Monthly Archives: November, 2016

Oh (North) Carolina

OK, Politics, and Transgender issues, great companions. I know, but on a night when I’m lacking for great ideas…

In March this year, North Carolina made the political news for all the wrong reasons, at least in a LGBT sense, but yes, mainly transgender. Yes, you remember it, the dreaded Bathroom Bill, officially known as HB2 in that state. Basically the one where transgender folk had to use the bathroom in public that related to the gender they were born in, not the one they are living as, or have surgically changed to.

To say it went down like a lead balloon with most people, including a good number of those living in the state, would be to put it mildly. Numerous pop concerts, plenty of potential employers, and their jobs, and sporting events all got cancelled, and/or moved out of the state.

Anyway, the Governor said he had all the support he needed, though many felt otherwise, and said that he should wait for the election in November before claiming that. To be honest, I did wonder whether the vast majority of folk in the state would actually vote against a Republican, even with this, but seemingly they have.

Only one little snag, 3 weeks after the election, and he hasnt yet accepted defeat! Yes, he lost, by at least 9,000 votes! North Carolina, I’m proud of you! But yes, as I say, he’s so full of himself, he cant accept he actually lost! Yes, the Republican’s took the election by storm, and he still lost!

Yes, hopefully one day soon, he will accept his demise, though I’m not holding my breath at present, let the new Governor take control, and get rid of this ghastly bill. It may not get North Carolina back the concerts, and sporting events, and conferences they’ve lost, but it may stop them losing even more!

No, you’re right, I have no plans to fly through Charlotte until they do, though to be fair, that seems unlikely at present, anyway.

Right, video time. A song from the 90’s, quite modern for me. Suitable title, even if its not about the state of that name.

There are times when being able to drive might be handy!

True, but on the other hand, life might be a whole lot duller if I just drove to, and from work each day. So, maybe its for the best?

The advantage of working a 12-8 shift at work during the week, is that you miss all the rush hour passengers, all the rush hour traffic, and everything like that. Yes, due to the fact that at that time of night, there is only 1 bus an hour between Bradford, and Huddersfield, but I can get it, even when it runs on time, means it doesnt matter too much. But yes, I’ve had the line, “Is it safe walking into town at that time of night?” so often, you wouldnt believe. The blunt answer, yes, it is, there is hardly anyone about, and getting across the roads is quite easy too. So, pretty good!

Then you get to Saturday. On a Saturday, we only open between 9, and 4, so thats the shift you do. Yes, it means a pretty short night of sleep on a Friday night, but I survive. Thing is, that means an early start on a Saturday, when the bus timetable is not great, so the best fit for me, is the Northern Rail train to Bradford instead. Well, it would be IF it ran on time! So far, in 4 Saturdays at work, I’ve got to Bradford on time, once!

The first week, I have no idea if it ever turned up, I ended up getting the 8.00 bus instead, as there was no sign of it, flew into work at starting time. Second week, waiting for me, ran on time! Last week, it was a few minutes late, but not enough to matter. Then, yesterday…

I could see a train in the platform when I walked through the station, and thought, great! No, it was the previous train to Wakefield, which wasnt moving, as they couldnt shut one of the doors, it had got frozen open! Anyway, about 20 minutes late, they decide to run our train into another platform, and lo and behold, they fix that door, and the other train leaves! So, finally, about 25 minutes late, we finally left! We actually got to Bradford about 19 minutes late, but yes, it was 9.05 when I burst into the office. Thankfully, someone has a good sense of humour, knows what its like, and told me not to rush, but fine, too late!

No, it gets better yet! On Friday afternoon, we had an email come around, for the 4.00 finishers, to warn them that there was a strange lady out on the main street nearby, waving a cup at cars, begging. Yes, by 8.00, she was long gone! But yes, you guessed it, yesterday I finished at 4, and there she was again! I dashed past her quickly, and headed to the ring road, to get across, and get to the bus. Only to find a woman stood by the road, shouting something at the cars as they went by. Yes, I got across the road as quickly as it was safe to do so. Then on the other side of the road, another woman harassing passers by, ouch!

