Monthly Archives: March, 2016

Out there, and proud!

Firstly, seriously, is there now any day left in the year that isnt “something” day? There must be a few I guess, but nowadays they must be getting few, and far between. So fine, today is actually one of those that actually means something important to me, Transgender Visibility Days.

Me, I’m pretty visible most days as transgender, though fine, generally outside, I’m more likely to wear slacks, than a skirt, but then again, so do most women? But yes, I do go out in a skirt sometimes, and certainly when I go out for an evening meal, its a safe bet it will be a dress, and heels that I wear.

But do I hide the signs that I’m living as a woman, no chance! I know its not as easy for everyone, I fully understand that, but I’ve got to the point in life where really, I wouldnt have it any other way! As to others, I wish more were able to go for it, just like me, but…

To be honest, however much I dislike, and suspect the motives of Caitlyn Jenner, there is one thing for sure, more people with biological gender issues are coming out about it, and hopefully in time, will be able to sort them out. One other blessing is that the surgery becomes more practiced, and carried out, the surgery we’re going to get, is only going to improve.

But fine, here, I’m talking about progressive (to varying degrees) countries, not all of the world. There are many parts of the world where being any part of the LGBT rainbow, is a pretty dangerous thing to be. Only today I read, that Saudi Arabia are attempting to bring in laws to make giving any sign of being any of those 4 things, a case for execution! Not just on the street either, but online too! Mind, before the West gets too smug, new rules just brought in by North Carolina, and Mississippi are pretty awful too. Georgia only avoided taking the same route because of pressure from very major businesses within the state, so they have nothing to be proud of. Mind, given their past record, Mississippi would probably like to bring back another form of segregation, but anyway…

Who, me, visible today? Yes, you could say that. I had an interview in town today, for a position in a bank, as a customer service officer, serving people in the bank. Suit jacket, dress, and high heels, absolutely! Whether the bank staff will have the courage to give the position to a Trans person, no idea? Not that strictly they know, my passport says I’m female, so as far as they know…? Yes, a very transgender visibility role, amazing stuff.

Me, and that final op? I honestly say that if something happened in my life, that would justify it, I would still get it done. But with my health, and my age, and how complex it is, I cant see it happening unless there is good cause. Apart from losing that thing (and getting a vagina instead), I’ve now pretty much got everything I want, so unless a man, or a woman comes along that wants me with pussy, probably not. I might regret it, at my dying day, but in truth, we’ll see.

Right, finally, the video. A nice gender blurring song, from a group called Blur!

Seriously, how long?

Yes, today marks a very depressing anniversary for me, its exactly 1 year since I left William Hill, having taken redundancy. I know, I worked 2 weeks in the interim, but to be honest, I’m still trying to forget about that, but anyway…

I’ll admit it, when I decided to leave, I suspected it might be a battle to get a job, but I never imagined it being like this. I know, age was against me, being transgendered would probably be against me, but even so, I thought there would be openings out there, but…here I sit tonight, still battling on, to find another job.

Yes, I’m ready to scream, I admit it.

Thats not to say there havent been some good moments in the last year, 2 trips to Hollywood being among the high points, but the last 4 months, since I got back from 4 weeks out there, pretty hellish, on the whole! Yes, mainly money, or more importantly, the lack of it, has begun to bite hard.

Now fine, I’d love to put all the blame for my lack of job opportunities on my age, or my gender issues, but in truth, a lot of it is probably down to me, and the modern methods used for recruiting staff, which I struggle, at my age, to get my head around. Yes, competency questions are the bane of my life, and however well I practice them at home, once I get asked something slightly different, mid interview, my brain goes pop, and I blow it. I’ll be honest, in the early days, even basic competency questions used to stump me, but I think I’m getting there with those.

