Monthly Archives: September, 2016

Where Did I Go To, My Lovelies?

Well, yes, in ideal circumstances, I’d have written this on either Tuesday, or Wednesday, but if I planned to do that, in all honesty, it wouldnt happen. So lets settle for today, especially as Facebook conveniently reminded me about it this morning, not that I needed reminding!

Thats right, one year ago, which was actually the Friday, so I must have been keen, I was commenting on my forthcoming trip to Los Angeles, for 4 glorious weeks, starting on the Wednesday. Though actually, it was only the second thing on the comment, as firstly was the job interview I had on the Tuesday, the last thing I would do before leaving. As history now knows, I didnt get that job, actually found out that fact on arrival in California, ah well…

Now, here I sit, looking at a probable return to Los Angeles next May, though dates, and duration are currently yet to be decided, until I know what week work will let me have, and whether I can get a few days on top, either side of it. Also, I will have to take a look at finances early next year, see what I think I can afford, and play it from there. Ideally, 10 days, but if it has to only be 7, then so be it. In that sense, its going to be a hotel, not an apartment, just because it wont be practical to buy provisions for just 7, or 10 days, as opposed to 4 weeks.

Fine, if that little apartment in Verbena Drive was available, then maybe I’d have been tempted, but now… going to be a hotel, I’m sure.

But yes, its going to be funny when I leave here on Wednesday, and head to Bradford, not Hollywood, to think back about it. The other funny thing, that first proper pay going into my bank on Friday, that will be good.

OK, while we’re on about Los Angeles, lets talk baseball! Yes, the Dodgers are now one win, or one Giants loss away from winning the division again. Would be lovely if it happened today, as its Vin Scully’s last home commentary before retirement. He has got 3 more games, next weekend, in San Francisco, but that will be it, after 67 years! Yes, 8 years before I was born, he began commentating on Dodgers games, in Brooklyn, and only now he’s retiring! Believe me, he will be so missed! If there is one Dodger I would love to meet, its him, though technically he wont be one by the time I’m next there. So fine, Clayton Kershaw might have that role then, though the chances of me meeting either, is probably zero. Yes, about as likely as talking to Jean Harlow’s ghost at Glendale!

So where do I go to on Wednesday? Well, last year, it was Hollywood, this year, Bradford! At least the latter pays me money. Now, if Hollywood want to offer me money too…?

The video, well, I’ve given a few clues, I guess?

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Trying To Keep The Customer Satisfied

Yes, pretty much a major part of work in any call centre I’ve worked in, but in honesty, thats not what this is about. Well, there was one call centre that seemed to want to annoy their customers, but enough of that…

Loyalty cards, or more pertinent with many firms nowadays, loyalty accounts, without the card.

Yes, I’ve got a few, and its fair to say that they do influence my choices. Hotel wise, I’m always likely to give first glance to Choice Hotels, before others, because I’m a member of their scheme, and get respected, and treated accordingly. Indeed, its fair to say that if one of their hotels, and an opposition one offer a similar deal for LA next year, I’ll probably be loyal! See, they work!

For the same reason, 3, now 2 airlines always had a pull over others for the same reason. Delta, and their partners, and now, American Airlines (the other was US Airlines, who are now one and the same) have the same advantage over others. I am actually a Silver grade at Delta this year, but of course, never got the chance to use it! Ah well…

But yes, in terms of free nights, or cheap flights (you have to pay fees), I’ve not yet got enough to profit from them. Mainly because the hotels are pretty much all in the US, and the Airlines would require an international flight (far more points), but slowly, I’m getting there.

So fine, the more exciting freebies are still a little bit beyond me at present, but on a more mundane level… Especially when you’re trying to keep every penny possible, finding somewhere nearby, relatively cheap for lunch, while working, was pretty important. Thankfully there are 2 that fit that bill. So yes, I’m the proud owner of a Subway loyalty card, and slowly building up a few points on that. I have no idea how many points I have to get to for a free lunch, but someday I’ll get there! I also have no idea if I will be able to use it in the US, as well as the UK, but thats a while off, anyway.

