Monthly Archives: June, 2014

100 years ago today

In the second of my bonus blogs (i.e. shift related, not the standard ones on my days off), lets focus on an event that happened 100 years ago today, and set off the fuse for the catastrophe now known as the First World War, and all the bloodshed it caused.

Yes, on this day in 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated in Sarajevo, and immediately set the world on a path towards a date, 37 days later, when the commencement of WW1 was announced. Ironically, you have to wonder, if their driver had not taken a wrong turn when heading back to their base in Sarajevo (was it deliberate, you have to wonder?), then the chance to kill them may never have happened, and who knows where we might be, but for that.

Because, out of that, came the reparations against Germany, and in the ensuing ill feelings that caused, the rise of Hitler, and of course, WW2! Also, how different would Europe look now, given the break ups caused by the outcome, that led to the break up of the Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman Empires might not have happened!

But looking at it from the opposite point of view, the development of the airplane increased dramatically, if only for the reason of developing them into a weapon, to be used against the enemy!

Lets not get too heavily into the massive loss of lives that happened over the next 4 years, we all know that story, lets just remember all those brave men who lost their lives, many of them because of the stupidity of their leaders.

I suppose, as a woman, I should be grateful, it meant women were needed to go out to work, and emancipation came about soon after the end of the war, driven by those events.

But as to my views of events in WW1, this song sums them up pretty well

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How slim?!

One of the things that I did when finally submitting, and signing up to Twitter, was to take the chance to take things on a slightly different route, and sign up for Tweets from a lot of places selling vintage clothing, and the like. I know, shock horror, absolutely no interest in the 20’s and 30’s lol! In fact, much of the stuff advertised as vintage, is from the 60’s, to the 80’s, when I was actually live, if very young! And alright, back then, I hadnt realised why I loved looking at women’s clothing so much for me. Well, maybe not back in the 60’s, but yes, I can see signs in the 70’s that probably would have been a major signpost, if only I’d realised.

There is some older stuff, but the one thing I’ve really noticed, is the sizing of it. I’ve seen the odd item in medium size, but the vast majority are either small, or extra small! Yes, I know, when I look back at my 4 ladies from the past, at least 3 of them were small, and slim. Clara Bow, seems to have a bit more shape to her, but it could just be angles, and things?

But then, it could just be deceptive. I checked Jean Harlow’s stats on the modern BMI index (the only one I have an official weight for, as well as height), and do you know what, her BMI index comes up at 20.4! Me, 21.9! To match her index, I’d have to lose about 10 pounds! Yes, fine, I’m fairly slim for my build, and would struggle severely to lose that much, but its not a huge figure! I know, when it comes to clothes sizings, I’m hampered to some degree by having a waist/hips proportion that doesnt match a natural woman’s, but it doesnt match a natural man either! So yes, in UK terms, I’m about a 12-14.

I’m suspecting Brooks would have had a lower BMI, she was tiny, very slim, no cleavage to speak of, and a dancer’s body. But this vintage stuff I’m looking at, is not what the Hollywood stars would have worn, but ordinary folk, if probably the middle class ones!

Yes, diet also plays a part, the fast food we eat so much of nowadays simply didnt exist back then, and going out for a burger was a delight, not a regular event as it is for some now. And of course, people walked more back then! But they didnt have the current trendy gyms, so…

So hey, I might look bigger all round than Jean, but in reality, I’m not that much larger! Slightly, but not a lot!

But if anyone has any really vintage stuff, in bigger sizes, I’d love to know.

The video, well being a Cougar fan could be said to have 2 meanings. One, the one I’m more known for, is as a Keighley Cougar rugby league supporter. But equally, Cougars are a breed of older woman, looking for a younger man to please them. That theory only falls down for me in that William Powell, Jean’s last famous beau, was nearly 20 years older than her!

But anyway, this ‘Jean’, in search of her beau, might just sing this!

She had it!

In my blogs on here, I’ve introduced you to 3 of my favourite ladies from the movies of long ago, so now, I’m going to introduce you to the fourth, and final one of that group. Like Louise Brooks, I look nothing like this lady, but I adore her all the same. Many assume that Brooks was the original flapper, but general opinion is that there were 2 famous ladies who beat her to that role. Some believe Colleen Moore was the first, though Moore herself was slightly doubtful about that. But the original ‘It’ girl (as in its that look), was one Clara Gordon Bow.