Thats not to say that I dont think my age, and probably more critically, my transgendered status hasnt counted against me at times, because it has, I’m sure. The less than fond memory of the job where the emphasis at the interview was on “This is a young office” was a less than subtle clue on one occasion at least. And yes, there’s been a few times, when I have performed well, and not got anywhere, and I’m sure the confusion of a woman, with a male passport (as I had back then) probably counted against me, with some.

I’ve also had other frustrations on money raising fronts. Yes, the clinical research thing, is an obvious that comes to mind. The first time, I was in, but because they couldnt make promises at the time I needed to make the decision about that ghastly job, I took that, and missed out. Second time around, after discovering that my internal genitals are a mix of male, and female bits, that was it!

I’ll be honest, I’m still ignoring sales jobs, especially cold calling ones, as I know my nature wouldnt last weeks in a job like that, let alone years. I’ll be honest, even if I applied, and got an interview, I doubt they’d take me on, I just cant push hard enough for that sort of role. But yes, anything reasonable, I’ll give it a go. Hey, this week I applied for a job, as a Receptionist at a local casino. I dont really expect to hear back, but you never know, I do have experience in the gaming industry, but its hardly that! Be more fun if it was Vegas, or California, but it might be a start?

But fine, I’ll say it again, I’ll try anything now, legal! I know what I said above, but I suspect that if someone offered me a ‘warm’ or ‘hot’ selling role, I’d give it a try! But apply for one, dont think I could. Having said that, I’ve seen these social media retail selling things, and I have my doubts I could do that sort of sales either, so…?

I guess you’re asking, do I now, in hindsight, regret my decision to take the redundancy money, given whats happened? Generally, no. The only reason I could finish at 10.00, in Leeds, and get home fine, was because we were given taxis, but I knew that was being taken away. After that, given the awful punctuality record of Trans Pennine Express, there was no guarantee I would get the last bus home. Which would have meant a 40 minute walk, late at night, or the expense of a taxi, assuming I could get one, especially at weekends. And to be honest, I’d already been considering getting another job, before the money came along, so…
The other reason I couldnt say anything but no? Those 5.5 weeks in Hollywood, over the 2 trips, for starters. Fine, I had a week booked, but if I say that after 5.5 weeks, I still havent done everything in LA that I would love to do, yes, you get my drift? I also met some wonderful people, on both trips, that I wouldnt have done otherwise, and got some very good memories out of it.

But yes, if someone wants to make me an offer, just about anywhere in the world, any legal job, give me a shout. At worst, I’ll think about it, and in truth, if its reasonable, and I think I could do it, I’ll take it. Equally, if there are any William Randolph Hearst’s out there, who fancy a transgendered Marion Davies at their side, yes please. Lets face it, for the right Mr Hearst, I might even get all my genitals made female! I dont fancy the surgery at my age, but if required, then fine, get me booked in!

Alright, before I hit 1000 words, good grief, the video. A bit of Eagles, in tribute to the recently departed Glenn Frey

I’m trying to feel like I dont want to depart too, but its getting hard!

We’re on a road to somewhere?

Earlier today, not for the first time, I saw a story about a road between London, and New York. Yes, I know, there is a very large lump of ocean between the 2 places (with Ireland in between), but thats not actually the way its going to go. This road goes East from London, not West! A Russian idea, this time around, costing a ridiculous sum of money, and besides which, the passport control points between Russia, and the US, yes, worth seeing!

And that cost is despite the fact that the first long section, between London, and, I would guess, Central Russia, probably already exists, with the exception of the bit linking the UK with Europe, but I guess that could be done through the Channel Tunnel? Equally, the section between New York, and Fairbanks, Alaska, is pretty well intact too.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, the huge snag is the bit in the middle of those two points! I know that in theory, there is some sort of road system heading into Siberia, but its pretty awful quality, during Summer, because it virtually turns to liquid mud, and in Winter, because of the extreme cold. And this road would need developing anyway, because yes, its heading up to that bit of Russia, just across from Alaska, and road building up there varies between negligible, and none.