But the pertinent one, is a lovely little bakery shop, called Greggs. So every time you buy a coffee, even as part of a lunch deal, you have this little card marked, and when you’ve bought 9, you are entitled to a free one! Wednesday, I bought my 9th coffee, with my lunch, and was due a free one. So when, on Friday, I had a straightforward journey to work (first time in weeks, due to roadworks), I arrived at work with a few minutes to spare, so I went and got myself a nice cup of coffee, for free!

I know, its only a small thing, but given it was my first reward for customer loyalty, hey, it was fun! I know, easily satisfied lol!

The video, for those as old as me, or with good memories, you make have worked it out. If not, wait no more…

The Commercial Break

Oh please, dont just pass on by, its not like I inflict lots of ads for my stuff on you. Besides which, doing it this way, you still get 2 more blogs this weekend, which wont be adverts for my new book!

Yes, I’ve been writing again, and this time, its something a little bit different. No light and fluffy here, though fine, the ending is pretty sweet, all the same. But just gets a bit grittier, and thought provoking along the way.

Oh, right, the link. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/667260 is where you need to go. Yes, it is also up at Amazon, and will be up at Barnes And Noble, and a few other places soon, but at the moment, its just those two, and Kobo, so…Yes, fine, I’ll admit it, Smashwords pay far better commission than Amazon, which is why I’m featuring them. But if you love Amazon, just go there, search on Merry Brooks, and you’ll find it there too.

Yes, as mentioned, this isnt your sort of cute story that ‘Miss Brooks’ has written before, because it tackles a subject that interests, and intrigues me, but has the same effect on people as Marmite, seemingly you love it, or hate it, only in this case, it seems more fall into the latter. So, my positive look at ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy) is going to annoy some folk, for sure! Hopefully some will agree with me though. As to the modern style of treatment, its very different to what you see in the movies! Best example I can come up with, is this one. I know, its in Dutch, but I cant do everything. Let me make a film in English, with me as the patient, and I’ll do it, willingly!

I know what you might be saying, she’s putting forward a positive case for it, but if she had to have it herself… Sorry, I would, happily, though fine, ideally, at first at least, I might prefer a lower voltage passing through my mind than a standard treatment, but if that was the only choice, then yes, I would, definitely! In fact, if anyone is offering…?

Anyway, the story, though you can read it in the synopsis on the link, a quick resume. Susan is a great believer in method acting, and likes to know how her roles would react to events. So when she is offered the chance to play a wealthy lady, whose children want her out of the way, in a psychiatric unit, while they blow her money, she needs to find out what that would be like, for real. And fine, because the children dont want her out too soon, they plan on getting her ‘treated’ in a way that will keep her there for a while. So, a stay is booked, though Susan plans to avoid the treatment, but…

Yes, its a role, yes, its fiction, and no actresses were harmed in the making of this story lol! Fine, I wouldnt mind being ‘harmed’ that way, but anyway…

So yes, if you want to make me happy, go give the book a try. Better, buy it, its only $2.99, and you have no idea how good it is to see your books sell a few copies. If not for you, go check out my other books, and maybe buy one of those instead?

OK, publicity moment over, which means its time for the video! Or tonight, two videos! Yes, same group, same song, so take your pick. Firstly, the original video

Then, a recent live performance, which proves that they can still do it live, about 40 years later!

Yes, you like the name of the group, which is why I used it? An amazing pair of brothers, it has to be said.

If You Want To Put A Ring On Me?

I know, highly unlikely, but there might be someone out there with a desire for a different type of woman, but anyway…I know, I know, but…I’d love one of these on my finger!

http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-288

Might be the only way that my current skills could make me the perfect wife, for sure. And yes, you’re right, I’d love the whole Stepford Wife thing, willingly, or not! Fine, with me, its very willingly, but…sadly these rings arent real! I know, some men might have issues with having to wear the other ring, but if you can find a loophole for that, fine by me! Just dont expect me to have children, but thats an age issue, as well as a physical one at present! Mind, I do have a womb, though undeveloped, but I still dont think the ring is that good, lol!

But yes, the Stepford style cooking skills would be an absolute boon, and hey, if it does make me maternal, there are always step kids, or adoption, I guess? Dont worry, I’m not expecting to be flooded with offers over this. Not even expecting a puddle, in all honesty! But is it wrong, that I fancy the idea of a ring like that? I know, many feminists would say yes, but sorry, I love it.

