Category Archives: Clara Johnson

A chorus girl’s dressing room

Fine, for those privileged to see both blogs tonight, you’ve got one serious one, and a silly one. Of course, in either case, if you only know of one, or the other, well, its pot luck, in that case! In case you needed tipping off, this is the serious one.

Today I got to find out where I’d be changing on Saturday, for my ‘performance’ as an Edwardian Lady in Blackpool, in the chorus girl changing room at the pier! Yes, who could I possibly know who would have changed regularly in such a place? Hmm, Clara Johnson, just maybe? But no, having either always worked in school plays, am dram, and the (very rare) theater, I’ve never had the delight of being a chorus girl. Played a number of girl parts, long before transitioning, but in this life, a chorus girl, oh I wish!

So, unsurprisingly yes, I’m looking forward to this moment more than I probably should, even though my outfit will be far less revealing than anything thats normally worn on the chorus line at Blackpool, or in all likelihood, anything Clara got to wear, in that sense! I mean, some of her outfits were relatively normal, but revealing, though others were crazy, and revealing! One of them shortly, honest… I do suspect that if ‘someone’ gets her chance, in November, I’ll probably get to wear something that would make Clara giggle, blush, or both! Yes, I probably will, even at my age, just because it would be fun, however silly it might look. So fine, A, if you can find something in my size, bring it on!

I think its fair to say that I’m going to walk out of that dressing room in an outfit that a chorus girl would be unlikely to wear, given the era its from. I suspect that even if they’d made a musical based in the Edwardian era, that the outfits that the girls wore would be more revealing than mine, lol. But equally, wouldnt it be funny if I walked out of that changing room, went through a time warp, and out walked a young dancer, wearing not a lot, onto a Hollywood studio dance stage? As long as I had Clara’s dance skills too, at least!

“Yes, Mr Berkeley, I’m ready for my dance routine.”

Sorry, Miss Swanson, couldnt resist pinching that idea! Yes, other than maybe A, I suspect this is as close as I will ever get to chorus girl life!

Right, video time. Among the numerous movies that Clara danced in, was one called Footlight Parade. Why I’ve picked this one is simple, earlier today, someone posted a picture of 13 chorines from that movie, pictured in a row, and asked if anyone knew any of them. Yes, you guessed it, one of them was Clara! So… And also, yes, she is seen in one of those cute, crazy cat outfits in this number. So…Yes, Ruby Keeler, and Dick Powell star, but there among the cat girls…

 

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I’m old and grumpy

Well, in truth I have my moments. Oh fine, I have too many of them nowadays lol. But no, the inspiration today for my blog wasnt really me, it was my dear old laptop that I’m typing this on, with the emphasis on old!

Its not quite first generation, but its definitely getting on a lot, given I’ve had it for about 8 years, and that was second hand! Mind, given that the previous recipient of it never kept his for long periods of time before upgrading, I’d guess its about 10? I know, in laptop terms, a dinosaur! Just like me? Lets just say that in the case of a lot of the keys, its a good job I know where the letters are, because many are worn away, and others barely there!

Before anyone asks, yes, I have got a new one, again second hand, but about half the weight of this ‘goliath’. But fine, the convenience of an old friend, with everything loaded has lasted until now. In truth, the long walk at Newcastle convinced me that it was too heavy for me now, given the damage to my back. So I’d sort of decided I was going to be brave, and get Ella to get me running with my new, lighter one before Seattle, even if hopefully I wont have to walk too far carrying it, if things go to plan.

