Monthly Archives: April, 2012

They think its all over…it is now!

The holiday that is, if anyone was in any doubt! And hopefully the flights back will be considerably easier than the flights getting here. I cant say smoother, because both flights, when they happened, were very smooth. But…

The week itself has been very enjoyable, have revisited a few ‘old friends’, made a few new ones, and was sorry to see a few landmarks from past visits are no more, closed down I assume by the economic crisis, but dont quote me on that.

Little did I know that when I went up the Space Needle on Monday, I’d missed its 50th birthday, by 2 days, had actually happened on the Saturday. And just to prove the visit

 No, the picture background is a digitised add on, but that is really me. You get your photo taken as you start the visit, and then there’s a place to see it on the observation desk, and select your preferred background. Most amazingly, to get the picture by email, is free! Thats right, I couldnt believe it either, especially over here!

Then a first, at the science museum, I got to see a film in 3D, so weird! Not the film, it was about the Arctic, but the effect. They did this thing with the titles, so they turned to ice, broke up, and seemed to fly towards you. And yes, at one point, I moved out the way, lol. Well, I am blonde… Other than that, I’ve been to a lot better science museums in all honesty.

The Aquarium the next day was quite good though, as was the harbour cruise, all 4 of those things done on the City Pass, good value at $69 considering. Much of the rest of the next 2 days was spent walking around, shopping, drinking coffee, but a lot of it just walking, seeing sights, old and new. Was sorry to see the Online Coffee House gone, but I guess progress has overtaken places like that in the last 9 years, PC’s are no longer the only way to get on the net of course. But the place where my back was introduced to the pleasure of a massage 9 years ago is still there, though I’m not sure if its the same lady, my memory isnt that good.

Today I went to Tacoma, definitely the poor relation of the 2 linked in name by the airport I shall fly out of tomorrow at least. Tomorrow, I shall combine the 2, and go to SeaTac Airport, and fly home, well presumably I will, looks nervously at American Airlines for all this! I trust someone will check the flight before leaving home to collect me, lol!

I wouldnt say the weather has been perfect over here, but it hasnt been too bad. Seemingly a lot, lot better than at home, thats for sure!

Sorry, no video. Nothing personal and all that, but all the same… Primarily, I have internet here, and its a decent enough feed for most things. But trying to watch music videos on You Tube…you get my drift?

So, this is Stevie Lou, closing for now from Seattle, saying I’ll see you again back in England…God willing!

Good old American Airlines…not!

Sorry, I’m not normally one for piling on the dirt on anyone, well other than Trans Pennine Express at least, but…This is the tale of a company dropping themselves further and further into a hole, lol

If you read yesterdays piece, you know by now that AA (for short) misfired with the plane to Chicago, the only reason we were ever given being an operational decision. What that excuse means, anybody’s guess? But no, that isnt the cause of todays hilarity, this is.

Just over a month ago, I sent an email to their customer services dept re wearing my enhancers while flying with them. Given they dont do security issues, the TSA do over here, and they were more than happy for me to wear them, this should be straightforward, anything but!

Principally, until this morning, Seattle time, I never heard back from them. That is, over a month, for a 6 line email! So, as is already known, I wore them for the flight Saturday, and again the bonus, oh dear we messed up and had to rearrange, flight on Sunday on to here. Not  a problem, not a murmur from anyone, as James would say, they probably assumed they were naturally me, I wish!

So, ah ha, this morning I have an email from AA concerning my query. No, not the one about possible compensation for my hotel bill for Saturday created at Manchester Airport, which I by now assumed, but this ancient email sent over a month ago! Basically, unless the enhancers were surgically implanted (which I had told them they werent), I shouldnt wear them on the flight when I made it, even though the TSA said it was fine to do so!

Sadly, the email was sent from one of those ‘no reply’ addresses that so many firms seem to employ nowadays, or I would have broken the news to them, that too late, it had already happened…twice! In a sense now, I’m glad it didnt arrive, and that I just went with TSA advice instead!

I’d been told by a friend that AA had gone downhill since the liquidation protection thing, and sad to say, they werent joking. The crew on board the planes were good,but customer service, and reliability seem to have gone out of the window with this firm. Fortunately, in September, I’m flying with Aer Lingus!