Its ironic, even today, most people have heard of Jean Harlow. A pretty good percentage have heard of Louise Brooks, though for some (including myself), they only discovered her through Andy McCluskey, and the OMD song about her. Fewer still, but a decent number all the same, have heard of Veronica Lake, the girl with the peek-a-boo hair.

But when it comes to dear Clara, well not so many know her, which is a shame, because seemingly she was feisty, and fun. Like Brooks, the bulk of her movies were silent, and sadly a fair percentage are lost forever. Also like Brooks, she did make a few talkies, but showed little interest in the new craze, and retired from the business in 1933. There was talk that it was due to her Brooklyn accent, from what I’ve heard (catch a glimpse of Call Me Savage, for example), that wasnt true, she just hated talking to a microphone, instead of looking at an audience, with her eyes.

To say Clara had a tough childhood, would be putting it mildly! If you want all the details, take a look at this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Bow

Like Louise, she didnt play the movie-maker’s game, especially when the talkies kicked in, she really wasnt interested, retiring from the business just as soon as she could, in 1933, and retired to Nevada. The movie making folk pouted in the worst possible way, starting all sorts of wild, false rumours about her, but that backfired, just making her even more determined to get out of the business!

The interesting recent talk about Clara, is a piece that suggests she actually auditioned for the part of Scarlett O’Hara, in Gone with the wind. It may well be true, though I have my doubts, given her feelings about talkies, her insecurities (unjustified) about her Brooklyn accent, the fact she had retired by then, but anyway, she would have made the part entertaining, thats for sure!

Anyway, this is a glimpse at what is probably Clara’s most famous moment, naturally a silent movie

Oh, and to add, as an afterthought. In 1933, Jean Harlow made a film called Bombshell, which supposedly was a pastiche on Clara Bow, directed by one of Bow’s previous flames, hmm…?

Oh, be proud of him

Yesterday evening, I was watching the baseball, on ESPN, over here in the UK. I know, no shock there, I guess. Anyway, the early game for us, was the bore fest between Detroit, and Cleveland, which was all but settled very early on, in Detroit’s favour. But, as is the way with these things, they stuck with it until the end, before moving over to the late afternoon game, between Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego.

The thing is, they dont really pick a moment to go over, they just switch as soon as the game is over, whatever the situation may be. What we switched over to, was not the ball game at all, but the commentators, talking to a guy, who had clearly served in the military, about his life, and his injuries. Unfortunately, due to the timing of things, I missed out on the tale of how he got his injuries, where he got them, and everything else. One thing I did learn, his name, Corporal Kyle Carpenter. Yes, an amusing note for me there, the same surname as Jean was born with!

Thankfully, later on, they showed a picture of this man, sat in the crowd, and fortunately for me, they repeated the story of what had happened. It seems that several years ago, in Afghanistan, this man was serving in the Marines, and a grenade was thrown at them, landing very close to one of his companions. What Carpenter did, was shield the other man from the explosion, by basically smothering the grenade with his body. How he survived, I have no idea! Yes, he lost an eye, suffered some other pretty traumatic injuries, from which it took him about 3 years to recover, but he did. The other guy, seems he was fine!

Oh, the critical factor, Carpenter was awarded some high military honour for his bravery, well deserved, I just cant remember exactly what, so go Google it, if you need to know.

I know, the Marines are amazing, both sides of the Atlantic, but this guy just had me in total awe for what he did.

So yes, as the song says (and the blog title), be proud of him, because, after all, he’s just a man. Superman maybe, but all the same, just a man.

I’m not American, but if by chance, anyone reading this knows Corporal Kyle Carpenter, just tell him there’s a Brit who thinks what he did, was truly amazing. I’m just glad the Cleveland game ended when it did, so I got to know what this amazing man did.

Yes, you’ve guessed the video, surely? Tammy Wynette, suspiciously looks like live, not a tape?