After that, a relatively sane journey home. Well, apart from on the journey out of Huddersfield, one young woman, with no issues I could see, got on the bus, then got off at the next one, about 100 yards on, seriously!

Yes, if I could drive in a car, I could have nice, safe, sane journeys to and from work, in less time. Be a lot more boring though, lol!

Video time. I saw one of these article things earlier about a bike that you cant tip over, so safe, you dont need a helmet. Yes, me, helmet, please! Did come with some cool visor thing, so that, and a helmet, might appeal to me, so…Yes, a silly song, a blast from the past. No idea who the guy in the video is, but its not Jasper Carrott!

You ought to be in pictures

Yes, I did mention there were a couple of reasons why I had to do the Thanksgiving posting a day early, so without remiss, lets get to them.

Firstly, and I’ll keep this brief, because he will hate the mention, I need to briefly say thank you to someone whose 76th birthday it was today. He’ll know who he is, and a few special friends will as well, and lets leave it at that. Other than to say that without him, there’s a fair chance I wouldnt be here today writing this. So thank you so much, special friend.

Secondly, and in far more lengthy form, the tale of 24th November, 2014, the only one of his birthdays that I’ve missed in 12 years. Maybe even more, but definitely at least 12. It had always been my dream to be in the US for one of the big events, and Thanksgiving, for me at least, was always the most special one. So when, in November 2013, someone offered me the chance to be there the next year, for Thanksgiving, I wasnt going to say no! Unfortunately, if I was going to do my standard Saturday to Saturday thing, it meant being away for his birthday, which was going to be on the Monday. He told me to go, when I asked him about it, so I did! Had a wonderful time, as I mentioned last night, but in truth, this isnt about Thanksgiving Day, this is about the 24th November.

That morning, 2 years ago, I had my first experience of Greyhound buses, from Albany, to Worcester. Yes, unexciting enough coach journey, though the gentleman I was meeting there, and I had fun connecting with each other there, because apart from pictures, we had no idea what each other looked like, and neither of us knew the Worcester transit centre at all! But in good time, we tracked each other down, and headed north into New Hampshire.

After the usual niceties, I sat back in the hypnotist’s chair, and he put me into a deep trance, and regressed me. A couple of stages back in my life, then a little bit further, and…a sweet little voice said “Hi!”

(The rest is what I remember vaguely, and what he told me after I’d recovered, so…)

He asked me where, and when I was, and I apparently replied firmly, “1928, Hollywood!”. Now given the whole Jean Harlow look thing, he told me he was thinking, “Oh good grief, is she really…?”, so he asked my name,

“Clara Johnson.” ‘I’ proudly replied.

A few questions about what she did, and yes, she was an actress, though she admitted, only a small part one. One or two personal details later, including her marriage, her daughter, and her early death (smoking related), and he decided to bring me back to this world, and let me remember it all.

So, a lot of “Oh my God’s” from me later, he told me to come over, and look at his computer. Yes, we’d found her on Imdb. Only for one credit, but as was the case, only the stars in the late 20’s, and early 30’s got credited, so… but yes, we knew she was for real. I’ve since managed to find that as well as bit part acting, she did some dancing too, though it seems likely that was chorus line stuff, and no more. I now know the state she was born in, the year she was born, and the year she moved to Los Angeles. Because she married, and the surname changed, I have no way of finding out who she married to, her daughters name, and when she died, and where she was buried. Next September, I might well be back in the area, and maybe we can get Clara to give up a lot more secrets then!

The second delight that day, after I’d sort of recovered from the shock, was to try something more. Playing to my kinks, he ‘injected’ me with nanites (yes, a pen tip), and created Jean Harlow-bot! Seems I sounded like her, and I know that when I looked in the mirror, it was her reflection I saw looking back at me!

After all that, he gave me a trigger to go back to that state, which by now, sadly, I’ve long forgotten. Pretty certain he wont remember it by now, either! But yes, it was incredible to do, when I could remember that trigger!