The video, an extremely loose connection, thats all. AA’s local flight thing is called American Eagle, and so…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDI7x1nwTUw

Cant you hear me…SOS

No, its not really been that dramatic a weekend, though it might have felt it at times. Facebook contacts already should know the basic details, but… The frightening thing is, this isnt the worst trip to the US, or maybe technically it is, because the other time I didnt get here!

Now, to be fair to American Airlines, I knew there were problems of a major kind, even before I left home Saturday morning. What I didnt know was the exact details. And given that I had to be at the airport for 8.40 (2 hours before flight), and their customer services dont open till 8.30 on a Saturday…

I’ll admit it, we didnt get there for 8.40, even though we left in plenty of time, because in all her panic, some daft blonde, namely me, forgot her handbag, with all the important stuff in it! Got there for 8.50, hoping I was going to get an alternate routing, but no. Long and short of it, case is booked in, and then I have a choice, 11 hours of boredom at the airport (given the battery life is about an hour on the laptop), or pay up, and come home for 5 hours or so. Yes, I did the latter, and glad I did, when I found out in the evening that you now only get half an hour of free internet at the airport, unlike before!

We finally take off about 9.30pm, instead of 10.40 am, and arrive in Chicago about 11.45 their time. Immigration are fine, once they decide everyone goes through in one line, instead of the usual separation for US citizens, which put us in the wrong queue. But itwas so short, that by about 12.10, I’m picking up baggage, plus hotel vouchers, and my flight ticket for this morning.

So yes, I finally got here today, arrived at the hotel about midday, after a short delay for baggage, and waiting for the shuttle bus. Sadly plans for the afternoon Mariners game therefore get wiped out, given it was a 1.10 start, and I’m at least 45 minutes from town! Did contemplate a late start as its the only game I could get to this week, but then the shuttle bus had vanished by the time I’d unpacked, so…they lost anyway, shock horror, not!

Oh, did I mention its been in the 70’s over here today, and just walking around in a light top this afternoon, showing off the cleavage and all that. Same tomorrow, but then the weather is forecast to go downhill, ah well…Will have to go up Space Needle tomorrow before all you can see from the top is rain, lol! Ironically, the area I plan to be in next April is being forecast for 5-8 inches of snow! And no, that isnt Alaska either!

And in case anyone was wondering, TSA were right, just went straight through security absolutely fine both times! Mind, that wasnt the body scanner, might have been different if it had been, but should still have been fine after a pat down, so they tell me.

So yes, you can understand the choice of music, in an ironic wayl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvChjHcABPA&ob=av2n

 

Leaving on a jet plane

I do wonder if some might see this as a lazy way of posting my news on Facebook lol!

Yes, my bags are packed (well excluding laptop at least, obviously), and I’m ready to go, though as things stand, I have no plans to wear anyone’s wedding ring lol! If anyone hasnt worked out the song already, be ashamed of yourself! Unlike the singers though, I do know when I’ll be back again, well unless something amazing (or tragic?) happens anyway.

I was actually one out on the count of workdays, ended up being offered yesterday’s short shift as holiday, and I didnt say no, cant think why! And strictly, I havent yet packed the enhancers (will swop over tonight to the old pair), or shaver, for obvious reasons. There isnt much hair, but I want to be smooth for tomorrow, lets face it, its going to be a long day! Need to remember to use the ladies toilets too, if I’m busting out, that should be fun!

So yes, the next post will be from Seattle, at some point on Sunday, or Monday I suspect, so watch this space then. I suspect the main highlights at that point will be what airport security makes of the enhancers, whether I remembered to use the correct toilets, and if the Mariners won lol! Going to the game on Sunday, forecast is for a good day, hope thats right.

So miss me (I know, its kiss, but…lol), and smile for me, promise that you’ll wait for me, and all that, and I promise to write again from Seattle.

The video, only question is the artist, its…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCkxso19PnU

You’ll Never Walk Alone?

A great song, from a great musical, Carousel. Though the featured version here is the version I remember from the 1960’s, not actually from the musical, or film.

The thing is, for many transgender people, thats the opposite polarity to what they face in life, far too many are just left to fend for themselves as best they can. And lets face it, for far too many, it doesnt work. Its why suicide rates amongst transgender people are so high, its coping with being who you are in the world, where far too many people just want to take a blinkered attitiude to the problem.