Anyway, the laptop settled the matter this morning for me! Tried to log on, something about not accepting User Profile, or something, anyway, I couldnt get in! Thankfully Ella called as planned this afternoon, and managed to solve the issue, something had got corrupted in an update last night, but its fine again at present. But yes, to say I’m a bit behind would be to put it mildly! So yes, even before me, this old laptop will be on its way out very soon, though I know I’m going to have nightmares with passwords when logging in on the new one! Lots of forgotten password requests, very likely! Ah well…

Oh fine, just to prove I’m old and grumpy too, and believe me, I am, let me complain about something that will be relevant to me in a few years time, the senior bus pass! Not so long ago, I’d have had one a month ago, now its nearly 6 years time, but thats not what I’m grumbling about. I know there is some sort of similar thing in US, though more often reduced fares than free ones, so…

Lets just say that the freedom to use these cards starts at 9.30 in the morning, after the rush hour. I leave here on the 9.15 bus, before that time, and am due in town just before 9.30. So, logically you would think that the people with the cards would wait until after 9.30, then do their travelling, right? Wrong! Quite often there is someone at my stop expecting to get on for free, who glare at the driver when he says they cant use it. Hey, its an automated machine, its going to get recorded if he did, dummies! The number of times the bus stops, because someone stops it, says, “I know I’m not really allowed on the bus yet, but…” to be told no, glare at the driver, and delay the rest of us, well, its a lot!

I swear that when I get one, I’m not going to even think of using it before 9.30 in the morning, honest! I cant see why they feel the need to try and cheat, they have all day after that to use it, lets face it! I suspect Seattle has some arrangement for Seniors to get reduced fares, but I dont know the age cut, and I’m sure you have to be local, so will be full fares for me, ah well…

Rants over, from the 2 elderly ones here, me, and my laptop! 😛

Right, video time. Twist on the concept totally, in truth. Yes, Clara Johnson worked on this, when they get to the girls coming round in sequence, she’s 2 before Toby Wing (main lady) reappears. Yes, young and healthy, definitely not me!

 

I Get A Kick Out Of You

I’ve had some fun today, given there’s been little of interest on TV in other matters for me today, I’ve been watching some cricket. Yes, I know, I like cricket, but the Indian Premier League (IPL) just tends to leave me cold for some reason. In truth, I blame the commentators for that, mainly because they tend to fawn over the Indian cricketers as if they were gods, and well, when Danny Morrison starts commentating, lets just say it starts to grind on me. So lets leave the actual cricket there, OK? Tonight, given that ESPN are giving baseball a pass on the early games tonight, I’ll have the Masters on until bedtime, much more sedate. And beyond the fact of commenting that I’ve just seen Tiger Woods knock in a long eagle putt, and do nothing more than acknowledge the crowds (no fist pump, as it used to be with him), I’m beginning to hope he wins again sometime soon, and if you’d told me a few years ago that I’d be saying that, I’d be laughing at you!

But going back to the IPL, and that ‘other universe’ life I might have had. Yes, I was watching the cheerleaders doing their routines, and wondering what that sort of life might be like? Well, without the bit of checking their smart phones while not dancing, but hey, if I was young now, like that, maybe I would do that sort of thing? In truth, I have no idea how well paid they are, or anything? I assumed all these Pro Sport cheerleaders were well paid, well pampered, and everything else, and then I read an article about how badly some NFL teams treat their cheerleaders, and it shocked me. Basically their attitude seems to be that of supply and demand, but I wonder how much demand there will be in future when they find out how badly the women are treated, but anyway…?

Alright, I suspect Clara, and all those other chorus line dancers were on pretty strict diets during their working years, to keep them slim, all the same. Probably why most only did a few years, before getting married, and retiring, I guess, as they could then eat more normal amounts?

But fine, if I had the youth, the looks, and the dancing skills, that sort of life might just be fun? I know, I’ll never know, I guess, unless Clara gives her full life story if I ever get regressed again! Either that, or a wonderful lady I know online, who worked in Vegas tells me. Not that either give me that personal experience, but short of a rejuvenation chamber, or something, not going to happen to me!

Fine, video time. I apologize for the less than regular quality tonight, but this is from Top Of The Pops in 1974, basically a lost episode, but someone found this bit at least. The actual song, and routine is fine (very vintage, apt for the song), but a couple of, err, interesting interludes. No, I know nothing of the artist, beyond this song!

A Modern Love?

As regular readers of my blog(s) know, they tend to vary from the very serious, to the wildly wishful,  with a large lump of silliness thrown in for good measure. This definitely falls into last group, though some might say there is an element of the second one in here too.

