Monthly Archives: December, 2015

Reader request moment!

Well, it seemed a good idea to me at the time! Thankfully, Stacie came to the rescue, coming up with a couple of good ideas, so rising to the challenge

How to start your own blog

On a light hearted note, set up an account on WordPress, follow the instructions, and lo and behold, an option to start will appear. Seriously, as far as someone like me is concerned, there are far too many appearance options, but I’m sure some like to change theirs every week or two, but me…I found this lovely retro-fitted one, a long time ago, and have no plans to change. I like the design, I am very retro, so all in all…

But once that’s done, how do you start your blog? A brief introduction, giving away as little, or as much as you wish to, about yourself. Me, I probably give away a little too much, but hey, I’m trans, and proud, and want to shout it, so…

Then comes the big challenge, what to write about? I know some who focus entirely on one subject matter, and do nothing else. But in all honesty, if I was only to write about transgender matters, I’d have got bored by now, and stopped. So I write about a variety of subjects, generally to some degree personally related, and hope some people like them. A few do, clearly, though funnily enough, my kinkier version, which I started later than this, has about twice the visit numbers of this place, so who knows?

The other thing you have to do, to attract an audience, is regular postings. If people know that once (or twice) a week, you’re going to write, people will come back to find it. If you post once in a blue moon, you wont get a long term audience. So you need to write about something you’ll want to come back, and add to.

I would say, go for it, mind, its an interesting thing to do.

Vintage Fashion and why classy dress died

Not that I’m sure that Jean Harlow is the best example to use for this, given that when she had a choice, she preferred to wear slacks, rather than a dress, long before it became the norm. But yes, I love the vintage dress look of the 20’s, through to the 50’s, and at least at home, I tend to live in a dress, rather than trousers. But why did classy dressing die?

I suspect women’s lib played a major part in that. Before then, women were women, and knew their place, and it wasnt the workplace, back in the 50’s. I suspect thats why Stepford Wives ended up with a very 50’s look, and attitude, it was the last time when women always dressed prettily, and were submissive to their man.

So of course, when liberation came along, people went for the opposite look. So women moved into tops, and trousers/slacks, as opposed to dresses. Fine, it was a more practical look for their working life, anyway. Funnily enough, in the 20’s, when flappers cut their hair short, to look like men, they still wore (very) short dresses!

So fine, sadly, the classy style of dressing died to a major degree, when the lifestyle of women changed, when more of them started going to work, in great numbers. But do I wish I could wear a nice dress to work, and not look out of place, absolutely!

But yes, thats probably why I wear a dress at most opportunities, because I’m that vintage woman at heart. Turn me into a Stepford Wife? Yes, I’d love it. Obviously the robot version would be more fun for me, but the whole 50’s wife thing (albeit with modern equipment) would be absolute heaven, regardless. Mind, I would seriously have to start remembering how to actually cook things again, if I did!

The video, a tribute to those who wear dresses, maybe?

Finally, let me close by wishing all my readers a Happy New Year for 2016, and hope its a good time for you. Me, I’ll be trying to make it that way, I hope!

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2015 in review

As per normal, for those who are curious in that way.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2016 – Holding out for a hero?

Yes, I know, its a couple of days early, but there’s a good reason for that, more on that at the end of the blog. Facebook, and Twitter followers know already, but for those who dont…! Normally this is a cheery event, but circumstances mean its less so this time around.

Well, one thing I can definitely look forward to in 2016, is a new me! Strictly, I’ve already applied for a few jobs as Harlean, but I guess that is going to peak far more in the New Year. Hopefully very quickly in the New Year, the passport will be back, in my new name, and gender, as I’m strictly without ID at present, so fingers crossed, as doing interviews, and registrations would be, err, entertaining without one! Wouldnt it be ironic if after all these interview battles as Stevie Nicholls, that Harlean Carpenter got one quickly. No, I’m not quite as sure as that, but we will see.

The main thing I’m looking forward to, when I can afford it at least, is that first flight as a woman named Harlean, that really is going to be a special moment. Ideally, that will be May, to New England, to meet up with Kate, but as I say, short of financial salvation, or a lottery win, I need a job before then! If the job, or financial situation solved itself, I have no idea about the second holiday at present. Money, I’d love to do another 4 week stay in Hollywood, but if I’m in a job, not going to happen. Ah well, something will hopefully sort itself out.