As for the other side, the simple answer to roads between Nome, on the Alaskan coast, to Fairbanks, is that there arent any! And as for population in between those two points, to service traffic, provide lodging and the like, again, pretty much zero. I guess people could be moved in, and provided with a very good salary to solve these working issues, but its hardly a prospect, unless you’re very well rewarded, for life in the middle of nowhere, lets face it.
But yes, if they ever build a road between Fairbanks, and Nome, I’d love to travel it, all the same.

But even so, we still havent come to what would actually be the trickiest bit. Yes, that 55-60 miles or so, of the Bering Sea, that stretches between Russia, and Alaska. Regardless of whether you go for a bridge, or a tunnel, you still have a long stretch of very rough sea to deal with, much of which freezes over for the long winter!

Above all this, why would you drive that incredible distance by car, when you can fly it in 7 hours, for less than the petrol would cost for the trip!

So fine, my opinion, they released this news 4 days early by mistake!

The video, well, it pretty well sums up what most of the mid section of this journey would be

Can I have my hour back?

Yes, for those of us in Europe at least, this is the weekend that the clocks ‘spring forward’ into summer time. I know, American readers will be saying they did that a fortnight ago, but for us over here in Europe, tonight marks the moment. So yes, I’m going to lose an hour of sleep tonight, grumble, grumble…

Fine, I know, in theory, we get it back at the end of October (or early November in America?), but just at the moment, that seems a long way off. But ironically, strictly, I never got my hour back last year, or it certainly didnt seem that way at least. In a sense, I arrived back in the UK an hour earlier than normal when I returned from LA, but the actual extra hour in bed, nope!

You might have guessed why. The weekend before I flew back from LA, at the end of October, the UK clocks ‘fell back’ by an hour, but of course, the US moved the clocks back, after I’d flown back, meaning I missed out on that extra hour of sleep. Now I’m going to lose another, ah well…

Another boring detail, this year is the centenary of the first year that the UK changed their clocks, for summer time. I gather it was to aid the war effort, by giving factories an extra hour of light at the end of the day, for workers to produce materials, to help the war effort. I guess nowadays its hard to believe that there was a time when clocks stayed on GMT the whole year round. Nowadays we spend less time on GMT than we do 1 hour ahead of it!

I suppose the only consolation is, that after tonight, I can get back to normal, for 7 months, on time differences to the US, a small blessing at least. Then again, for a week, or maybe 2, I will have to juggle my time differences to the US again. Well, unless, by some miracle, I’m living over there by then! I know, stop laughing…Hey, at present I’d even settle for missing it, because I can afford 4 weeks in Hollywood, which I cant envision at present. Mind, this year, maybe the whole of October wont be a good time to be over there, given it will be just before the election! Still…

Lastly, as always, the video. The other night, I had a brief session on You Tube, of artists who died too young, and not at their own hands. So tonight, one of them seems very apt. This man died at the age of 30, in 1973, when a small plane he was on, crashed soon after take off. What we missed out on, I’m sad to think. Oh, and as much as I can gather, it wasnt too long before that fateful night, that this was filmed.

The issues of chocolate, across the oceans

So fine, as we’re building up to Easter, lets focus on something that will be popular with many this weekend, chocolate! As to why hollow, chocolate eggs are so popular at this time of year, no idea. I guess its a spring, and creation thing, but anyway? I know, they usually include bars, or single chocolates within the packaging, but the thing that gets all the attention is the egg.

Yes, I know, nowadays we have those ‘creme egg’ things, but as you can gather from my comment there, I’m not a fan! Too sickly for me, I guess, a subject that I’m leading to on this, sweetness. Others love them, I know, and each to our own, I guess?

By the time I became an adult, I realised that all chocolate was not the same. The difference in quality between say, British chocolate, and Swiss, or Belgian chocolate, quite something! No, I’m not a connoisseur, and will eat most qualities of the stuff, quite happily, regardless. Fine, if you’re offering, I prefer decent quality, dark chocolate, but at the moment, I cant afford to be fussy. So yes, cheap and cheerful will do me fine at present. But if you’re offering Lindt, or the like, I wont say no!