Summer Day shopping

Well, I assume most of my followers are as big football fans as me, because the last blog barely got looked at lol! So hopefully a Trans girl, going shopping in the sun might prove more popular.

To be honest, beyond a few vintage style purchases in Jersey charity shops, I havent had an afternoon shopping scavenge in a while, what with work, and everything else thats been taking up my time. Anyway, with 3 days off in a row, and gorgeous weather outside, I decided today would make a fine day to visit Wakefield, and see what I could find.

So what’s new about that, you might be asking yourself? Simple, no trousers, I went in a skirt! And to be honest, it caused as little reaction as I probably would have got wearing trousers, so…I’ll be doing it more often, I’m sure, given that my knees seem to react favourably to the lack of restrictive pressure that trousers cause. Which I sort of had guessed already, but got confirmation of the fact today, and seemingly the world isnt going to end at the sight of me out in a skirt.

So fine, I bought a few, and may well be wearing one of them to work on Wednesday in all honesty. I have got some more, but the 2 ‘nice’ ones are both lined, and might just be a bit warm in this current heatwave, so…Well, I hadnt bought anything in ages…A few tops too, a satin one, a gorgeous 30’s style glittery one (definitely only style, got it on a market stall) and a few more vintage looking ones too. Combined with a vintage style dress, and some new, needed bras (3 for £7)…I spent more than planned. Seriously, Primark seem to have stopped doing 38B, the smallest I can find there now are 38C, so finding some 38B’s reduced, I couldnt miss out. Will give me the chance to throw away a few of my ‘more tired’ ones, shall we say?

The one highlight for me, of this spending spree, was the return of an old friend, the Wakefield Hospice charity shop, home to so many lovely vintage, and vintage look items. Yes, they are back, in the Ridings shopping centre, I nearly squealed with joy when I saw it. And yes, I bought a top (very 30’s look), and a skirt (plain, modern) in there, just to say thank you.

So yes, Wednesday morning, wearing a nice black business skirt to work, instead of trousers, highly likely! Business killer heels, not quite so likely lol, I might have to run for a bus coming home!

Fine, I spent too much, but I had a wonderful afternoon shopping, but discovered the world doesnt end if I go out on my own in a skirt. 🙂

So to the video, its an oldie, a live performance, and the first word in the blog title, is also in the song title.

I probably wont travel to Rio

And to be honest, I suspect the England football team wish they hadnt bothered too! But enough about football…

Thankfully I missed the first game, going to something far more delightful, the Postmodern Jukebox concert. And I wont have to put up with the last game either, as its on Tuesday, and I’m not working again until Wednesday, so…

But, Thursday night, for the second game against Uruguay, there was no getting away from it, I was at work. To be honest, I assumed I was probably the only person in the whole office, who didnt have it on TV, but seemingly I was just about wrong, as I discovered yesterday. A lovely guy named James told me that he didnt have it on either, so…

Alright, alright, I’ll get to the funny bit. I wasnt watching it, racing was over, so given I was on Escalated Desk, I set to doing some figure work, and not taking any notice of what was going in around the rest of the office. I’ve never yet heard the roar of a tornado, though I’ve heard a few jet engines revving up for take off. But the crescendo that roared down the office, when England scored was quite something. Me, I just had one of those ‘what the hell?’ moments, and looked up, in time to see what was probably the umpteenth replay of the goal. Of course, it goes without saying that the groan, when Uruguay scored again, the winning goal, was quite something too.

The next night, Costa Rica beat Italy, and that was it, England were out!

And equally, no, I have no plans to travel to Rio for 2016 Olympics either!

The video, one of those truly amazing ones from the 1970’s. Just remember, computer graphics were a lot more basic back then.

Oh, and an added delight.

Most people would assume that given the era they were made, there would be no colour film of Jean Harlow in a movie…wrong! There is this, from the horribly expensive Hells Angel movie, that Howard Hughes lavished a fortune on! By today’s standards, the colours are exceedingly basic, but this was 1930, so…

To be honest, its one of those matters that might be better in black and white, but seeing someone else found it…

Yes, even I get marriage proposals…of sorts!