How long before money becomes a really major issue, did you ask? About 10 weeks I guess, really beginning to get concerned about that now, I never imagined it would get to this.

Beyond that, I guess I might pluck up the courage to find a partner, though I’m not quite sure who would want me, I’m hardly a great prize, lets face it! But yes, if I can find a decent site, that doesnt want a fee for the privilege, I might dip my toes in, and find out what its like to be wooed again. Snag is, I can hardly pay my part of any date at present, ah well…I need a rich hero lol!
Or find myself a wealthy Mistress, or Master, to be a thoroughly submissive slave to? I know, might be fun, but I’m not prime material, age, or body! Who wants a hypno-bot, or even better, a real one lol? Fine, I’d be a human one, but…

But yes, its hard to look forward to 2016 with conviction at present, because so much depends on finding that job, or a wealthy benefactor, or both. Or a lottery win? Fine, I’ll stop laughing on that one now!

The other option is to find a time machine, go back to the 1930’s, where I’d have a small fortune, and…kidding, I think?

So yes, all in all, as Bonnie Tyler says in the video, I’m holding out for a hero. Job offer, benefactor, or a lottery machine churning out the right numbers, any would do!

Yes, fine, as I mentioned, I’m doing this early for a purpose. The last blog of the year, feel free to suggest a subject you’d like to hear me waffle on. Only condition, its something I can easily type about 600 words on, and thats it, the rest is up to you. Comment here, send it by Twitter at @harleanlook, or on my Facebook page at Harlean Stephanie Carpenter, or as more likely from past experience, do nothing at all. Be a devil, and just come back in 2 days time, and see what I selected.

Bye, bye, Miss American Pie – A look back at 2015

Yes, I know, this normally requires 2 blogs, to keep them at sensible lengths, but I think 1 will probably do this year. 2015 has been a funny year, highs, and lows, and not much in between!

I must admit, if you’d told me back in January, when I learnt of the redundancy offer from Hills, that I’d still be job hunting at the end of the year, I’d have laughed at you. Fine, I’m not laughing now, but I’m still standing, for now at least. I was offered an option to stay on, but given it was the third time in 6 years that they’d made me redundant, and the offer was very good, I decided to go for it. One of the main issues for staying on, apart from being worn down by shop staff, was that I’d have to get myself home after 10.00 finishes, and buses dont run late enough for that around here. So I went for it, and took the chance to up my April holiday from 7 days, to 10, in Hollywood, as I wouldnt have to worry about holiday allowances by then! I actually left at the very end of March, having also managed to do the last escalated agent shift, a little while earlier.

Ignoring most details of job hunting efforts (you’ve suffered enough of those over 9 months), the big event in April was that first visit to Hollywood, the 10 day hotel based adventure. As you know, I fell in love with the place, but more of that later. Yes, its a crazy place, and thats not usually my scene, but for once…Fine, I soon discovered that even 10 days wasnt enough, and pledged I would have to return some day, not realising how soon that would be!

Pretty much nothing exciting then happened, until the end of August, when I decided that unless I did something to break the sequence of frustrating job interviews, I was going to do something crazy, or just go crazy. So, I did something crazy! I looked into, and ended up booking a 4 week stay, starting at the very end of September, in a rented apartment in the Hollywood Hills. It was going to make the money issue ‘more interesting’, but I could do it, needed to do it, so it was happening!

