wasnt great, but not entirely their fault, as I seemed to be the only 1 of 4 people who wanted a wheelchair to greet them, who actually requested it. But even then… Still, hoping that will be better this year.

Las Vegas, and Seattle, I have no idea about, to tell the truth, be interesting to find out. Though for Vegas at least, I am wondering if the wheelchair comes complete with slots machine lol! I’m sure it doesnt, but… Las Vegas should be straightforward, given I’m being helped off 1 plane, through Immigration and stuff, then on to another plane, no issues there. I’m not sure what might happen if I get a ‘Jobs Worth’ at Seattle though, as I will need to struggle out of the chair, and go off and get a hotel shuttle, with no one to greet me? Beat him over the head with my handbag, maybe, lol?

As for all the people who will either ignore me totally, not get out of my pusher’s way, or both, I’m sure there will be many! Wheelchair rage, I’ll try not to!

The other amusing landmark on the way out is my ‘state bagging’ number, as for the first time in a while, it will be going up, to 24! Not bad for a Brit, is it? Yes, first time in Nevada, even if it will only be an airport terminal, joining Georgia with that honor. Before health woes struck both of us, the plan had been to hit 24, and maybe 25, last September in New England, but no go. Vermont was the main target, Maine the maybe. One of them might yet be 25, and halfway, but Florida, and Oklahoma might be possibles for that honor. All depends on a lot of things in future, we will see. The one big area where I lack states is hardly surprising as a Trans lady, its the ‘Deep South’! Georgia is it, and as I say, thats airport only, at Atlanta! Doubt that will change much, in truth, and in all honesty, beyond the ones mentioned, the only other possibles to visit are at extremes, Alaska, and Arizona! Well, New Mexico, if I get an alien invite, but seriously…

Right, video time. A bit of a hint, and in this at least, a bit of a Welsh accent, great stuff. I cant believe I havent used this before, in truth

A cricketing dream

Well, when I first saw an Ireland cricket team play live on TV in 2007, I still wasnt expecting this to happen 11 years down the line. Thats not to say that it was the first time I’d ever followed cricket scores for Ireland, as I’d been doing that for a few decades, generally fairly meaningless matches, other than perhaps the rivalry games with Scotland, and the odd knock out game against an English county, but otherwise its fair to say some of the teams they played were of the less than quality standard. Then, in March 2007, having qualified for the World Cup in the West Indies, they conjured up a tie against Zimbabwe, but its fair to say thats not the match anyone really remembers. No, thats the next one, when against all the odds, they beat Pakistan, and history was made. Another win in the second stage (Bangladesh), and the Irish legend was born. Fine, a few of those players werent actually born in Ireland, but if you’d ever accused any of them of not being Irish, well, it wouldnt have been a wise move!

In recent years, its been fair to say that 2 non test playing nations stood above the rest, Ireland, and Afghanistan. Its also equally fair to say thats no longer the case, because they are now test playing nations! Yes, last year, in their ‘wisdom’ the ICC promoted those 2 nations to test playing status. And for Ireland, tomorrow marks the start of that first test, at Malahide, against, yes, you’ve guessed it, Pakistan!

No, sadly, I wont be there. Given I’d already booked to leave for Seattle a week on Saturday, before the date was known, I probably wouldnt have been able to go anyway. Now, with a damaged back, and only able to work a 4 day week, I have no chance of going, regardless. And of course, the first 2 days of the game, I’ll be working. Indeed, Day 4, same thing. I’m pretty certain that unless there are weather issues, it probably wont reach Day 5, but we will see. But hopefully, Sunday, on Day 3, I get to see some on TV.

Next year, I hope to be able to see the team play a test match (holiday plans are currently congested this year), though who against, no idea? Sadly a few of the ‘golden era’ players will be gone by then, some of whom were young players on that memorable day in 2007. Ironically, Ed Joyce was at that tournament, for England!