I hope a friend of mine doesn’t mind me pinching a rant of hers, from Facebook earlier today, but it gave me an idea for a blog, and its so true, even for me

I f’ing swear to God, if one more Facebook guy I’ve never laid eyes on asks me to marry him, I’m opening a mail order bride service on here. I don’t know you. I’m not marrying you. And I’m not setting you up with any of my friends. That’s how I manage to keep my friends. By not pimping them out to total strangers!

Yes, it was tongue in cheek, Teri often is, but equally, it does happen.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have numerous Facebook friends that I really dont know. Mostly through cricket, mainly Irish, but what those groups attract for some reason, are followers from the sub continent. Hey, I dont mind, if they follow us, and associate cricket, then why not? Mind, I’ve seen more than a few banned for getting over enthusiastic about Indian cricket, and rapidly thrown out. They are fine, to be honest, and not the cause of this post.

But, on several occasions, I’ve had ‘friend’ requests from people in that area, and because I’ve assumed its cricket related, I tend to accept. However…on more occasions than I would like to imagine, they show no interest in the cricket boards, but show interest in me. You know the stuff, it starts off with a ‘hi’ message, and then goes from there. Me, being the cynical bitch that I am, quickly spot them, weed them out, and lo and behold, friends no longer! Didnt stop at least one of them still sending me messages about how he was looking for a beautiful English lady, and all that. Sure, nothing to do with the fact that he just wanted a free pass to get into England of course! They’re young, I’m in my fifties, so…the perfect match lol!

I know, I run the risk of missing out on a man who genuinely fancies me, but I suspect if that happens, he will be in the UK, probably my region, and not somewhere in India, or Bangladesh and the like! I’m not stopping marriage proposals from the US either, though not seriously expecting any! More on that shortly…

The other area of these that I see plenty of (despite being female), is the Russian bride stuff. Yes, I get emails from Russian ladies, saying what a wonderful partner I would make, and that I should visit whichever website, and look at their profile. Seriously, I doubt they’ve even noticed I’m a woman, or a lot of them are bi! Well, maybe they are, but…I doubt most are, just desperate for a meal ticket to the West!

No, I’m not saying that I’ll never fall in love again, as a few friends have told me, this thing called love has a habit of creeping up on you, and the next thing you know…me, a blushing bride lol! But 15 years of being alone have made me highly independent, and it would be quite a man who took me on, thats for sure!

But taking one of my quotes from that Facebook thread

Who knows, I might get to Hollywood next year, find the ‘William Powell’ of my dreams, and we can live a happy married life, as he, and Jean should have been able to. But the words, pigs fly, do come to mind on that front!

Wouldnt that be sweet, and ironic? Of course, he might be waiting for me in Kansas City, where Jean was born, but again…He doesnt have to actually look like Powell, just be as sweet as he seemingly was, from all I’ve read about him.

The video, well, I’m saying this for now, but how much longer…? Live, orchestra version, slightly different

Not a Whigfield moment

Though this blog does relate to what happened on Saturday night, and a few hours before.

As regular readers will know, last night marked that event that is becoming less rare (thats the second year running I’ve been to one, after…hmm,… a while), going to a concert. Strictly, this was modern music, in the sense that the group are a bunch, of young, talented artists, thrust to fame with the aid of You Tube, as opposed to last year, and OMD, who have been around a while lol!

But in a sense, going to a Postmodern Jukebox concert is actually more akin to a step back in time, it has to be said. No, I cant speak from experience of a concert in the 50’s, let alone one in the 30’s, but in all honesty, but for the mobile phones, it could have been a time warp. Yes, they did request no use of the new fangled gadget, to fit in with the setting, but in all honesty, that was never going to happen, but anyway…

So fine, when Scott Bradlee (the genius behind the group) first said they were going on tour, he suggested that wearing a vintage look might be fun, so I took him at his word. Alright, me finding something vintage style to wear might not be the biggest challenge in the world, and wasnt, in fact it was more a case of deciding which item to wear! I did consider flapper style tops, but hey, I’m 1930’s now, and besides, they are rather boob revealing, so…Yes, despite going by train, I really did consider a dress, but bottled out. I know, should have done it, but too late now!

Me, I do it properly, got Abbi to do my make up 30’s style, and even gained myself a beauty spot for the evening, Jean would have been proud. Hair coiffed into 30’s curls, and looking and feeling great. Oh, what, you want to see?