The one thing I didnt discover until 2003, was how different to UK chocolate, that the US type was. I found out one day, in Seattle, when I saw a Twix on sale, in one of those supermarket type stores, and thought to myself, that would be nice. Even more so, when I discovered a dark chocolate version of a Mars bar too. Great I thought, until I bit into one, so sweet, and slightly gritty!

It was after that I found out that thought they said they were the UK brand names, they werent the same thing, these were made in the US, so…I was robbed! No, not literally, but they werent what I was expecting. I went on to discover that they are made differently, for a reason. Summer in parts of the US is far hotter than it ever gets in the UK, and if they used our making method, most of it would melt. Fine, in some parts, even in October (and I now know), our type of chocolate would melt in no time flat over there.

So, over the years, the only chocolate I’ve tended to buy over there (very occasionally) are brands like Lindt, made to a different recipe to standard US stuff. And yes, usually dark chocolate, so that is bitter, even if it is made a little sweeter for US tastes. All this is why, unsurprisingly, when I’ve been going to the US in the past, taking a gift of our chocolate could prove very popular.

Besides which, now I know what to expect, I can sometimes take US chocolate, though generally of the dark kind. The one I found at the supermarket in Hollywood, near my apartment, was cheapish, but not too bad to eat. Mind, it had to spend its time in the fridge, when not being eaten, even in October! I know, Southern California, but…ours would have melted quickly, when taken out of the fridge all the same!

Right, the video. I went on a hunt for a live version of this, as I’m pretty sure I’ve used the original before. Given the fact that this guy didnt sing the original record version, I’m impressed. Yes, he was the front man on TV, but someone else originally sang the song. But quite clearly, this isnt mimed!

Baseball in Havana!

Yes, I apologise to my British readers, for a second baseball related blog, but hey, this is as much about history, as it is about Baseball.

When I was a young child (I want to say girl, but strictly I wasnt, at that point, so lets go gender neutral), it looked quite possible that Russia, and the US were going to blow up the world with nuclear weapons, over a stand off over Cuba. As I was only 4 at the time, I didnt know much about it, but I gather it seemed inevitable at one point, but thankfully, it was averted.

But after that, officially at least, any kind of relations between the US, and Cuba, was pretty much zero. And yes, at that point, crossing the 100 miles between them, across the Gulf of Florida was pretty dangerous, to put it mildly. Yes, oceans are a lot more open than the Mediterranean Sea, that there is so much focus on now, and many, many, lost their lives, trying to cross it, to get to America.

Oh, one thing, if you think Americans are baseball crazy, you should see the Cubans! But what has happened, even more so in recent years, is that the better Cuban baseball players have been making the crossing, because of the money they could earn, in the Major League. And they become social pariahs at home, to put it mildly.

So tonight, whats happening? Well, Tampa Bay, of the Major League, are playing Cuba, in a pre season baseball game, in Havana! And the Presidents of both countries were at the game. Yes, thats how far things have moved in the last year, or less, in relations between the 2 countries.

So fine, the first bat of the game was pure irony, as it was one of those escapees from Cuba, that batted first for Tampa Bay. Lets say he wasnt deafened by the applause for him from the crowd, who probably see him as a traitor, but anyway…it happened! The cheer when he hit his first ball high into the air, and was caught, priceless!

To be fair, there has been less focus on the game than usual, from ESPN. Lots more interviews than normal, including Obama, but hey, this is special.

OK, for the video, lets look back on that dangerous scenario in 1962, after the failed Bay Of Pigs invasion, and everything else, and be grateful that we werent all nuked off the planet!