So yes, its fair to say, in more senses than one, 24th November is always going to be a very precious day for me!

The video, well, you could say it was what Clara did! Maybe one day I will too, though given reality, I suspect that if I ever act again, its going to be a small part in a theater, not in a big Hollywood movie. But, you never know…?

395 years on from the first one?

Yes, I know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, but I’ve discovered something that happened 2 years ago date-wise tomorrow, so I’ll get in a day early. And anyway, tomorrow, may, or may not be anywhere close to that date of the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621. History suggests it was November, but exactly when in that month, I’d suspect earlier, given it was post harvest. But anyway, last Thursday in November is now the agreed day, so…

For us now, to try and imagine what that first one was like, almost impossible. If you believe historical articles on the internet (hmm?), then there were no ovens, and in all likelihood, no cakes, due to a lack of ovens, and a low supply of sugar. Probably right, but guaranteed? But one thing is for sure, its where the whole Thanksgiving celebration started, even if I very much doubt it was called that, back then.

It was only in 1863, and Lincoln, that the date got settled on, as the last Thursday in November. Until then, states celebrated it, if, and when they wanted to. After that, the date seems to have stuck, so…

Nowadays the day has become more commercialised, though to be fair to the NFL, games have been taking place on the day since the 1930’s, though its fair to say that people didnt settle down in front of huge TV’s to watch them back then! More likely, listened to them on their radios, if that.

Talking of modernity, the whole holiday has now been seemingly equaled by, with the shopping spree that is Black Friday, the day after. In truth, nowadays, that has turned into Black Fortnight, or does it just feel that way?

At least now, thanks to one wonderful man, and his family in Albany, I know what Thanksgiving Day is like as a celebration. Yes, 2 years ago, I got to celebrate that event, first held in 1621, for the first time. Hopefully not the last, though I have no idea when it will happen again, just at present. Maybe when I stop working, who knows? Or maybe while working in the US, either acting, or more general work, but I dont think I’ll hold my breath for that to happen! Oh, there might be one other good reason too, but I suspect he might prefer me not to mention that on here? Lets just say it was something I regretted missing 2 years ago, but it had to be done, just once!

So, all US readers here, have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow.

The video. How the Pilgrims, back in 1620 might have viewed the new world?

There she goes again!

No, not going crazy again, not sure I’ve never not been crazy, but anyway… Something far more mundane, a little bit (well, maybe not so little?) of clothes shopping.

In truth, one of the main reasons for my trip into town today, was to get a birthday card for someone, for Thursday, which I at least managed to do. The secondary issue, a bit of clothes shopping for me.

No, nothing very exciting, but stuff that I needed. One thing I’ve discovered walking to work recently, is that even allowing for the fact that winter is coming, its a chilly zone I walk through, with a brisk wind, so wrapping up warm is a wise move. Snag is, most of my tops are of the lighter kind, not much use for winter weather, especially if the forecasters are right this year (they forecast this every year, mind), and that its going to be a cold winter, I need something warmer. I also needed a pair of gloves, for the same reason, and a winter coat too, as my anorak I’ve had for many years is coming to the end of its life as well. The latter, no one would know, unless I lifted my arms up high, but…

Luckily, there’s a charity shop close to the bus stop at the bottom of town, so went in there, hoping I might find something. A coat, a pair of gloves, and 3 tops (2 winter suitable, other vintage look) later, I walked out again! Several months ago, I won a contest on a Facebook group (I tipped well at golf at the time, less so lately), and got £30 of vouchers for the group of shops including Dorothy Perkins (Arcadia group?), and hadnt been inspired by the store across the road at work. I know a lot of the issue is me, and paying out large sums of money for clothing, even if I’m not paying for it, but…So I tried the store in town. Fine, price issue is much the same, but I found a reduced top for winter wear for £10, so hunted around, found a non winter, flapper type top for £20, and yes, issue of spending vouchers is gone lol!