So fine, lets go back 90 years, to about 1930 (though the earliest date I have strict confirmation of Miss Johnson as being a Goldwyn girl is 1932, but suspicions of 1931), but… And meet my past life self, and…

Ooh, hi, well the regular author here has asked me to take over tonight, just for one night, and write this. Mr Mayer tells me that this weird thing I’m typing this on is called a laptop, and when this time travel portal thing (whatever that may be?) works for the internet, well, if I’m a good girl, I might get one of my own. Mind, I know he’s said the same to those more important folk like Loy, Powell, Harlow, Gable and a few others, so I’m going to be way down the list, giggle!

But apparently I’m now at the top of the queue for something called a cell (or mobile) phone. I’ve been told not to ask how they work back here, but they do. Yeah, I know, Jean, sorry, Miss Harlow, has shown me hers, and…they’re so much the cats whiskers! What, you dont believe sweet little Clara, oh? Fine!

 

 

See! 😀

Anyway, I’ve now got sufficient standing that I’ve been given one too! I’m told its a pretty basic model, but thats fine by me, in truth. Just means that if they need me for an extra scene, or to tell Mr Berkeley that one of his dance routines is just too crazy (Most are crazy, but doable. Some though…rolls eyes…), I’m able to do so. Equally, if the trolley bus is running late, just call in, and they know! 🙂 Oh, and if I want to ring Marion Davies, and tell her I’ll be late for one of her nice parties (Yes, she’s got one too), I can do that now!

So fine, I’m told to say that if you have a good reason for needing to know said modern person’s phone number, feel free to ask. Either when you see her, or by something called email, or just in comments with a contact email address on here, whatever suits you best.

Right, done? Fine, just going to ring Ginger, sorry, Miss Rogers, and arrange to go out dancing tonight, sounds like fun! I’m told normal service will be resumed in the next blog, so bye for now, darlings!

Love and best wishes,

Clara Johnson (Miss)

Oh, what, a video, whatever that may be? Fine, what I’m told too many people see these phones as?

 

That was the day, my friends

Well, hopefully a few of you at least have been eagerly waiting for the report from Friday night. If you werent, you’re getting it anyway! 😛

Beyond a few moments of, err, entertainment on the last section of the journey, from Preston, to Blackpool, in truth the journey was relatively unexciting. The ‘entertainment’, some very loud children, and the fact that we had 2 wheelchair passengers, as opposed to the train designed 1, caused some fun. But in truth, we arrived pretty much on time.

The hotel was pretty much standard budget hotel, with thin walls which we noticed overnight (people talking outside the room), and though in theory we had a second bed, it was so designed that neither of us, in perfect health conditions would have been able to get out, and besides, we had no bedding for it anyway! Survey comments done, lol! But fine, thats not what you want to hear about, is it? So after a meal together, Eric went back to the Trams, I went off to the Winter Garden, and through the time travel portal. Fine, not literally, but you get the drift? After an early false start, the staff worked out where we needed to go, and lo and behold, I was soon in a lovely, and short pink flapper dress. Fine, I wasnt going to care about length for one night, but more on that shortly. Thing is, flappers werent designed to have boobs, or big shoulders, and the zip wouldnt do up properly at the back. Anyway, as you will see shortly, I was quickly changed into another dress which was longer, with no zip issues, perfection! Well, I was flashing someleg, but…

Oh fine, like this!

Me in Blackpool

There is a better one of me, but it has someone else in the picture, and I’m loathe to use that without her permission. I suspect she wouldnt care, but to be on the safe side… If she grants it in hindsight, I will add it to the posting. So if you come here in 6 months time, see 2 photos, and are confused, you know why!

The evening was great fun, lots of lovely people that I was working with, equally a lot of nice people in the audience, including 1 wonderful gentleman I talked to for a while, who had originally come from Bradford! However, having flirted as an Usher prior to performance, stood on the stairs, we eventually got told that part of our work was done. I decided to give the film, Some Like It Hot a chance, but it didnt grab me much, so after an hour or so, I headed back to the refreshment area, got myself a coffee, and started chatting with a few others, until it was time for part 2, getting those who had paid for it, to the party upstairs.

