Monthly Archives: July, 2016

The blind leading the blind?

Fine, I was going to do something different, and something I cant believe might happen, but as the gentleman hasnt been seen all weekend, it might well be that he’s seen sense re me, and doing something remarkable, so lets put a hold on that, for now at least.

So, in that case, lets focus on the obvious subjects, me, and work. Well, unsurprisingly, I survived 2 weeks of customer service training, and 2 weeks dealing with customer service issues, but lets face it, with my work history, it would be more worrying if I didnt! But fine, now the fun stuff starts, even if, by irony, I’m not going to have to put these talents to the test. For better, or for worse, entertainment wise, the better job offer approaches, so I’ll go through training, but then…move on, unless something strange happens. I must say the pay issues make me feel less guilty about going, as does sly digs about my inability to get to Leeds for 7.30 am starts (not mentioned at the interview, was told 9.00!), and keeping the role.

Yes, tomorrow is the start of Technical Services training. Now, this should be fun, because as a few friends at least will know, my technical knowledge is limited, to put it mildly. The running joke I make, is that I’m more interested in being controlled by technology, than being in control of it! So yes, this could be, err, an experience! Looking at it positively, if I gain any knowledge through this part of the course, it can only be a good thing, right? But yes, the idea of me being a tech expert, is about as likely as me being a ……., which is what I thought I’d be writing about, so…? ๐Ÿ˜‰ No, Stacie, you arent allowed to tell people what that is, either! ๐Ÿ˜›

Fine, I dont know how much of what I will learn will be of use to me in the outside world, as opposed to the job, but we will see? All the same, at the end of the fortnight, I might know a bit more about technology than I do now! Not that its hard for that to happen, but anyway…OK, one thing I’m not looking forward to, that 9.00 start all week. Means leaving here early, which means getting up very early, but…I’ll survive!

The video choice? Well, you might say that if I was giving out tech advice, this might be a fair description of how things would be? No, not the original, but a Postmodern Jukebox delight, set in a 50’s diner, pure heaven!

There’s nothing I know of, in Rio

Well, apart from a forthcoming Olympics, I guess? But fine, that should give you a clue to tonights video at least. That really was a two way choice, but hey, this is the preferred choice. I wouldnt be surprised if you dont get the other later this month, anyway.

So, given it starts next Friday, and apart from tomorrow, this is the last posting before then, I thought I’d better give it a quick mention. No, in truth, I wont go out of my way to see much of it, especially given that the evening entertainment, which tends to be the highlights, will be overnight here in the UK.

In truth, so far at least, its beginning to look a slight non event. A vast majority of the Russian competitors are banned, due to past, and present drug enhancements of their talents, their weightlifters even being pulled, because their Federation pretty much admitted they are cheating the system. Not that I suspect that all the competitors from other countries are innocent, much the opposite in fact, but anyway…! Its fair to say that one or two sports are so tainted, it would be the ones not cheating who would be the exception, rather than the other way around!

No, I’ve never actually been to an Olympic event, which is probably something I will regret someday, especially when they were held in London, but it was my choice. Funnily enough, I’ve been to a few cities where relatively recent Olympics were held, and seen a few locations used, but thats about it.

In that sense, the obvious place to start is London, where the last Olympics were held. In fact Stratford wasnt very far from where I lived between 2003, and 2005, but given I left just after the announcement, I havent seen the stadia in person. Yes, it might have been fun to have gone back, and seen the area in 2012, but given the prices of most tickets, the travel, and accommodation costs I would have incurred, I passed on that. As I say, give me a few years, I might regret it, but for now… As I say, 1908, and 1948 really arent relevant now.

The other city with special Olympic memories for me, is Athens. Not from when it actually happened in 2004, but from when it didnt happen, but they assumed it would, in 1996. There seemed to be some confident assumption in Greece that they would get said Olympics, as the centenary of the first one held there. Thing is, for whatever reason, they didnt, Atlanta beat them, and lots of recriminations ensued. My amusing memory of all this, going out there at the end of September 1990, on holiday, and seeing numerous shirts, and tops, proudly proclaiming Athens Olympics 1996, and of course, it wasnt going to happen. Surprisingly, not, they were being sold off cheap! Yes, I got one, though of course I dont still have it now. I did actually get to see 1 historic stadium from 1896 in Athens, but that was it.