As for depression rates, well, you really dont want to know how bad they are, though its not hard to work out why, is it? And unfortunately, it sometimes leads to the fact mentioned above. And yes, I suffered from depression for far too long, ironically without really knowing why, beyond the fact that something was wrong with me, but what, I hadnt a clue. But no, not any more, well not because of transgenderism at least. And yes, what I’ve got at the moment is more annoyance with certain people, than depression, though they are making me wonder why I bother at times. And no, as far as I know, no one reading this, or related to anyone reading this is the target of my venom either.

Thankfully, I dont have to walk alone, got a number of good friends who support me through this, and a few others who seemingly admire me for what I do, and have done. But many others dont have it so easy, and even for people like me, there are still a number who dont like what they see, and try to make life hard, but I’m doing my best to ignore them, but a few are in a position where thats easier said than done, but even so…

On a lighter note, there will be one (or technically two) walks alone that will be interesting on Saturday, the ones through security at the airports, while wearing my enhancers. I’m told everything should be fine, but I’m planning to use an old pair all the same, just in case and all that! They are probably right, I’ll suddenly realise I’m through, and laugh, but…its more the TSA at Chicago that worries me in that sense, you hear so many tales, but they’ve told me it will be fine, so…

Hopefully there will be one more post before I go, Friday, when I’m certain of my freedom from somewhere lol, I’m sure. I promise, that will be more cheery than this one, though it might be cheesy as well. I will post from Seattle when possible, for those who want to know, and to let you know what security was like, I guess.

The song, well I’ve given it away already, I would say? So just enjoy (in black and white)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAzdYEnB2zE

3…2…1!

No, not a rocket taking off, its the shift countdown to my holiday, lol! Yes, it might still be 6 days away, but only 3 of them are working ones, tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday. Shift from hell tomorrow, in more senses than one, but the less said about that, the better. It does mean Thursday is shorter, but its a matter of if I care about, or for work by then! Well, some might say that…but I couldnt possibly say that! 😉

Tuesday morning is getting my hair done, I need to be ‘blonde enhanced’ again, so that will be happening then. Plus I suspect at least some of the shaggy locks will go, real, and/or extensions! Wouldnt mind a bit from the back being put up on top, but ah well…

Friday will be about getting the body in shape, especially the back, which is proving problematical yet again at present. Oh, and getting the nails done of course.

It will be good going back to Seattle again, or will be when I get there at least! The actual flights to and fro, no, I’m not looking forward to those, the main reason this will be the last West Coast trip for the foreseeable future, the body is just getting too worn out for journeys like that.

Oh, and for those who read the last post, none of my horses came anywhere in the National yesterday. No surprise there, lol!

I need this holiday in more senses than one, mainly the one about getting totally away from work for a while, even if its only for a long week. I could make a joking comment about recharging batteries, but not really fitted out for that lol!

The song, well I remember when there was an airflight travel guide called the ABC Guide, and having mentioned one, two and three…Wasnt a favourite, but did seem apt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho7796-au8U

Is there a big race this week?

Yes, I am being cynical here, I know, and I suspect many others do as well, that this Saturday, the Grand National will be ran at Aintree, as (with the exception of war years) it has been for over 150 years. The most famous historical thing, the name of the first winner was called Lottery, rather apt for said race.

One thing that many may not yet know, is that in this country at least, it will be the last time its covered by the BBC for at least the foreseeable future. No, I’m not going to go into the politics of BBC sports coverage in the last decade, but suffice to say, they have cut back rather dramatically lol!

The first Grand National I still remember is 1967, probably because of events then, more about which shortly. I must have seen them before then, just dont remember them at all. Since then, working in the industry, I’ve seen a few things concerning this race. The void race fiasco, the bomb scare that delayed the race until Monday, and of course, Red Rum and his 3 wins.

No, I’m not going to hand out tips, I dont really follow racing enough for that nowadays to be honest. Probably wont stop me throwing a few pounds at the bookies though lol! Besides which, as mentioned, its all a bit of a lottery anyway, though less so nowadays, with some of the fences tamed somewhat.