Earlier in September, I’d had booked, for quite a while, a week on Cape Cod, with my wonderful friend, Kate. It was a lovely break, and teaming up with her again was wonderful. Then it was back to the UK, for a whole 10 days, before setting off for my Hollywood apartment! Again, the details of the trip can be found in the blog, so lets focus on the other issues. All my travel to the US before, has been staying in a hotel. But I discovered that having your own little apartment is pure heaven! No, I wouldnt do that for a 7 day stay probably, but anything longer than that, absolutely! Oh, and to a slight degree, even a combined total of 38 days in LA isnt enough to see everything! Fine, one thing I would love to have seen (Harlow’s home in Easton Drive) was out of range of a non driver, but otherwise…

Oh, and one thing got delayed, because of the 2 close together trips to the US, the change of name, and in passport terms, the change of gender. But immediately after I got back, the name change request went through, and in the last 10 days (because I’ve been using my old passport for ID), the passport change has finally been arranged, and as the fee has now been taken, I’m now definitely known as Harlean (other than those who are so used to using Steph/Stevie/Stephanie at least), and I’m definitely female, with an extra bit, for now at least. I cant see me removing it, unless need really arises, but never say never…Really looking forward to moving forward as Harlean, and no gender issues related to passport.

Fine, lets not mention that awful job choice I made in December, when I could have been on a research trial, OK? Live, and learn, I guess?

The video, what I seem to have been this year, judging by the amount of time I’ve spent there (about 45 days in all!). A clever video, for a song too old to have had one.

No snow this Christmas

Well, not here in Yorkshire, at least. Wind, and rain most definitely, but snow, no chance! How much of that is just the way the weather is at present, or whether its down to climate change, who knows? A bit of each, I suspect?

Thats it, any shopping not done, is now not going to get done, though ironically, the local express Supermarket (Tesco) is open until 10.00 tonight, even on Christmas Eve! Poor staff, I say. Yes, I went down early this afternoon, thinking I needed to get in, before they shut early, and lo and behold…!

Tomorrow, I wont be opening any presents. No, not because I havent got any, I will have a very small number, but for a good reason. The others here are away until Sunday, and we’ve decided we’re going to leave everything until they get back, and then do it as a group. Yes, I could have done mine tomorrow regardless, but lets face it, at my age, I’m in no rush in such matters.

Well, put it this way, unless someone has sneaked a brainwashing, or mind control helmet into my gifts, or a full robot suit that actually would change my body, I’m in no rush. And no, I’ve seen nothing like that, so I’ll wait! Yes, before anyone shows concern, I’ve got a roast dinner for tomorrow, and enough Christmas pudding to keep me well and truly filled too! Fine, if there’s a voucher for a full Jean Harlow makeover (preferably of the permanent kind), I would love that too, but again… Beyond that, I wouldnt mind waking up, and finding something missing, that would be the best present of all. 😉

And so to close, by wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas, and hoping you get all you hope for tomorrow.

Lastly, the video. One of my favourite Christmas songs of all time, a live version. Oh, and the blog title is a line in the song…almost!

You are feeling very sleepy

So fine, I could have just left it until tomorrow, and got around the issue, but strictly, its one more blog before Christmas, so…

I think its fair to say that this ‘being out of work’ thing can be pretty stressful. It could also be said that when I did briefly get a job, that proved to be even more stressful, in a different sort of way. So what I was planning to do, before that ‘job from hell’ arose, was to do a relaxation, and stress busting hypnosis session locally, as she was offering a reduced rate for doing so, and I’m not one to turn down a bargain, especially a bargain that was going to be useful to me.

So yes, it got all sorted out, and set up, and was going to happen on a Saturday. Yes, you’ve guessed it, the Saturday I was doing training for that job, so I had to cancel it, another thing I regret. Anyway, I can now happily say that its been rearranged, for 3 weeks time, again on a Saturday morning. This time, hopefully, all will go to plan. To be honest, I could do with a hypno brainwashing session, and then being ‘rebooted’ like a computer, and hope a better me came out of it, but I’ll settle for this, for now.

Yes, I’m looking forward to being hypnotised again, that I will admit. Though fine, if anyone wants to try the shut down, and then reboot my mind technique, I’d love to give it a go!

I know, I havent been doing Christmas videos this year, pretty much because its hard to come up with anything I havent used before. But then I found this. Seriously, covering the Wombles?

An unplanned trip into town

I’ll be honest with you. When I went into town on Friday, to get the last couple of small presents, I planned on that being it, until after Christmas Day, at least. Well, in all honesty, until after Boxing Day, though this year, there is a half hourly service into town on Boxing Day, but very much doubt I will use it.