All went smoothly, then a few of us went up to the Balcony, put on a bit of a show (very tame dancing, by Flapper standards, I suspect) for the guests for a while, then I, and a few others went back and changed into modern life again. One treat I had for a while, was to do something I’d never done before (and no, it wasnt to dance the Charleston), which was to wear a pair of those long gloves that go up to your elbow, and maybe beyond. I’d seen pictures of them, always wanted to wear them, and now I have!

End result, everything, and everyone was so lovely, I’m already planning on going back next year, however crazy, and unpractical that is. Might be a different era, but as long as it doesnt mean wearing something as revealing as what my past life self, the chorus line dancing, Clara Johnson had to wear, all should be fine. But no, I’m not going to suggest 42nd Street, or the like, just in case, lol! But beyond that, I’ll definitely be back. Fine, if it is that, I will probably still go back!

The journey home by ‘modern trains’ was a bit more entertaining. The train from Preston, back to Manchester was very crowded, but ‘Queen Bitch’ soon pushed a way through for me, and Eric, to our reserved seats, and someone was already sat in them! Yes, they got moved, probably not my most diplomatic moment of my life, but hey, its principle, and neither of us could have stood, anyway!

Then we get back to Manchester, running late, so going to be a tight push, or no go for our booked train back to Huddersfield. Only…I looked at the departure board, it had been cancelled! So anyway, the next train was going to be very crowded, (2 sets of passengers, plus loads of football fans), but I lined Eric up roughly where I thought the doors would be, and we grabbed 2 seats very quickly!

After that, out last night, with Ella as well, for the birthday meal. I wore the same dress as last week again, so I stayed in Flapper mode for the weekend. Oh, should I mention, this was all done in lots of snow!

In theory I’m back to work tomorrow, but if it had been today, I’m certain it would have been a ‘snow day’ off, with my physical issues. Tomorrow, who knows? Hopefully its better in the morning, I must say. Not just because I’m due back, but because I need to learn something for the following week, which I will probably relate later in the week, but until then…?

Yes, I hurt, partly because of Friday, partly because of the current weather. When (or strictly at this point, I guess, if) I do this next year, I’ll pace it better, all that travel, on top of everything else, in 1 day, was just too much now. Go down the day before, build to it, and have a day off afterwards to recover, before coming back, far wiser! But hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Video, big clue in title. The frightening thing for me, this song is 50 years old, and I remember it being released!

Life begins at 60?

Well I’ve heard that 60 is the new 50, which might just about be believable, given that the average life span is more than when I was young, but I pass at the optimist who said that 60 is the new 40! The way my back is now, its more like 60 is the new 70 lol! 😛 Either way, I’ll find out tomorrow, I guess?

Yes, I’m getting started early, on the first day I can use one, I’m using my senior railcard, to get me to, and from Blackpool, over the next 2 days. This is the last time I will be publicizing the show at the Winter Gardens tomorrow night, the film weekend, with Some Like It Hot being shown, with me as one of the 20’s flappers hostesses! Yes, I know, flappers were young women, but unless I can find a friendly ‘mad scientist’ to make me young again, they will have to settle for me being a little bit more elderly lol! Mind, if I can, darlings, just watch me go!

Funnily enough, its not the first time I will have used senior privileges for something. The recent, and relevant one was an amusing happening back in November, when 3 of us from work went to the Amateur Dramatics at Cookridge. Somewhere up near Rawdon, the 3 of us met up, and went for a meal at a very nice fish and chip restaurant. Now, the menu was fine for me, but there was a Seniors offer, for people aged 60 or over, and I was only 4 months short of that landmark, so I went for it! That strictly was my first time as a true Senior, though I’ve had senior meals before (about a decade ago, in fact) at some US restaurants, where the portions are huge, the senior portions less so, so I’ve asked nicely, and they let me have senior meals. (Definitely Dennys, I think IHOP too?) Now, this year, I’ll be able to do it legitimately, assuming they havent raised the age to 65?