Dont get me wrong, I want to be a Stepford, fifties style wife, who is happy using modern technology, rather than a true 50’s wife, but I guess, if the latter was on offer, I’d probably give it a go. Yes, might as well have the benefits of being a wife today, as well as living my life in Stepford style obedience to my partner.

But fine, sadly, those rings dont really exist, shame! Mind, a man who would want me as a wife probably doesnt exist either, lol! Yes, I do wish they did, the rings for sure, the man, well, maybe? 😉 No, I’m not expecting a flood of offers, either partners, or rings!

OK, tonights video. No, not the most high quality recording of all time, but hey, its fun, and silly, bit like the concept of tonights blog! And yes, its one of those tracks I shouldnt love, but I do, even without the influence of that ring!

In The Army Now!

Yes, found this news out this morning, the first, but almost certainly not the last, transgender soldier that will be serving in the British Army.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37391807

In theory, the rules are in the process of being changed, to enable this to happen more, but the expected date for this to start, was later this year. Thing is, someone has trumped them, and beaten that date, by already being a serving member.

Yes, I’m delighted, and proud of her, in more senses than one. Yes, the transgender one, but also the military one, as always pleased to support those who serve us, in such a brilliant, and brave way. So yes, good for you, Chloe! Hopefully in a decade or so, anyone reading this news will just say, “so what?”, and think nothing more about it. I’ll be honest, if you’d told me 10 years ago, that as many children as they are, would be coming out, over their gender issues, I would have laughed at you. But yes, its amazing to see, has to be said. I guess in hindsight, there was evidence when I was about 6 or 7, that I wasnt a natural boy, but its easier to see that now, care of the internet, and the like, but back then, I just suspect no one really knew. Well, some knew, judging by reports I’ve seen, since around 2000, where it was admitted that a large number of intersex babies were born about the time I was born, and doctors (and/or parents) just decided what gender they would be, and clearly got a number of them wrong!

I must admit, the difference between working at a place, where they knew both sides of my identity, and one where they only know me as a woman, is amazing. I feel so much freer in my mind now, because I can be a woman, and no one needs to know differently! Yes, I believe I marked I was transgendered on my initial paperwork, but day to day, no one knows that!

Yes, I have no idea how things will go for Chloe, given that the people she serves with, must have known her before, but if all works out, then wonderful, and great, and let there be more of the same.

The video, well, this seemed rather apt

Oh, say can you see?

Though no, the US National Anthem isnt the video tonight, but it gets involved!

Firstly, it would be remiss of me not to mention that today is the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, though as I’ve covered it here in the past, I will pass on doing so again. So lets focus on something else, very much in the news, relating to the US at present. No, I dont mean the election, either!

Apart from major events, and international matches, we never play the national anthem before sporting events, here in the UK. Therefore, in 1987, at a college football match (yes, American football type), when they asked us all to stand for the National anthem, my partner and I casually looked at each other, but did so. At the time, I knew the words, though not well, but we survived. At worst, we sang fairly quietly, just in case, but opened our mouths in all the right places. We then did it again, at an NHL match in Hartford, but we were more prepared this time. By this century, I’d caught on that this happened before every sporting event, and therefore when it happened at an Ice Hockey game in Seattle (WHL), I was ready for it! By then, I knew every word off by heart, and if anyone could tell me from a dutiful American, I’m disappointed!

Since then, I’ve sung it more than a few times, to say the least. In truth, I prefer it to our National Anthem, but enough said on that.

But in the last few weeks, standing to attention for the US Anthem, has come to the attention of many, because of people not doing so, at NFL matches. Fine, I can see some that think African Americans arent always treated fairly by the authorities, and I’d agree, they’re right. Well, as much as a Brit can tell, anyway. But fine, my view that whatever, disrespecting your national anthem, and flag, is wrong. I can see their case in a way, but…I’m not overwhelmingly a fan of policing over there, lets just leave it at that.

Fine, I’m just glad we dont have this sort of situation over here to be honest, though there have been a few incidents over the years, though more relating to disrespecting opponents anthems, than our own. But yes, maybe its a generation thing, but I think thats wrong too! Mind, tonight, I had the misfortune to hear someone murdering ‘God Bless America’ in Miami, at the baseball, which was hard to respect lol! The singer, not the song!