Fine, best laid plans of mice and men…and no, not for a job interview, or a romantic dinner date either, lol. I have had a little battery alarm clock for years, serving me faithfully. And when I say years, I mean I used this little alarm clock when I went to the US in 2003, you get my drift? So its served me well. Fine, a few years ago, the second hand stopped working, but while the other 2 hands continued to work just fine, and most importantly, the alarm did, why change it?

Yes, you guessed it, yesterday morning, the minute hand decided it was time to die, and of course, if that doesnt move, the hour one isnt going to! Yes, I could hear it was still ticking, so not the battery. I checked, taking the battery out, ticking noise died! So…I need a new one. The crazy thing is, I can get a similar one, from Argos, for £3.99! Probably less than I paid for that one about 12 years ago!

Fine, any other week, but Christmas week, when Huddersfield is likely to be crowd crazy, I didnt need it. Strictly, I dont need a clock at present, in the sense of an alarm, but its always handy to know the time, so… Yes, I’ll brave the crowds tomorrow, I guess?

I do need to draw money for rent, and given no one has yet won the jackpot, I guess I need a lottery ticket too, but I could have done those locally. I do also have a cheque to pay in (first in my new name!) for travel money from Covance, but that would have waited until next week, except for…groan! Why couldnt it have lasted one more, or one less week? Ah well…

OK, the video. A play on what I need, an 80’s group.

Would anyone be that crazy?

Yes, I suppose its the whole new life, coinciding with the start of the New Year that has me thinking that way, but I was wondering earlier today if anyone could possibly be crazy enough to fall in love, or at least fancy me out there in the world? Almost certainly not, especially given my total lack of interest in sex, which is a pretty big thing for most people, and thats even before you get to the issues of my genitalia lol! I know there are supposed to be transgender folk lovers out there, but not sure that I’ve ever met any, let alone any that I might fancy! My preference, I guess, a woman, and live as a lesbian lover, which might be slightly less of a complex issue for me, than a man, but to counteract that, I suspect pretty much all lesbians prefer their ladies to have all the right bits, unlike me at present. But yes, the right woman would be the preferred option for me.

I guess I’m more likely to attract a man, and I guess that as long as he could live without penetrative sex, I might roll with other ways of doing it, in an easier way. Wouldnt be the first blow job I’ve ever given, for sure! Of course (ha ha), if I found the perfect man, I might consider actually getting ‘the bits’ changed, but I couldnt see that as a priority somehow. I know, I know, until you dip your foot in the water, you dont know how warm it is, and all that?

I think the other big issue that is against me, after so long, is the whole set of conundrums, known as trust, love, and other various things, with another person, after over 15 years of having no one to rely, or depend upon, except me! Oh, and the fact they’d be getting someone who has got pretty independent, living as a single person!

So yes, fine, I’ve pretty much answered my own question in words, its not going to happen, even if part of me quite fancies the idea, is it? I suppose someone might enjoy the challenge, but where do I find them? I guess the obvious answer for someone like me, is these online date sites, but I’m not sure about them. Apart from which, most require a fee, for all the best options, and I’m not flush with money at present. And even then, how good are they, really?

So, fine, I’ll stay single! At the same time, I really, really would love to go out on a date, just once as a woman, but I guess its not going to happen. Ideally, a lesbian date, as I think I’d find I’d settle easier with a woman, but open to all offers…

No, I know, wont hear a thing!

The other thought that amused me, and I even considered, especially given the submissive style of the corset I love, would be to try and find a Master, or Mistress to serve. Probably would involve all the same sex issues as above, but in a strict sense, you dont have to love your Mistress, or Master, just be happy to serve, and obey them. Takes all my love issues out of the equation lol!

But again, I would have no idea where to start, so its not likely to come to anything more than words. Mind, at least I’d have someone who would probably be happy to see me tied tightly into a corset lol! Again, I think I’d prefer a Mistress, mentally, but a decent, caring Master might just work. Obviously if I could find one who wants a robot (or robot like) submissive/slave would be great, but hardly likely, so…?

Oh fine, not going to happen either, is it?

So yes, you’ve guessed it, this time next year, I’ll still be single, and posting like this again. Well, apart from the new name issue at least!