The other main thing I needed was slippers, as my current pair are rather religious now (holy, groan) and I found a cheap pair of those slipper/sock type things, so will give them a try. Oh fine, its after this I went mad, given I was on a roll, and ended up in one of my favourite charity shops in town (Kirkwood Hospice), saw a gorgeous vintage style dress for £6.50, and fine, it came home with me too! May well wear it Thursday night now. My excuse, and sticking to it!

So, lesson learnt, musnt go shopping again too soon, even if I’m paying, and even if all the money only goes to charity shops! But if anyone wants to subsidize me, there are a few things I could get…? 😉 A pair of work shoes, for starters, though I suspect I will be in boots most of the winter. Nightwear, and bras, hmm, might be more critical lol!

Oh, bonus moments. One guy in one of the charity shops said he liked the way I was dressed, and another guy told me to “Be Careful, darling.” as I was trotting round a corner to make sure I got the bus home!

OK, video time. A bit more of Sixpence None The Richer, another cover song.

Happy Belated birthday, Ann Veronica Lahiff

So fine, I felt I needed to keep the campaign up, for ‘Nancy Carroll deserves more recognition’, so I’m posting this, a few days late for here.

All totally baffled? Oh fine, apart from classic movie lovers, I’m not surprised. I’d love to think that if I said she’s better known as Nancy Carroll, that a few more might know who I’m talking about, but maybe not? Oh fine, thanks to issues with Paramount/Universal, and making her movies more available, there’s a fair chance you dont know her. Shame, you dont know what you’re missing out on. Oh, yes, technically at least, she was 113 yesterday, though sadly she died in 1965. Not that she’d be likely to be alive now anyway, but 61 was still quite young.

Nancy was a fine actress, singer, and dancer from the very end of silent movies, and the beginning of sound. She did make a few more movies after that, but mainly in small roles. Not to worry folks, because she was plenty busy enough working in theaters, when not living, and doing business around the world. Indeed, the main reason it was discovered she had died, was when she didnt turn up for a performance, and her daughter went and found her dead, in her apartment, a brain aneurism having taken her from this world.

If you believe what the studios said, Nancy didnt help her career, because of temper issues. But fine, if you believed everything put out by the studios…rolls eyes! I’m not saying she was sweet and innocent, she was Irish American, and a redhead, so… But yes, if she was that much of a diva, theaters wouldnt have been rushing to employ her, lets face it!

Me, I’ve only known Nancy myself for a couple of years, but grown to love her in that time. She’s made a fine support actress to Jean, Clara and others in my stories since then, but enough of that. For those she can mainly blame the bountiful number of pictures of her dressed as a witch, a cat, and the like! So, how did I discover her? Well, 2 years ago, having discovered the Clara Johnson past life for the first time, I went on a discovery hunt for her. As I have discovered, that was easier said, than done. Found a few pieces of info, but no definite pictures. And thats where Nancy came in! I put the name Clara Johnson in Google images, and found plenty of Clara Bow, who I instantly recognized. But then I found this one, that I didnt recognize, was clearly from that era, and no name.

clara-johnson

So was it actually Clara, I asked? No, my hopes were quickly dashed, when I was told that it was Nancy Carroll! But yes, she was cute, and I loved the hat, so I looked into her more, and have been hooked since.

So yes, for yesterday, Happy Birthday, Nancy, or Ann, or Diane, as one reader of this will get that joke! 😉

OK, video time. So lets introduce my readers (if needed) to Nancy Carroll. I think the best way to describe this, is that when sound came creeping in, all sorts of short pieces were put together, to test out the new system. Some were good, some, err, werent! As this is the only bit I’ve seen of this session, I have no idea how good the rest of it was. But yes, the singer, and dancer, is Nancy Carroll, and fine, let me imagine that one of those chorus line dancers could just be Clara Johnson!

See you in heaven, one day

Fine, I was going to do a lighthearted birthday celebration piece today (actually for yesterday), but then I realised what date it was, and fine, plans change! So sorry, Nancy Carroll, maybe some other time (or place, for those who know? 😉 )

Yes, this year, 20th November is the date I truly wish we didnt have to remember, transgender remembrance day. Sadly, far too many transgender people over the years have died, either at their own hands, because they couldnt face the struggles of life any more, or at the hands of others, in a more violent way.