The film, no music, just film (in colour!) of that first National I still remember. What can I say, just proves you should never say a horse is out of a race until it actually is!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tls18p0AYjM

Discrimination against Transgender people

I havent found any, but in a sense, that might be why I’m starting this blog. I’ve just been on one of the Trans boards I visit, to find a report about violence against a Transgender person, and what she has been doing about it.

Of course, what I’m in no position to say is how well she passes, I have no idea, I only know her through said board. Equally I know I get told that I do pass quite well, so maybe I’m just fortunate in that sense? Also, she lives in the London area, which I would have thought had areas where there were plenty of ‘idiots’ about. Maybe Yorkshire folk are more open minded, maybe they just dont realise I’m not a natural woman, but…?

And please dont say its a time of day thing, I work shifts, so I come out of work on a Friday, or Saturday evening (when the drunks, and football fans are plentifully about), and no one says a word, let alone threatens me (or more) at any time. I might attract the odd glance, but that really is about it with me. And at lunchtimes, I dont put a coat on, even during the cooler months, so I’m not exactly hiding my cleavage! Last September in Boston, the dirtiest look I got was when using the mens toilets in Boston Airport coming back, and he was making a clear point to me that it was the mens toilets I was in, lol!

This time around, with the enhancers in, I will be using the ladies, wonder if I will get any reaction to that?

Dont get me wrong, I’m not saying there isnt violence and abuse towards Transgender people, because all too sadly, there is! But whether its just that I’m lucky, or whether I just pass the radar tests, is it for me to say? I wish people through the world were more open minded about the whole Trans issue, but suspect that in real life, thats never going to happen.

It will be interesting to see what happens somewhere where nobody knows me, though I’m sure Boston gives me a good guide to that, nearly all will think I’m a woman! Just as well, because hopefully, rain permitting, I probably wont need a coat in Seattle at the end of April. So Stevie Lou will be busting out all over lol!

Ah, you want a video, let me see…what might be suitable? Shall I go with

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPGiLsdWZdo

PS, If anyone wants to spoil a fifty something lady in Seattle between the 22nd and 27th, let me know in advance, I’ll bring a nice dress with me! No, I wont be holding my breath for offers lol!

The cricket season

Yes, you can tell the domestic cricket season is about to start again, they are forecasting snow in April, lol! Is it just me, or does the season seem to start earlier each year?

No, I’m not going to bore people with a long discussion of the merits of each county team, and who will win the various titles etc, as I’m sure those who care will have their own opinions on these matters anyway. Lets just leave it at saying there are a good number of irish cricketers playing for counties, a matter that can only mean good things for the national side. Who, by the way, have recently qualified for the 20 over World Cup in September, in Sri Lanka.

Lets look at a fun issue, which county should I support? The first county I really remember following would be Kent, not because they were my first county, but it was where I was living when I first took interest in the sport. Those were very different days though back then, no great media hype, and getting players to sign autographs for you was roughly akin to asking to meet the Queen. An attitude I’m pleased to say has changed dramatically, and so much for the better.

Then I moved to Somerset, and started following them at the perfect time to do so, with names like Botham, Richards and Garner in the team. Yes, in those days international cricket wasnt such a behemoth that players actually had time to play for their counties as well. Taunton was (probably still is) a lovely ground, and I still sort of follow Somerset even now, aided by one George Dockrell now being in their squad of course.

Despite 2 years in London, I never really got involved with any of the teams there to be honest. I have been to Headingley for a county game since I moved back up here, but dont really feel any great affection for the team, though perhaps I should? In all honesty, I’m more likely to follow the details for the counties with Irish players in their teams lol!

The last couple of years, I’ve managed to see Ireland play, internationals against Bangladesh, and then last year against Namibia. Thats become more important to me than county cricket in all honesty. Sadly, its unlikely to happen this year, as the games planned so far clash with Euro 2012, and that means a very busy time at work. And no, I definitely wont be going to Sri Lanka in September either! I will watch it on TV, assuming it doesnt clash with a US trip that I dont yet know the dates for, stll waiting for the NFL to release the schedule for that, hopefully soon!

So yes, we might be having a drought in areas of this country at present, but I’m sure the start of the cricket season will change all that! Oh, and probably snow somewhere too lol!

Still, 3 weeks from now, I will be in the land of Baseball, really looking forward to that.