The one city where I have seen Olympic venues, is the obvious one, Los Angeles. In fact, some of the venues from both 1932, and 1984 survive, and I saw them last year, on both trips. There is talk that they are going to try to again hold them in 2024 (the reason why Metro trains are going to be connected to the Airport), but we will see. In truth, unless I’m living in the area (I only wish!) by then, I’ll probably pass, for a ‘quieter’ time in the city, a merely relative term. Its why I’m amused by the fact I love the city so much, as it, especially Hollywood, is so unlike me, but hey, it happened anyway!

I have also been to Amsterdam, but as it was held there only in 1928, there wasnt much to see!

The video, as I say, was a 2 way choice. Given my love of the eclectic humor of Mike Nesmith, my love of The Monkees as a group, and the feel of the video, this was the obvious choice.

Yet to have their finest hour?

I may not be the biggest fan of Social Media in the whole wide world, and I find Facebook, and to a lesser degree, Twitter, more than plenty for me. So when I had to do assessments for my current role, involving the use of social media, I had some fun working out what the headers were for some of them. Thankfully, most were blindingly obvious enough that I survived, but seriously, how many of these things do some folk have? Too many, clearly!

Anyway, last month, on Facebook, I saw the announcement of a Yorkshire Silent Film Festival, during July. Several of interest to me, but one of those I was interested in, was on an evening, well off the bus routes, so I passed on that. I know its summer, and stays light quite late, but even so, around 9.00 or so, a mile and a half walk, to get a bus back into town, no, sadly. Details…

It left 2 that I could get to, and would enjoy, but 1 of which I’d already seen on the big screen, that being Pandora’s Box, starring Louise Brooks, showing in Leeds. The other, is actually next weekend, a little nearer to me, in Hebden Bridge, Metropolis. Now somewhere here (no, I cant locate it at this moment), I have a copy of the 80’s version, with the Moroder soundtrack, on DVD. That was lengthy, but since then, in about 2010, in deepest Argentina, they found, and added about another 30 minutes of film, that they had been missing to the version, it now has a running time of 148 minutes! And judging by the running time shown for the Hebden Bridge show, thats the version they’re showing! There are now just 2 small scenes missing, incredible, really.

Fine, the bad news, for me at least. Not unreasonably, its ยฃ10 to get in. Hey, I paid that for Pandora’s Box, so under any other circumstances, quite fair. Of course, my lack of finances make that an issue, though, assuming I get paid this week as planned, less so than before. Also, a friend has offered to pay my entry, so no real excuse. My other issue isnt so easy to solve, its called travel by public transport in the evening! Getting there isnt an issue, the show starts at 4.00, the film starts at 4.30, so I can do the travel in about 80 minutes, door to door. The snag is, getting home again! Getting out just after 7.00, you’re talking about 2 hours to get home! And yes, I need to eat at some point, which makes that, and the money even more complex, so…I’m sort of accepting its not going to happen!

Unless, someone reading this is going, or someone reading this, knows someone who is going, who can take my travel issue out of the equation, I’m going to have to pass, I think. If you can help, shout here, or on my Facebook page (Harlean Stephanie Carpenter), though tag me, if you do, as I dont do much there on work days. I know, wont happen, but no harm in trying. I can get there fine, its really the travel back to Huddersfield afterwards where I really need help!

Fine, the video. Well, which song has a lyric in the blog title, and heavily features Metropolis in the video? Yes, this one!

Anything you can do, I can do better

So fine, lets have a rare blog of late, that isnt about me!

Due to this new fangled thing called work, I missed most of the first 2 days of the Open Golf last week, but I gather the advantage of being out early Thursday/late Friday was quite significant this year, over being drawn the other way around. Two of the big beneficiaries of this seemed to be Stenson, and Mickleson. However on Saturday, which I saw some of the play of, the leaders all had the same chance but these 2 drew clear of the rest. In theory, a 4-5 stroke lead over the next player was catchable, but pretty much it looked like it might be a 2 horse race. Fine, it was, but in quite an incredible way.

In truth, it wasnt long on Sunday afternoon before it was genuinely a 2 horse race, as they pushed on, and the rest of the field didnt. In truth, it didnt matter, as they had the 2 amazing scores of the round, and when you think Mickleson shot a 6 under par 65, and lost ground on Stenson, its quite something to think. Yes, Stenson shot an incredible 63! And to think, before that pair started out, the ‘experts’ were saying any score in the 60’s would probably win it!

Its strange, most gripping golf tournaments have a group of players, and you’re trying to work out who will win. This had just 2, and yet, almost to the end, you were still wondering who was going to win! In the end, they finished 11 shots clear of any other player!