Right, video time. I’m assuming from the mention of Madison, and A Trains, that this song is about life in New York? Regardless, enjoy, on the anniversary of 9/11

One of these days, it wont be just talk!

One thing you quickly discover with the internet is that a lot of people are all talk, and no action. In other words, they come up with these interesting (to me at least) ideas, but when people actually show an interest in it, they just disappear again, as fast as they arrived. Yes, this looks like another one, much to my disappointment. Just over a week ago, over at Fembot Central, this headline appeared on a thread

An idea for actual conversion, looking for willing subjects!

So, unsurprisingly enough, I showed cautious interest. No, not cautious as in, do I want to be converted into a robot, because the answer clearly is yes! Even if its more of an organic, controlled robot, than anything more deliciously cybernetic, its a start!

His answers started impressively, answers clearly thought through for many issues, and not what I would call beyond potentially possible nowadays. Yes, EEG Caps, and Brain/Computer interface devices, rather than transformation pods, which fine, I would love, but practically, not going to happen for a while yet, in real life!

Anyway, after a weekend of dealing with the matter, seemingly quite professionally, everything has since gone quiet. So yes, I’m assuming it was never beyond a theory in his head, and is never going to happen in reality. Great shame, but am I totally surprised by this? No, not really! I’d love to be proved wrong, believe me I wouldnt, but I’m beginning to suspect he will never be seen, in a meaningful way again. I did send him a message on Skype, just to get a reply that he was trying to check on a couple of things, and would get back to me, but that was Tuesday, and not heard a thing! No, no plans to contact again, and no expectations of hearing anything now, either.

Fine, I was impressed when I saw it, though I couldnt see the practicality of someone controlling several (as was his plan) organic fembots on a long term basis, but I had to hope. Ah well…

On semi related news, the new book is progressing. I have the edited copy back, and if I can work out a way to buy the cover for it, it could be close to release. Snag is, due to the collapse of the pound, due to the Brexit campaign, I havent quite got enough on my pre paid credit card to pay $7 for the image. Minimum top up is £30 ($40), and the finances really arent solid enough this month for that, but fine, its going to be done, I guess?

Why is it related? Well, there is this thing, that generally, when creating robots, it involves a nice zap of electricity to the mind, or at least in the movies it does lol! And yes, a little bit of zapping might just be happening in my story, though not to transform anyone into a robot. Having got into the whole subject of ECT, its no surprise I decided to develop it into a story. I know, might hurt some sales, but might make others, who knows? Tackling something different might even prove to be a breakthrough moment? More likely make a few sales, and that will be it, knowing my luck! Yes, when available, I will advertise it, believe me!

In case anyone was wondering, no, I never got to do any more research on ECT treatment than I could find online. And I hate to break it to people who are against ECT, but the stuff you see in the movies, isnt general treatment nowadays! Yes, even a placebo walk through would have been helpful, and I did try for that. Not surprised I got no reply from local NHS, but I gave it a go. Yes, a low voltage session might have been even more informative, but practically, I wasnt expecting to get offered that! Bit like the guy offering to turn me into an organic robot, was never likely to happen!

Right, video time. You could jokingly say how a robot might think, especially an organically based one!

If I can remember what a holiday actually is?

Yes, I am joking on that front, because the last holiday I had, nearly a year ago now, is pretty near unforgettable. I’m not sure when I’m going to actually forget those 4 glorious weeks, if ever, but as things stand, its still my last holiday, and its going to be at least spring (unless something amazing happens) before I have another one. But yes, I’ve had to start thinking about that, for a very good reason. Besides which, I’m hopeful something as cheery, and non political as this might do better than last nights blog, which seems to have generally sunk like a lead balloon!