Right, the video. What I probably need, either literally, or in the Dominant sense, someone who cares dearly for their sub/slave.

Fine, end of romance rants for 2015, honest it is!

Finally, I know who I am

Yes, they think its all over, for Ms Nicholls at least, it is now!

This morning marked the last appearance of said, Ms Nicholls, at my final job interview, using that name. Hey, I’ve already altered my CV, the sites that I get job vacancy emails from, and my NI details. The passport, the last document showing that old name, will be sent off tomorrow, as I will go into a Post Office, and send it off on the way into town, to get the last couple of small Christmas gifts I have to get.

But on that bus into town (even if my Metro pass will say otherwise, for the next 14 days), it will be Miss Carpenter going into town. Oh fine, strictly, she has for over a month now, but due to ID issues, and a good number of those trips relating to job applications, its a debatable issue, but no more!

To be honest, I’m glad its done. It will be so much easier to only have to focus on one name, and fine, this may also be the point where I switch from using Stephanie, to actually using Harlean, as I’m no longer worried about keeping the names similar. Yes, I expect to hear “That’s an unusual name.” a few times, but I really don’t care. I know one thing, I wont have to worry about having the same first name as anyone else in an office, or anywhere lol!

Oh, and should anyone be daft enough to want to buy me a present to celebrate the fact, or for Christmas, I’d love this

http://www.theburgandyboudoir.com/Purple-Gothic-Corset_p_816.html

I know, thoroughly submissive look, so I shouldnt love it, but I do! No, I dont seriously expect anyone to get it for me, but I can dream.

Right, the video, possibly apt on a day when I finally only have one name again. It features a lot of old movie stars among the images, though sadly not the star formerly known as Harlean Carpenter. Now where have I heard that name? 😉

Oh, and finally, if anyone wants to use this method to erase all my memories of my former name/self, please do so!

One of those different job interviews

And not just because it was the complete opposite in style to the one I had on Monday either. I’ll be honest, I went in with no great expectations on it, expecting it to be more of the same, but hey, I was wrong, in the end, it was fun! Doesnt mean I’ll get the job, more on that shortly, but at least I managed to leave it behind, probably in a better frame of mind than when I went in, and thats very rare.

No clues, to start with that this would be anything out of the ordinary, just the standard application form, and… Then we went downstairs as a group, and were presented with a letter writing challenge (not a first, part of customer service job would involve writing letters/emails to clients, so… The thing is, I’d looked up a bit on the company in advance, so knew a bit about them. Snag was, the questions in the accompanying quiz were about the collections industry, not the company. I knew a few answers, guessed a few others, so we will see.

First interview (there were 2 guys, each doing their own thing) was standard enough, asking questions about what I’d done, what I could bring to the company, and all the other standard stuff. At the end of that, I was told the other guy would also be interviewing me, and I assumed that was where the dreaded competency stuff would kick in. Wrong!

I’ve heard tales of interviews out of the left field, but this was actually my first experience of one. Fine, it started off with an easy question for me, the perfect job. I decided to go left field in reply, so rather than astronaut, or mad scientist’s guinea pig, I went with a 1930’s actress. Original answer, which he seemed to enjoy. Fine, he fired back, asking me to describe the colour yellow, to a blind person. Well, I went in for things like the warmth of the sun, and a field of daffodils, and was told I’d done far better with an answer to this, than most.

So yes, scarily, I walked out of a job interview, feeling like I’d had a good time, despite the quiz. I may, or may not get the job of course, but for once, I wasnt frazzled when I left the interview, a rare event.

Today, at 8.40, I applied for a job in Halifax. Half an hour or so later, I’m being asked if I can go to a group interview in the morning. Yes, its a big company, so its going to be done in a more traditional (modern) way, and not fun. Then after I get back, the passport will go into an envelope, get taken to the post office up the road, and sent off recorded delivery. When I get return delivery, my passport will say I’m female, going by the name of Harlean Stephanie Carpenter. Yes, another special moment.

Tonight’s video. Well, it relates back to the first of those delightful ‘left field’ questions I got asked today, a real blast from the past!