Oh, in other news, I have now been offered the other job, the one I wanted, in Bradford, starting towards the end of next month. Beyond perhaps taking the week off beforehand (I have a podiatrist appointment that week, so would be easier not to fit in around shifts), I plan to work, if possible in this job up till then. Why, I need the money, pure and simple! Of course, if they want to convince me to stay by ‘interesting’ methods, they are welcome to do so!

Why? Simple, better money, better hours, more interesting role, and cheaper travel, whats not to like? Fine, I’ll have to start paying for lunch again, but seriously…?

The video, back to the golf. If those two had sung to each other on Sunday, this would almost certainly have been the song!

Is there something I should know?

So fine, I survived the training period, and now I get ready to get down to the serious stuff. Well, when I say survived, some might say I did better than that. At various points over the fortnight, we had to sit various assessments, and get 80% or better on them, or face a resit, and who knows? Seemingly, what I saw from others, it was never a critical event regardless. Who, me? Fine, lowest mark I got was 85%, and I averaged 89.3% over the lot, not that the average really mattered to anyone other than myself. And yes, big test, got 90%, so… But fine, the Customer Service side of it, in a training sense, other than rustiness, should never have been an issue for me, anyway.

The training for technical service, which starts in a fortnight, might be a whole different matter, but I’ll give it a go. Yes, fine, I know, but I’m more into being controlled by tech, than me controlling it lol! The one personal blessing over the next fortnight, with the exception of 1 day (next Saturday), is a slightly later start, at 10.30, so I might get slightly more sleep than now, which will be a blessing. Later finish too, obviously, but not so bad that it should affect my time to bed, with luck. Yes, a weekday off, on Tuesday, I’ll see if I can come up with anything brilliant, and different for that! Feel free to suggest, mind. Tomorrow, I’m told will be more about getting my email, and systems set up, and not taking calls, but then, on Wednesday, after our day off. dip my feet in the water again.

Of course, with luck, something else is going to come and whisk me away from there, very soon. No, not a series of acting performances in the US, I only wish! No, the preferred job in Bradford, hopefully the checks will be sorted soon, and I can move on to that one. Later start, better money, less travel costs, and all that. Fine, I’ll have to start buying my meal again, but I can live with that!

Oh lastly, a couple of things from spending a little time on the call center floor. Firstly, they use wireless headphones, definitely a new thing to me, but I like the idea of it. Sadly they dont seem to send a signal to take control of your mind, but fine, I’m probably the only one who would enjoy that! Yes, I was doing some call listening. Once it was sorted out how to let me listen in on calls, it was quite interesting. Lets say that the guy I was with Thursday, did a good job. Calls, making me feel welcome, the works! Then Friday, I was paired with a woman, and I could say that I learnt how not to do a good job of it. She couldnt understand why her probation period had been extended, but I could!

Ah well, in for a penny, and all that…The other big challenge will be making the finances balance, until the end of August, when I get the first full pay packet, but hopefully I survive?

The video. You could say that after training, this shouldnt be the case, but who knows?

A star in New York, or a star in LA?

When I was in LA last October, and still looking at more interesting job options, I made initial contact with an agency called Transgender Talent, to see if there was any possible openings for a more mature woman like me, or if they were principally only interested in younger Trans people, of talent. As irony would have it, despite applying a few days after I arrived there, I didnt get a reply until after I got back, about 4 weeks later, asking if I was still there, as she’d love to meet me. Of course, I couldnt, but she took my details, said she’d keep my photos on their records, and see what happened. Primarily I was thinking mainly of photo shoot type things, though I did mention that in the past, I’d dabbled with a little acting, but thought no more about that.

About a month ago, I got a notice from her, that there was an industry workshop today, in LA, where people interested in working with diversity actors, and actresses would be networking, and holding workshops. Given the chances of me making LA today, at present, were pretty much zero, about a week ago, I sent off some more recent pictures of me to her, in case she wanted some fresh stuff, in the hope of getting someone interested in me, for modelling purposes, at least.

What I wasnt seriously expecting to get back, a few days later, was an email asking me if I had a Green Card, or current visa, to work as an actress in the US! It seems that an acting gig was available in the North East corner of the US, seeking someone who was a UK transgender actress, and if I had the paperwork, did I want to do it? I gather they had selected someone for the role, but she was struggling to get her paperwork in time, so…? Sadly, no, I havent. Currently, I dont even have an ESTA in my new name, let alone anything more! Strictly, I’m in the time limit on my old one, but because of the name change, and the new passport, that doesnt count! And fine, practically, if she couldnt get the paperwork in time, I’m not going to, either! I couldnt strictly afford it at present, anyway, but thats a mere sideline to the time involved to get it!