At completely the other end of the scale, when I was in my late 30’s, and paying a visit to my mother, we went out for the day to a shopping center across the Medway Towns from us. Anyway, she had a senior pass, got on for free. Me, I got ready to pay the full fare for the trip, but the driver insisted I was still a half fare, in other words, under 19! Now, I might look reasonably young for my age, but that was crazy.

Given that I had no idea what the fare was, I just paid him what I was told, and yes, he’d issued me a half fare return! No, I didnt have any issues going back, but I dont think that driver checked my ticket that closely!

Sadly, nowadays, my cut off for the free off peak travel on buses is the same as the pension age, so I wont get that for another 6 years, assuming I last that long of course. I’m sure I will, but…? Who knows? No, I have no plans, even if it is 60 to get anything in the US to prove my age, as I rarely visit the same state again very quickly. I suspect you’d have to prove your address, so that would mess me up anyway!

Equally, tomorrow, I might find an obliging mad scientist, who turns me back into a twenty something flapper, with all of Clara Johnson’s dancing skills, and then, especially if I can find that time travel portal, well this might be the last blog from the 21st Century, darlings! No, not going to happen, but I can dream for a few hours at least! Wouldnt that be fun though?

Right, video time. Lets just say I wanted to find something filmed in Blackpool, ideally at the Opera House, or Winter Gardens, and lo and behold… Title fits aptly for my wish for the flapper girl makeover lol!

 

 

A Need To Dress Modestly

So fine, lets go from the sublime to the ridiculous! Last posting, I was suggesting going full flapper for an evening, probably showing some leg, and even in all likelihood, some knees too. Fine at 20, but at 60, should a lady be more modest in her style? Which leads on to this…

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/lifestyle/style/marks-and-spencers-modest-clothing-for-women-faces-heavy-criticism/ar-BBI50ET?li=AAnZ9Ug

In truth, I couldnt afford to buy clothes at Marks And Spencer, way beyond my budget, and in truth, was even before I had to cut back to a 4 day week! So no, until I saw this article today, I didnt even know they had what they call a ‘Modest Clothing’ section nowadays. Would be great for me, if I could afford any of it, but seemingly, for others, the title seems to be an issue.

Maybe I’m too easy going, and open minded, but I dont see the issue with it, and to say that means that everything else is immodest is just plain crazy. But fine, there are some crazies about, so…? Personally, in the middle of British winter, I appreciate clothing that covers my wrists, and ankles, it helps to keep me warm! I cant vaguely imagine in this country (other than in certain religious groups, maybe?) that people who want to wear respectable, but not figure hiding clothing shouldnt be free to do so, they should be! And lets face it there is a whole difference between dressing like that, and not dressing modestly, in my opinion at least.

I know, maybe in ‘everyday’ mode, I am fairly modest in my clothing looks. Probably comes from my nature, and more so, my age, and also the desire to look neat, and pretty (well, as much as I can!) in what I wear. Oh lets make no bones about it darlings, in my time, I’ve worn short skirts, I’ve worn leather numerous times, and even latex on occasion. Thats all before you start on what I’ve worn when acting, and some of those outfits were definitely weird! No, not saying, not without a huge bribe lol!

Lets be fair, this line isnt aimed at youngsters, and twenty somethings, is it? Lets be honest, Marks and Spencers works to a more mature, generally reasonably wealthy market, and they are probably more modest in look!

So no, sorry, most of their target market wont see it as regressive and wrong, lets face it. And no, modest ladies, please dont take this as an opportunity to say that Ann Summers (and the like) clothing makes women look tarty, because then we’re just as bad as the people complaining about this. Each to their own, I say.

Me, generally I verge on modest, but I do have my moments, boop, boop a doo! Short flapper dress, anyone, for me to wear? 😉 Think I’ll pass on latex clothing nowadays lol!