But yes, tomorrow will be a special day, and even if my first focus tomorrow needs to be on my job, I’ll be wondering how they’re getting on, in my breaks. Not that I’ll be able to look, being a member of the 1% club who dont own, or want to own a smart phone, with internet connection! And yes, my heart will be in Malahide, even if my old body wont be!

Go you boys in Green, though of course they will be in white for a test match!

OK, video time. Most will know, but for those who dont, the Ireland Cricket team is a united team, covering both the Republic, and Northern Ireland. Thing is, that causes anthem issues lol, 2 different countries (or part of). I think this was first created for the united rugby team as an anthem, but the cricket team quickly picked up on it as well. This is the full length version, not the one sung at sporting events. So tomorrow, 11 men cricketers will answer the call for the first time in a test match! Why do I say that? Well, the women played one years ago, but so far, just the one!

To be someone who could really be loved?

Or more strictly, the title should probably just be called ‘Reality TV Roadcrash’, because from what I saw in the trailer item yesterday morning, and the non bigoted tweets about the show on Twitter last night, thats pretty much what it was.

Monday mornings, even on Bank Holidays, the TV options tend to be less than exciting generally, this one was no exception. So I ended up switching on the Breakfast TV show on BBC, mainly to catch up on the news, and the weather, and whatever other rubbish they cover in between.

Because it was a Bank Holiday, I turned on towards the end of the show, rather than the beginning, as I would normally on a working day, and towards the end is when they tend to go with the ‘less serious’ stuff, as they’re getting ready to hand over to the next show. Which was a consumer affair related show, that the facts were just so wrong that, well, I had a good laugh at that too.

What they were talking about yesterday was some reality TV show on a rival channel last night, and seemingly again tonight, called Genderquake. Given it seemed to want to include just about every ‘non binary’ (ghastly term) group of people, it seems the people were young, loud, and the type of people that a boring old ‘lady’ like me would avoid like the plague. Dont get me wrong, I am fine with whatever term people wish to use to describe themselves, I just dislike the way some over react when people get it wrong accidentally, not accepting that the difference between a non binary person, and an intersex person may not be entirely obvious to everyone! In fact, strictly, due to having an undeveloped womb, I’m probably more strictly intersex, than trans, but for the sake of convenience… I’m Trans!

Now to be fair, I took the choice not to watch the show last night, nor do I plan to watch it tonight. Last night, fine the snooker final was on, but I would have probably avoided it regardless. But anyway, seeing the show was ‘trending’ on Twitter, I thought I’d dip in after the event, and see what it said. Lets ignore the bigoted, and anti-LGBT rants going on there (especially anti-trans) , because there are people who are always going to be like that, lets face it. Hopefully in a few decades time, maybe not, but for now…?

To be fair, the actual show comments were hardly flattering about the people involved. It seems there was people outing people who didnt want to be outed, there were others saying horrible things, because not everybody in the world had declared undying love for them, and lots of stuff like that. Of course, we boring, just get on with life type Trans folk dont make good TV for the companies producing junk like this, do we? Lets face it, a 60 year old, just going about her normal daily duties in life isnt the controversial image these people love to create! Ah well… The only sad thing is, too many people think all Trans, and Non Binary (heaven knows how many of these titles there are now?) act this way, when the majority of us dont!

Fine, rant over!

Video time. There was only one song that immediately came to mind that focuses on more than just Trans folk, and this is it. I know, could have used the video, its over 2 years since I did, but then I found this live version…

 

You’re getting to be a habit with me!