No, I dont know all the details of the role, I did ask for them to be sent to me, but I guess she thought there was no point, seeing I lacked the work credentials. I suspect it wasnt a major part, in major theaters, or she wouldnt be asking me, with my limited recent experience, but who knows? But yes, I only wish I could, would have been the experience of a lifetime!

Lastly, no, I never heard a thing back about the advert shoot. I’m suspecting the fact that strictly I was too old, and I’m not in North America would have counted against me, for sure. Might have been nice to have heard it was that, but such is life with job applications nowadays lol!

OK, the video. Now I’m not saying this acting turn would have made me a star anywhere, but who knows? And besides, to my surprise, I havent used this song before on here! But me, a star in New York, or LA, now wouldnt that be something?

Those wedding bells.

No, dont panic, not for real, definitely not yet, and probably never, in all truth. But getting to dress up as a bride, well, I would say it was unlikely, but you never know. When I got home from work on Friday evening, a friend on Twitter had let me know about this link.

Or for those of you who like the information in easy form

For this campaign, we are looking to cast a transgender woman, around 21-50 years old, to portray our bride. This spot tells the story of a bride on her wedding day and captures the power of optimism in a real, bright, sometimes heavy, but mostly positive way. This is an acting role (not portraying yourself) so there may be some dialogue required. Weโ€™re looking for someone who is dynamic, interesting and able to give us real emotion and a genuine, loving smile. Ideally someone with a story to tell, optimistic light inside, expressive eyes and has acting ability. Script can be provided upon request

Fine, strictly I dont fit into that age range, but everyone tells me I dont look my age, and I’m told my smile is good, so I’ve given it a go, and sent off an application, selling myself accordingly. The money is good ($4500, plus travel costs), the filming is in LA, so what more could I ask? The obvious answers, to have acted more recently, to be a bit, if not a lot younger (I’m sure they are ideally seeking someone nearer the lower end of that age range), but what the hell, if you dont try, you dont know, and as a few friends have said to me, I’m only going to hear the answer “No” at worst. In fact, its what I’m expecting, but if it enables me to get a foot in the door, who knows?

But no, I havent yet looked to see if the Dodgers are at home at all, during filming dates, for some strange reason lol. Though fine, if by some miracle it does happen, I sure will! Knowing my luck, they wont be, but anyway…when I’m a star of multiple TV ads, and living in town, stop laughing, I’m very much only joking now!

I must admit, despite being horribly independent nowadays, I’ve always dreamed of wearing a wedding dress, since the first day I knew I wanted to become a woman, back in 2001, but never imagined it happening. It almost certainly wont, but maybe, just maybe?

The video. Massive clue in the blog title, this time. I know, shock horror…

Everyday in (West Yorkshire) Metroland

Oh fine, I know, you’ve been waiting a week to hear the news about the job, but now I’ve got something else I want to tell you about, so…Fine, you can wait until tomorrow to hear about that!

Well, the good, and obvious news, I’ve survived the first week back at work, after too long away from it. Equally, I cant say I’ve enjoyed in the slightest, the need to be up before 5.45 in the morning to get to work, but fine, I’m getting there. In fact, frighteningly, so far the journeys to work havent been too bad. Had a couple of not so great journeys home (buses, not trains), but that was principally down to road works in town, and not the inabilities of First Huddersfield, though that may be being kind to them?

As to work, its been fine, but given the whole week (and next week) is dedicated to training, I’d be surprised if that wasnt the case at present. I’m the oldest in the group of 9, by far, and with the exception of one other, all are 24 or younger! Lets just say 3 are very loud, and leave it at that! No, sadly, I havent yet seen any sign of a silver bodysuit that we are expected to wear, or been told that the headset will have interesting effects on the mind, but I can hope I get offered that option at the end of next week lol! Headset is actually wireless, so I’m told, that will be interesting at least.

Alright, what other job related news can I tell you? I’ve been to other work places where tea, and coffee is provided for free, but this is the first (and probably last) place I’ve known where you’re provided with lunch for free! Yes, seriously, apart from travel card, I havent paid for anything all week! Just a sandwich/roll (and fruit option), but that suits me fine, so…For those fascinated, still waiting to hear on checks for other job at the moment.