The reason I’ve started thinking about this, is not because I’ve come into copious amounts of money just yet, though hopefully things will start to look up on that front soon, but because where I’m now working offers you a priority choice of 2 holiday weeks for next year. Thing is, those dates have to be in this week, so…

I know, I dont have to think of locations at this point, just more work out a suitable date, but hey, this is me, and they tend to get related. So, priority one was contacting Kate, seeing when (and if) she fancied putting up with me again for a week, and it seems she does. Given it will be 2 years by next September, she’s had plenty of time to recover, anyway! I’ve got a week to work on for then, so thats one sorted. New England, if you were curious to know. With chance, I might even get to my hypnotist again, in New Hampshire, and he can ‘force’ Clara Johnson to give up a few more secrets about herself!

The other, me alone, takes a bit more planning. Firstly, the date, given Easter is late next year, which means a late April getaway, between UK Bank Holidays, becomes a bit of a challenge. So yes, I’m thinking May, either the week after the first Bank Holiday of the month, or the week after look good dates to me.

Next question was to myself, or more correctly, my body, as to whether it can stand another trip to the West Coast? Given it will be 18 months, my inclination is yes! In that case, it comes down pretty much to 3 choices, one of which is LA, though I’m sure it would be a hotel, if only for a week. Apartment (as I mentioned recently) is no longer available, so all in all…

The other 2 (less recently visited) options are a shade north of there, either San Francisco, or Seattle, both cities I love, and havent been to in a while. In truth, I’m pretty sure that I wont make any plans on that front until I know what week I’ve got, and how the baseball schedules look! Yes, I have to have my dates in by the 10th, next years schedule is announced on the 13th! In truth, that probably favours either of Seattle, or Los Angeles, as my preferred teams, and who has a home fixture to suit, or a home fixture at all! I love the park in San Francisco, but the Giants, and the A’s (over in Oakland) really arent teams I should be rooting for lol!

But yes, at last, I can start dreaming of US holidays again, a lovely thought. Especially as it will be my first trip on a female passport, something I’m really, really looking forward to!

The video is something I found by chance. Very early Village People, nearly 40 years old!

Anyone want to buy me a Burkini?

So fine, lets start September with a moment of political/religious controversy! I hope no followers disown me because of this, but hey, its my feelings, not forcing them on anyone else, so…

One item of clothing of late, that seems to be causing plenty of controversy, is the Burkini. I have no idea if that is the official title of this piece of swimwear, or just one that the ghastly press has jumped on to describe it, so forgive me, if needed.

To be truthful, I do wonder if the fuss being created about it is more about the religious side of things, than strictly the look, because in truth, it looks a lot like a wetsuit, and as far as I know, no one has made a fuss about any woman wearing one of those. Just the opposite in fact, but that could be a material issue? No, surely not, just because a wetsuit is really tight, and shows off your figure, whereas a burkini just covers a similar amount of flesh, in a less sexy way, surely not?

To be honest, and this may be an age thing, or it might be a trans thing, but I love the look of the burkini, and would far rather wear that than most modern swimwear, which is far too revealing for an old lady like me. Even swimsuits tend to be high cut, and everything, so when your figure isnt perfect? Yes, hopefully you get my drift?

Yes, I admit, the cut, and design is perfect for hiding my one last, err, imperfection, and I could get around my boob issues too, with a design like that. So, in other words, for me at least, perfect! In truth, my only concern about buying one, is not the look, but the religious connotation behind it, and how some people might react to it. There is also the thing I would wonder, how would Muslim people feel about, and react to, a good Christian woman wearing it? I know, unless someone (by some miracle) started chatting me up, because I was wearing it, then the issue probably wouldnt arise.

So fine, I’m asking, would other non Muslim women ever consider wearing a Burkini, or is it just me? I always wanted a wetsuit, but would never have the courage to wear one, because of physical issues, they are just too revealing. But the burkini, gives the look of a wetsuit, without the material issues, which may be why I love it so much. And yes, the other thing is, I’ve virtually given up on swimsuits, and swimming, because of one (very little) thing, and how hard it would be to hide it, in a normal swimsuit. But in this?

So yes, I love it, but just wondering what the repercussions, both political (right wing idiots), and religious (Muslim attitude) would be to doing so? I know, not going to do it, but just saying, for us older ladies with ‘issues’, the burkini is swimwear I could happily wear! But if anyone wants to offer to buy me one? 😉

The video really is one of those You Tube search moments, I know nothing about the group. But the resemblance between burkinis, and wetsuits, well…