I must admit that I had a great time in Blackpool in March, and definitely made a diary note to repeat the experience next year, but I was assuming I wouldnt get back there before then. And to be fair, up to a few days ago, that was still the plan! But then…on Thursday…

The same lovely lady who posted previously for March, posted that she was looking for volunteers again, this time for Blackpool Piers Watch day, on Saturday 9th June. Yes, you Brits, get that date in your diary immediately, lol. Yes, I can say that now, my guest house room is booked! No, I cant find a link to it, but trust me, its not fake news! Sorry…he may be a jerk, but…

In  truth, I had no idea whether I could do it at short notice with work, given that Saturday is part of my standard working week, and for most other people, its a working day to avoid! Anyway, one wonderful workmate agreeing to swap the Saturday she works on her rota, and management being wonderful, all was settled, I can go to the, err, ball! Will be nice to have a long weekend away, as I’m going to travel down on the Friday, and only come back on the Sunday, just being sensible with my back, thats all!

Yes, there are numerous people I’m looking forward to meeting again, sooner than expected, I must say. In truth, I have no idea what I will end up wearing this time, because though the Pier is of Victorian origin, I dont know if our manner of dress will go back that far, or not. As long as its not bikini’s, all will be fine, lol. Mind, Victorian look would be interesting, for sure, as long as the corset isnt done up too tightly lol! I might enjoy it, but for a whole day, in summer, hmm…? Oh fine, mermaid might be fun, but would need to be a body stocking look, at my age! Might make moving tricky too!

Yes, this time I’ve planned better, found a guest house at the right end of town, near the pier, and near the railway station. And good ratings on Expedia, and Trip Advisor, so… Funny isnt it, you go about 40 years without visiting somewhere, then go there twice in 3 months!

Fine, video time. An oldie, but not quite Victorian. Not quite flapper era either, but not far off!

Baby, I don’t care!

Alright, lets get back to a more ‘me’ issue, that of LGBT matters. Yes, done my duty, and voted, in case anyone was doubting it.

On one of the numerous golden age (or earlier) movie groups that I’m on, on Facebook, a few days ago, a  picture appeared of a pretty looking actress of the past, name of Wynne Gibson. Nothing stunningly beautiful, not a major star, but if you’re asking me that if it arose, could I fancy her as a sapphic  partner, oh definitely! But hey, thats not the issue here. Picture came, picture went, thought no more about it.

Then yesterday morning, when I went on the group, some man had posted there, a little too over excitedly for my liking, that there were rumors that she was gay. In truth, a quick glance at Wikipedia suggests it was probably more than a rumor, as she lived closely with another movie actress for a number of years. She also briefly married a man, but whether that was a token thing (it was before her movie career took off), or whether she was bi, who knows, or who cares?

So pretty much, without giving the game away at the time that I was bi, I just asked him,

‘Yes, and so what?’

Anyway, I got a reply that made it clear that he found the idea of a movie actress being sapphic as an ‘exciting’ one to him. So fine, I pretty much left it at that, after an inward role of my eyes. Some other guy then wrote in support of him, I just let that be!

I admit, I’ve heard numerous tales over the years of men, who think that all a lesbian needs is a good man, to see the light, and I’m guessing he’s one of those? Either that, or he’s one of those men who like to be out of the equation, and just see 2 women show how they feel for each other?

I still hope that one day in the future, anyone coming out as gay, lesbian, bi, or whatever really is just treated by everyone as ‘so what?’. Not sure if, and when it will happen for us Trans folk too, but hopefully one day, it will.

Right, video time. Given this song is nearly 30 years old, I’m not sure how many will remember this? Probably more than I think, but will have to wait and see. Yes, strangely enough, the title is in the blog title! Shock horror, almost as shocking as me admitting I’m a Bisexual Trans Lady lol! 😛

 

Female voters of the world unite

Now I know this might look like politics, but it isnt! Over here in the UK, on Thursday, most of us (if not all?) get to vote in local council elections, and in all honesty, on the whole, turnout isnt all that great. Which is a shame, really, in truth.

Women, just remember that a mere century ago, we werent even allowed the vote, only men could make that ‘complicated’ decision, and all that stuff. Then WW1 came along, along with the whole Suffragette movement, and the rest, as they say, is history. A decade or so later, all women of legal voting age at the time, finally got the vote. Yes, there were restrictions for the first decade or so, over here, even then.