But yes, the most amazing thing for me, its the first job where everyone has only known me as a woman, wow, just wow, its wonderful!

OK, the video. For those who think commuting isnt anything like this, you’re wrong, it is! Only difference is that now everyone is staring at their phone, or tablet device, not a newspaper, but otherwise. And no, the woman drinking wine isnt me, she’s not blonde! No, going back to work hasnt yet driven me to drink, but it might!

Welcome to the house of work!

Yes, I know, tomorrow is the big day, and thats why I wanted to write something here tonight, in advance. For those of you that have only got here in the last 15 months, you’re in for a shock. Recently, I’ve been blogging every 2, or 3 days, pretty much without fail, but this is where that comes to an end. I’m not planning to stop the blog, but in truth, when I’m getting a weekend as my days off, as I will be for a while, most likely its going to go down to 1 blog a week. Maybe a longer one, but in truth, as I’m likely to present the news and views in one go, that will probably be it. There might be some weeks when there is enough material for 2, and certainly if I’m doing 5 from 7 again, then you may well get a couple a week, but that will be it!

In truth, I’d hate to think I’d have to give up on the blog, after all this time, so I doubt it will happen, but as to the regularity of them, sorry, no more. Well, until I can afford a holiday or something, but otherwise…Yes, I’ll miss you, readers, but it comes to a matter of time.

When I started the job hunt, I was hoping to find something for about 25-30 hours a week, doing something fresh, closer to home, and getting some writing done in the extra time. So yes, I’ve ended up going into a call centre, for 37.5 hours a week, in Leeds. Fine, I know, but in the end I’ve got beaten down, and everything.

OK, I’d love to think the training methods are going to be something, err, interesting, but I’m pretty sure that dream wont be fulfilled either. If I knew how to save, and post a rather delightful gif, I would, but as I dont have a clue…sorry. But yes, 4 lucky people, wearing helmets, with lots of sparking electricity, and a wire clearly downloading something into their minds, yes, you get my drift, would love that to be me!

I’ll be honest, I have mixed emotions over this. I’m delighted to finally be back in a job, and I know its something I can do, and at least its a different medium (broadband company), but even so, there’s so much there, that 15 months ago, I was eagerly looking to get away from, ah well…And yes, thats what I regret, obviously, but money talks, and all that!

The one nice thing, my first job where all my paperwork says I’m a woman, from the start, thats going to be special! Feel free to wish me luck, by the way.

The video. Well, I did think of ‘The Carnival Is Over’, but decided to go with this instead, as the blog title gives away

A day late, but…

So fine, I really had planned to post this up yesterday, on the actual anniversary of 2 centenaries, but fate intervened. I had to go over to Bradford, deliver some paperwork for one of my prospective jobs, and though the actual process of delivering, and them copying the details they needed, throw in an hour and a half travel each way, and fine, it threw me behind.

But anyway, 100 years, and 1 day ago…

A baby girl was born in Tokyo, Japan, to American parents. So what, I can hear you screaming? Well, that lady is one of the few people we have left, who appeared in movies before WW2. Yes, on the 1st July, 1916, Olivia De Havilland was born, probably most famously remembered now for Gone With The Wind, though of course she appeared in many more movies than that. I believe (unless they died recently) that beyond one actor, a child at the time, she is the only one left from that movie. There are a few other actors, and actresses left, who have reached 100, but none probably as famous as her. To say she’s seen some amazing changes in her life would be a massive understatement, it goes without saying, both in the world, and in movie making styles.

The other, more publicized anniversary yesterday, and the far more tragic one, was that on that same date, thousands of miles away in France, it was the start of the Battle of the Somme. To say it was a futile waste of thousands of lives, would be a massive understatement. I read of one of the Yorkshire Pals regiments, where 2000 went over the top that morning, and within an hour, 1770 of them were dead, or missing, assumed dead. In all, nearly 20,000 died on that first day, on the Allies side alone. Now, its not hard to see that those brave young men were led by fools, but back then, maybe less so? A sad waste of a generation, all the same.

So fine, to the video. There are 3 songs I relate to WW1, but perhaps boringly, I’ve gone with the McCartney one, just because I think the video sums it up best, even if it relates to a different WW1 event.

(The other 2? Stop The Cavalry by Jona Lewie, and All Together Now, by The Farm)

Oh, and lastly, and an event happening today, today is apparently World UFO Day. Yes, I know, I’d love to see one, and even more so, have a flight in one. But no, sadly, I’m not expecting to be obliged!