OK, a video treat tonight, in more senses than one. Who used to wear less than modest clothing in Hollywood? Why the chorus line dancers, of course! And who was one of those, why, Clara Elaine Johnson. Tonight’s piece is actually from Strike Me Pink, one of her 2 credited films, this one as a Goldwyn Girl. Oh, and the girl, with Cantor, at 4:13 on this video, well…? 😉 Yes, Clara is definitely less than modestly dressed lol!

Getting back to someone’s youth. Not mine!

Well, in a date sense at least, because if this works out, I might really be the flapper girl, though for one night only! Sadly, unless Clara wants to pass me some of her dancing talents, I wont be doing the Charleston, or anything! Oh, and I must give thanks to ‘Rebecca’ for finding this for me in the first place, as I’m thrilled she did.

Right lets start with the issues as to why this might only be a might. As you can see from this link http://www.auntysocial.co.uk/some-like-it-hot-volunteers/ the event is in Blackpool, which is a decent distance from me, even more so when you’re a non driver like me! So yes, given its ‘until late’, its safe to say I’d need to stay the Friday night in Blackpool, afterwards as well. Also, as you might note, it would involve a second trip to Blackpool as well, to transform me into a cute young flapper, for fitting, discovering about the venue, and my role, and in theory, learning about the film, which fine, I might already know! 😉 The other thing I suspect is that as hidden above, they might be looking for young flappers to party, and I’m well, 60! Get my hair properly bobbed, well, maybe…? 😉

Yes, that might end up being the other big snag for me actually doing this, it is actually on my 60th birthday! Thats not saying it wouldnt be the most perfect birthday present for me, doing something like this, and the night away having ‘flapper fun’, but others might have plans that I dont yet know about, given its a landmark one! There is also the cost issue, given I can now only work a 4 day week, but for something like this, I might decide to just ignore that fact! Would be so much fun letting my inner ‘Clara Johnson’ loose!

I only wish this was nearer, or on almost any other date, because ‘genuinely’ playing a flapper for a night would be fantastic fun. Its an era I’ve always loved, so to play the role, doing something like that would be a dream. Fine, would be so much more fun if I was in my twenties, so I looked the young flapper, but hey, if they say yes…? I know, you dont have to be an actress, but I cant see that being an issue, I’m not a diva, darlings! Besides, its been a while, so…

But yes, Bradford, or Leeds, please note, a repeat of doing this, later this year, would be very much appreciated!

Still, I have applied, and well, who knows? 😉

Video time. I was looking for the original version, from the movie, but I assume its been removed from You Tube, for copyright issues? But I’ve still got a legend, Angela Lansbury performing instead. Please note, she’s 42 when this was filmed! Have to be young, to be a flapper, hmm? 😉

Fairytale In New York

So, lets get to the last 4 months of the year now, when a few things might have happened!

To do it in strictly in chronological order, the first new experience in September, was being wheeled through an airport in a wheelchair! In truth, I possibly could have survived the security experience at Manchester Airport (especially as I would have got Fast Track routing as a premium economy customer), but there was absolutely no way I was ever going to stand in the Immigration queue at Boston, I went with the ‘full in’ option. So fine, at Manchester it didnt quite work as planned (twice, but more on that later), as I got wheeled through security, and to the gate, but no one ever appeared to take me to the gate! So in the end, I managed to get myself down, and aboard the plane, but ironically that meant I was last on, not first! Boston end, it worked perfectly, and I can safely say I have never got through Immigration so quickly in my life, even if you allow for the time I waited on the plane before I got off!