So given all their brave efforts, especially those who gave their lives for the cause, shouldnt we all go out and vote on Thursday, just to show it was worth their while. No, I dont care who you vote for, some of you will probably feel the same way politically as me, numerous others wont, but thats not the point of this piece, as for once, I dont care how you vote!

And fine, given that the stats suggest to me that I have a crazy following in the US, I’m going to say the same now, for women in the US, for November, go out and do the same! Maybe your 2 party system makes it easier to work out who I would vote for over there, but thats beside the point, this piece is about the emancipation, and the right to vote for women, and its centenary, in UK at least.

And to all readers in those countries, of either gender, you really ought to go out and vote. It may, or may not make a difference (around here, very doubtful), but at least then you have the right to complain about what our council leaders do if you dont like it. Well, unless you voted for them, in which case… Of course, if you didnt bother to vote…rolls eyes…?

So, this Thursday, or whatever date it is in your country, ladies, just go out and vote, and make those who gave their lives to give us this chance, proud of us. OK, enough said, I hope?

Video time. This song is over 50 years old, but hey, its still younger than me, just. And hey, its where I got the play on the blog title from, so…

Gimmick for gimmick’s sake?

Yes, the blog title is a play on a song title, but unless you’re as old as me, until you reach the video, you may well not know it.

OK, fine, non sports fans might want to walk away here. Its funny, I remember when sport had deep bred traditions, but seemingly nowadays, thats not enough. In golf, for example, in the old days (and not that long ago, in truth), with the exception of the Ryder Cup (which used to be GB v US, but changed to make it competitive), and a Matchplay Championship once a year, everything was individual play, strokeplay, mostly over 72 holes, over 4 days.

Now, we have a tournament in Australia where they play 18 hole strokeplay for 3 days, with a cut after 2, before having a wild 24 person knock out tournament, with matches over 6 holes on the last day! This week, for the second year, we have a pairs tournament going on in the US, with 2 different formulas of  play over the 4 days. Next week, in the UK, we have a round robin group tournament, involving 16 pairs in matches over 6 holes, with all sorts of weird rules (time to play shot being one of them), and in a few weeks, in Belgium, we have 1 with 2 days of standard strokeplay, followed by a 64 player knock out thing on strokes, over 9 holes!

I guess this is all to try and bring in a new audience, or maybe its because I’m just old, and set in my ways, but seriously…do we need all this?

The other sport in the UK that seems to be desperately trying to ‘re-invent the wheel’ is cricket. Not satisfied with the rapid fire 20 over stuff, someone has now come up with the idea of 100 ball cricket, 15 standard overs, plus 1 10 ball one! And instead of counties, and affiliation, there are going to be just 8 franchises. Now, lets face it, for example, if there is a franchise for the North, in Manchester, if they think Yorkshire folk are going to support it? Or vice versa? I suspect, in truth, both will get one, for the rivalry. But equally, if they think a West Country franchise based in Bristol, would get support from Somerset?

For US reader sake, imagine a baseball team, over 5 innings, 5 outs per innings, and 1 franchise in Los Angeles. You seriously think Angels fans would support it in Dodgers stadium, or vice versa?

The big snag with the cricket one is also the one our cricket board, as opposed to India, Australia and the like dont, is the financial one. Unless these teams employ international names, as opposed to county journeymen, who’s going to come and watch? Snag is, these things cost money, and the ECB dont like spending it, so…?

Oh fine, guilty as charged, I will probably watch some of it, when Sky Sports pay for the rights to show it, I’m sure. But do we need all these gimmicks in our sports, or not?

Video time. The snag with 70’s songs is finding live video performances from back then. Pre video cameras, and at a time when film of so many shows were wiped after use, ah well… So strictly, this is 10 cc. In reality, its one of the original group, but all the same…