In the latter sense, I’ve been lucky. Only once have I been assaulted, and that guy was so drunk, he could do little damage. Besides which, the bus driver soon sent him on his way anyway. I was stood at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to turn up one Sunday afternoon when this guy grabbed me, but I was easily able to fight him off. As I got on the bus, he knocked me over from behind, but thats as far as it went. I’ve been called a few names at other times, but thats pretty much it, and I can easily cope with that. After 20 years (in total) managing betting shops, thats nothing compared to what I was called then!

Sadly, others have had it far worse than me, either in terms of violence used on them, or as I say, killed! And yes, more than a few have taken their own lives, because believe me, living as a transgendered person is not easy! I’ve got through it, but fine, I’ve had my moments of depression about it, all the same.

Me, now. Yes, it makes a huge difference when all your paperwork, and ID says you’re female, I feel so much better for having got to that point. In fact, now, I’m working in my first job (at 58!) where I’ve only ever been known as a woman, and yes, loving it! But for others, its not so easy, and I guess for Americans, over the next 4 years, things will definitely be tough! But hopefully we can all get through, ideally safe, sound, and living in our desired gender.

Right, video. I’m not sure if this really works, or not, but I thought it suitable. Two versions, first, the original video

Secondly, a recent Maggie Reilly version where she is clearly singing live!

As they say, take your pick, or play both, your call. Just for one day though, remember all those transgendered folks in your thoughts too. No, I’m not expecting Mr Trump to do that lol!

We dont talk (or move) any more

No, not literally, even if I’m not as quite as active as I was when young, but thats what getting old will do for you, sadly. Oh, and a bit of arthritis doesnt help either! And that only covers the move bit, I talk as much as before, working in a call centre has something to do with that!

No, what I’m actually talking about is this years crazy trend, at least in the US, which is the mannequin challenge. Appeals to me far more than the ice bucket craze from last year, but thats age, and sensibility talking as much as the fact that this one appeals to me. Oh fine, this appeals a lot more to me, but anyway…

I hadnt actually seen much of it until just over a week ago, when one of the US NFL channels covered on Sky (so probably Fox?) had their half time reporting team ‘frozen’ in place when the team went over to them, just before half time, obviously all set up! But yes, it looked good, and looked fun to me! I’ve seen it a couple of times since then, including one college cheerleader team on one of the replay coverage things on ESPN from last weekend.

Sadly, I have the feeling that unless you have a group of you, a camera team (or at least a camera person), and a good setting, its not something that everyone can just do, unlike last year, shame! Yes, I most definitely would love to, given the chance. But yes, if anyone wants someone to help with a body, I’d love to do so, though I guess its going to have to be in Yorkshire, or nearby, to be feasible to join in. 😦

But yes, (sadly) its only a temporary thing, but how would you feel if it wasnt? As in http://www.mcstories.com/StatueInSiliconOne/index.html and the follow up story http://www.mcstories.com/StatueInSiliconTwo/index.html

Me, I suspect in the right pose, and the right outfit, I’d love it. Sure about that though, hmm? Fine, I probably would!

But fine, even temporary, and not actually turned to mannequin, yes, I’d love to give it a go! So, please…?

OK, video. Guess theres a decent clue in the title, though the younger ones may know a different song, of the same name, but thats far too modern for me!

All that peace and understanding?

So fine, all of you who know what song that line is from, before you look at the video, I’m impressed!

So, OK, much as I suspected most of us neutrals feared, there was going to be problems in the US, whoever won the election! Alright, ironically Trump, and his followers were the main ones threatening to cause problems if they lost, but the backlash to him actually winning seems equally bad. His followers doing lots of bad things, those who didnt want him protesting merrily, but besides all that…?