Oh, fine

silver 30's look 1

silver 30's look 3

Happy now? I know, I know, Jean never wore glasses, but hey, I’m a short sighted version of her!

The concert, yes, it was well worth the effort. The vast majority were in what would loosely be termed modern clothing, though there were a number of others who’d made the effort to look the part, though from many decades of course, all adding to the mix. The show that the band put on was brilliant too, really glad I went. Being honest, a long dress would have been a bit out of place, didnt see many (as in hardly any) that dressed up.

The other thing you always wonder, is how will they sound live, as opposed to the film versions, which maybe one take, or might not be! To be honest, I would say the comparison was pretty good, if not better. So yes, if you like music from the past, and Postmodern Jukebox hit your town, or nearby, go and see them, its well worth it. Especially as currently prices are still quite cheap, I suspect that may not last for long, they really are that good.

OK, the video, and yes, its PMJ, you wouldnt expect anything else? They performed this last night, sounded as good as this, to be honest

Back home, I’ll be trying to avoid it

Totally the opposite to millions of football fans of course, who are already getting hopelessly over excited about the World Cup, which starts in Brazil on Thursday. Yes, I hate the sport, but lets face it, I can hardly ignore it, especially given the way its going to get pushed at work. Thankfully, most of the games will be late evening, or overnight, so avoiding them might be slightly easier than sometimes it is.

From all I gather, from the prices, and the comments, England arent expected to do well, judging by the prices on offer, it seems about 50/50 if they even make it out of the group. Unfortunately, in terms of annoying, and stupid phone calls, I doubt that will help much at work, but I can live in hope. And believe me, some of the price requests we’ve had already have been very stupid!

Who will win it? I could say, don’t know, don’t care, and it wouldnt be far from the truth. Stats, as I gather round the office would suggest that it will be a South American team, generally when its there, or in Europe, a team from the home continent generally wins. Probably explains why Brazil and Argentina top the betting!

To me, they are all a bunch of over-hyped, overpaid sportsman, generally intellectually challenged, and lets leave it at that. Fortunately for me, I’ll miss all the build up to the first England game on Saturday, as I’m not working, off to see Postmodern Jukebox in the evening. Match starts at 11.00, about the same time as I should be travelling back, so I should easily miss all the fuss, unless the train conductor insists on telling us all the score, I hope not! I doubt I will miss the build up to the other 2 games as easily, sadly.

The first full week of the tournament coincides with Royal Ascot, so that should cause staffing chaos at work, as we will need cover at both ends of the day, oh joy! And no, we dont have to dress up as they do for Ascot, that would be something…not! More thankfully, we dont have to dress as England football fans!

Oh fine, I’ll admit it, I have got a slight interest in the World Cup, even if I dont know (at present) what our selections are. We have got a pool running at work, and I have joined up with 2 of my workmates, to do a pair of entries. Beyond choosing the name of one of the teams (Double Whoopee, an early Harlow film) and picking Argentina to win it outright (to split a disagreement between the other 2), I’m leaving the picking entirely to the experts. Hopefully we can win something, but £7 wont break me either way, if we dont.

Right, unless a footballer comes out as gay, or trans, dont expect me to mention the whole thing again! 😛

The video, oh fine. Nearly half a century ago, England did the remarkable, and won the tournament. So 4 years later, someone had the bright idea of the squad, making a song before they left for the tournament in Mexico, and this was it!

In memoriam

Dont get over excited, this is just a very brief posting, more tomorrow, as per normal schedule

But under the circumstances, I have to mention this

Died today (June 7th) in 1937, Harlean Harlow Carpenter, more famously known as Jean Harlow, of course.

Kidney failure, fatal back then, 10 years later, she may well have survived, as early dialysis machines came into existence. But back then…

Just one thing, the stories about her Mother causing her death, by her religious beliefs, not true! Stories started by MGM, as her mother trusted the nurses she’d found far more than any of Goldwyn’s! Unless he planned to time travel her forward about 10 years at least lol!

Someone posted this picture on Twitter today, that I found, rather nice

Jean Harlow deathbed