I want to go to…

Oh fine, any regular readers here, who dont know I love baseball, what have you been missing? And yes, one of those huge personal bonuses of spending October, living in Hollywood, was watching the play offs live, in my own little apartment. Hey, I even got to see the first game of the World Series live, before I had to head back to sanity, and the UK, but anyway…I at least got to see the rest of the World Series, the following day, but it was never quite the same thing. But fine, I was happy, the Royals won it all, lets face it.

But at the same time, watching the home town Dodgers, both live, and live on TV last year, was something quite special. Yes, I suppose they’re Hollywood’s team, so I guess they can be my second, or National League team, oh fine! Yes, I’ve got a Dodgers cap somewhere, though actually I gave it to Dave, as I have less need to keep the sun out of my eyes over here, so would never have used it. Not that I bought it, mind. I found it sat on the seat, at the bus stop, on Beachwood Drive, so took ownership! Yes, helped to make me look cool, and a local down in town, which was handy, as it kept the tour people off my back, most of the time.

But today, as I’m typing this, I’m getting my first taste of live baseball, since that last day, in my sweet little Hollywood apartment. So wonderful! Fine, I’ve seen one game, on delay, the next day, but thats not the same as live. And fine, its only Spring Training, so not to be taken too seriously, but its live baseball on ESPN UK! Boston, and St Louis, if you wanted to know. So yes, given the Red Sox are my friend Kate’s team, it got a little bit more than just any game for me.

Will I get to a live game this year? Who knows? If you asked me at present, I’d probably say no, but I guess, that until September, I can hold out hope. As for spending the whole of October, watching the play offs, in a cute apartment in Hollywood, only in my dreams, unless I win the lottery, and thats not likely to happen, with my luck in any matter! But a girl can dream!

But at least on a few occasions, thanks to ESPN, UK version, I can get to see a few live games on TV at least. Yes, it will only be matinee games, in early evening over here, but there are a few of them, so…

All the same, if you’re asking, Do I want to go back to a ball park, or do I want to go back to Hollywood, you bet I do! I just wish, that at this moment, I could see it happening. Ah well…

So fine, this blog, for those who know Broadway musicals at least, may have worked out the video!

No popcorn at the movies

Right, a little bit of a mixed bundle tonight, catching up on various things, from the last few days.

Firstly, thankfully the issue with the picture has thankfully been sorted, yes, nothing more than a language issue, which a wonderful lady helped me to sort. So now, I suppose I’d better let you see the picture?

Birthday wishes

A real delight, to light up my birthday, don’t you think?

OK, the reason for no popcorn at the movies, nothing to do with them selling out of the stuff. No, in fact, what has virtually sold out for tonight, is seat tickets! Yes, pretty much, or indeed already is, a full house! So no, given that its quite a trek to Elland, especially on a Saturday night, I’m not going. A shame, as it would have been fun, but in reality, might be a lot easier on my old body by not going. Anyway, not a total loss. I went on You Tube, hoping to find the main one I was going for, the one with Jean Harlow in, ‘Bacon Grabbers’, and lo and behold, found it! Fine, watching it on a laptop is not the same as seeing it on a big screen, but its a good consolation. She only actually appears in the last couple of minutes, but its a good, classic, Laurel and Hardy slapstick comedy.

Fine, I’ll slip the videos in here, as this is what they refer to. Yes, videos, 2 of them, take your pick, or try both. The first is the obvious song, though I had never imagined that Kraftwerk would ever have turned their hands to something as silly as this. Sadly, no pictures, but couldnt find any group performances of this by anyone, so… OK, I found Crazy Frog, but you really dont want that!

The other, is a totally different song, from a totally different era, but probably more apt for me. No, I know nothing about the Fontane Sisters, beyond whats on Wikipedia, so dont ask! Active between 1941, and 1961, but no idea when in that period this was recorded. Most likely from ’48 onwards, but dont quote me on that!