Anyway, going back to Wednesday, one of the first things I saw on Twitter, that had me laughing, was this,

Hey! #England ! I am interested in moving there. I’m a hardworking female with a drive to appease and entertain people. #actress #model

Didnt take her long to decide that, for sure! Anyway, me, being me, I had to reply, so this was my offering,

Hey America, I’m brave enough to work as a model, or actress over there in the next 4 years, just need the opportunity! Hardworking,you bet!

No, I havent been flooded with offers lol! Still time, I guess? Yes, I did actually include a request to Mr Trump by Twitter, to give me the rights to do so, but havent heard back from him yet, either. Mind, it was only sent yesterday, so…lol? Glad my passport says I’m female, mind. Probably doesnt help I’m not 25, and East European, maybe? 😉

I also see that supposedly, a good number of the things Trump said he would do, he’s backed down on, but how much news you believe on the net nowadays, is a moot subject?

The other offer I’ve had this week, was (I assume?) in a lighthearted manner, offering to do a property swap with someone I know in Alabama for 4 years. Yes, I’d love that, and I’m sure I could get some work (acting/model/writer) done while there, with luck, but seriously… No, I’m sure he didnt mean it, mainly because he has a very nice house, and I have a very nice, err, studio flat, to describe it best! So yes, it would be win/win for me, but anyway… Would I go if he had meant it? Not sure, Alabama isnt my dream state to live in, but I suppose it could grow on me?

Anyway, lovely guy, but I’m not expecting to move there anytime soon! Well, unless an Alabama theater wants to offer me 4 years (or more) of roles? 😉

Otherwise, I guess I’ll have to wait until next May, and let all those Hollywood studios fight over me…yes, I wish!

Right, video time. This is one of those songs that I thought couldnt be done decently live, but seems I’m wrong! Yes, I’m still ‘for America’ in a job sense, just give me the chance, before I retire lol!

Fly high and proud, but try not to fall

Oh fine, much though you might want to, its hard to ignore what happened on Tuesday night. I cant say I wanted Trump to win, but hey, thats the system in the US, and we have to live with it. I know, the person with the most votes loses, because of the electoral college system, but thats the rules, and in fact last happened as recently as 16 years ago, so its hardly exceptional!

But yes, in an ideal world, like the Brexit vote (ha ha), people should accept the result for what it is, and just get on with it. I know, doesnt happen, but anyway…

But this isnt about who won, who lost, and how they did it. No, its about the mixed metaphors of the Trump/Pence team to us LGBT folk. The thing attracting attention within the community this week, seems to be Pence’s stance towards gay folk, and ‘converting’ them to hetrosexuality! Yes, its a crazy idea, and one of those wilder right wing Christian ideas, though fine, someone around here might actually enjoy that electroshock therapy! 😉 But ignoring that…Do Bi folk get half dose, or double dose for being awkward lol?

But seriously, not good!

But, the opposite arises when you look at Trump, and what happened back in April, when the whole Bathroom Bill fiasco blew up in North Carolina, he actually came out against it! Said things should be left as they are, so… where do you really stand, Donald? I suspect that as far as North Carolina goes, we are going to have to wait to see if McCrory survives as Governor, which seems questionable at present, but we’re not going to know for a week or so on that, due to all the absentee, and provisional votes, and…rolls eyes! But yes, as we talk, he’s losing, lets hope it stays that way!

Me, of course I’ve now got a female passport, which may, or may not complicate things more, not got a clue! But yes, at least my ID says I’m female, so…? But where do others stand? Me, I would say if you havent got ID in your desired gender already, I’d get it soon, just to be safe. Donald might fool us, and be more of a fan of LGBT folk than some think, but in truth, he’s spouted so much over the last 18 months, I wouldnt guarantee anything! Equally, on stage when electioneering in Colorado, he was seen carrying a rainbow flag on the stage, that he asked someone in the crowd to give him. Well?

Of course, if I was 25, stunningly pretty, with an East European accent, then he’d probably be inviting me over to stay lol! More on invites tomorrow, in all probability! But yes, fine, maybe its best that my 2 trips to the US next year will be California, and New England!

Video? Well, lets have a bit more Elkie Brooks live this week, though this might be a lesser known song for some?