Right, lastly, yesterday was signing on day at the Job Centre. In the middle of discussing my job applications, I was asked if I fancied actually working at the Job Centre. To be honest, even if I wasnt desperate, I would have said yes, as its the sort of ‘something different’ that I’d love to do. So anyway, to cut a long story short, I’ve applied, taken some tests, and now just have to wait and see what happens, I guess? Oh, and any prospective employers out there, I’m open to any full time job offer, thats legal! French maid might not be my dream job, but if the pay is decent, then yes, at the moment, I would! Kidding, I, err, think? Oh fine, I might be lousy at it, but it would be fun! Uniform would be, at least!

I think thats everything, for now at least, so…

The best laid plans, and all that…

Yes, fine, the title of the blog gives away the fact that today hasnt gone quite to plan, even for a birthday, right? Yes, right! The beauties of asking complex questions of someone who’s native language clearly wasnt English. Ah well…

I gained a friend over on Facebook, someone in Australia, who I dont know, but was seemingly friend, of a friend, and all that. Given he posted some gorgeous pictures, both old, and created, I happily accepted him. Shrewd move, as next thing I know, he’s adding a gorgeous photo of a 30’s lady to my timeline, which I absolutely adored. Today, when I get up, I discover another photo, this one of me, designed as a sort of birthday card thing. Loved it, as did a few others.

So this afternoon, not wanting to just post them on here, without his permission, I sent him a message, asking if it was OK to do so. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I think he thought I was objecting to him just using the photo of me, and got an apology back, and discovered he’d removed (or at least, made dormant) that Facebook account. Yes, fine, maybe I should have at least saved them to my collection in advance, but I never dreamt he’d do that! Yes, not a happy bunny!

The rest of the day, well, another job rejection, another phone interview set up, but fine the frustration really is getting to me now. I’m also waiting on the magic news from the Council about paying my rent, thought I’d have heard by now, but anyway…

Only other news, I got cash for my birthday, so I’ve pretty much decided I will go over Elland on Saturday night, spend it on that, seems a good way to do so. And yes, play at spotting Jean Harlow on the big screen!

Fine, the video. You could say this is how I feel about events re those pictures this afternoon!

Can I have my money back?

No, not literally, even if there is one twisting so and so out there that owes me, but anyway…No, that line gives away the video, and also is a potential clue to something I might go and see on Saturday night. Might, comes down more to travel issues, especially coming back, as the cost of getting to the movie, getting into the movie, and something to eat/drink (maybe?), could probably be done for about £15, or so. I know, but getting out, and having a good laugh, might help to keep me sane! Thats not to say that if someone wants to take me to Elland, or treat me, that I wouldnt say no!

What I’ve discovered, is that there is a delightful little cinema over Elland, called the Rex, very old fashioned look, but fitted with all the modern things you’d want in a cinema. But yes, you’ve probably guessed it, its not a modern movie that I’m thinking of going over there to see, oh no! What they’re showing on Saturday night, is 4 Laurel and Hardy movies. One full length one, 3 shorts, making up just over 2 hours of hilarious entertainment. So yes, I’m tempted to say “what the hell!” and go.

OK, what tempts me even more is that in one of the shorts, is some blonde, bit part actress, playing the wife of one of Stan, and Ollie’s comic victims. Yes, thats right, some unknown (well, she was at the time) named Jean Harlow! The movie, ‘Bacon Grabbers’, which is 20’s slang for a repo man, which is where the blog title, and the video come from. Thats right, I’ve never seen this one, so in that sense, its the one I’m going for, even if its not the main movie, and she’s probably in it for 3 minutes maximum! Still be fun to see the other 3, all the same.

Getting back “should” be fine, though obviously there are less buses around at that time of night, after the movies are finished. Metro convinces me that it can be done, and it is my birthday this week, so…I may well give it a go. And yes, getting out, and having a good laugh, might just do me the world of good, I guess? Oh, and fine, its another Harlow movie I can tick off my list lol! So?

The video, the late great, Gerry Rafferty, with what was pretty much his first solo performance as an artist. It wont keep you long, much as a 20 minute, silent movie would do!