The first few days on Cape Cod was a delight (Saturday night in Boston, went down there on Sunday) with Kate, just relaxing, and giving my back a wonderful break. Then, on the Thursday, we both headed back to Boston, Kate to head off somewhere with her partner, and me to head to Mahopac, NY, via Stamford (c/o Amtrak) to go to a friend’s wedding. Initially I’d assumed I would be going as a guest, then told I was a bridesmaid, only to find out I was Maid of Honor! Thankfully for all the others there, I didnt catch the wedding bouquet lol! It was an amazing experience, thanks go to Stacie, and Eric for the honor of doing that for me. Also thankfully, I was relaxed enough over those last few days that I managed to lay off the painkillers for just long enough to be able to drink at the wedding reception. Fine, I made up for it that night, but anyway…

Flying back afterwards was entertaining. Firstly, for some reason best known to themselves, the airline staff at JFK started boarding people, before boarding me in a wheelchair. It seemed they realized pretty quickly, and sent me through, but it was an interesting journey through all these people who had no interest in giving way to a passenger in a wheelchair!

On arrival at Manchester, chaos ensued. As had shown at JFK, I was the only person who had booked a wheelchair. Therefore, on arrival at Manchester, one wheelchair arrived, for me. Thing is, 5 people suddenly decided they needed a wheelchair, and one woman (who had the physical strength to push me out of the way!) decided she was taking it! Anyway, in the end, after a bit of a delay, a few more wheelchairs arrived, though only 1 extra pusher, and we eventually got through, but after quite a delay, obviously. Not helped by the fact that one person clearly didnt have the right paperwork (not sure if she was from my plane, or a holdback from a previous flight?). In the end, I sort of got up, collected my case, and struggled through on foot (someone pushed my case, thank goodness) to where I was being met! I only hope Manchester Airport does better next May, we will see!

After that, its fair to say that the year settled into LGBT mode at work. A presentation to just over 100 people on working as a Transgender person in my Civil Service Department, and gaining a position on a committee dealing with LGBT issues within said Department are 2 of the delights that followed. Oh, and on top of that performance, was of course, the performance as an Elf very recently!

Lastly, on Christmas Day, on Facebook of all places, someone posted a picture in one of the groups, of a young lady, in Christmas mode, of an event that happened nearly 90 years ago (1929). Yes, an unknown lady, at a pre-Christmas event in Los Angeles, way back when. Except…she looked familiar to me. Comparison to a few pictures taken about 5 years later, and agreement from a couple of other people on the matter, that lady is no longer unknown, to a few of us at least. Yes, 99.9% certain its a certain Clara Johnson! Talk about dream Christmas present, especially as in total, there were 3 pictures! Oh fine, here’s one of them, of her, at 24!

And thats about it! Two more working days in 2017, Friday all day, and a half day on Saturday! Not expecting anything major to happen, but we will see?

The video, big clue in the title. A live version of the song, from 2012, which means no Kirsty MacColl, but the woman gives a decent, if clearly rather starstruck performance

Tomorrow, a look forward to 2018, and what might, or will happen

Another May in LA

Now, normally when you do a review of the year, and you’re splitting it in two, you’d do two spells of 6 months, right? But when I looked back on my year, it took me about 30 seconds (if that long) to work out that apart from one event in May, not much happened for the first 8 months, then a hell of a lot happened in the last 4! So to avoid a 500 word blog tonight, and a 3000 word one tomorrow, I’m doing this on an 8/4 basis this year.

In truth, the highlights of the first 2 months were getting the news I’d passed probation period at work, and getting my first passport in my new name, and gender. I know, I’d lived about 7 years as a woman before then, but all the same, that was a special moment when it was made official. Oh, and around the same time, my first moments of DWP fame, in a transgender sense, with an interview from work, about life as a Transgender woman in the Department. Which of course led to something that will be mentioned in Part 2, but for now…

No, diplomacy means I’m not mentioning a certain event that happened in the US, in January, but you all know what I think of him, and his actions, so lets leave it there.

Of course, my first flight as a woman, was in May, going back to Hollywood, or more strictly, Los Angeles. Lets just say the whole apartment thing this time around wasnt the success of the previous trip, both in the sense of initially booking an apartment, and then the landlord deciding he wanted to decline the booking, because he hadnt put in his price rise for the New Year. Fine, I thought, until he told me it was done, and suddenly the price had risen by over 20%, nearly 25% in fact! So I started again, thought I’d found somewhere decent as a replacement, but it didnt live up to all its claims. Dont get me wrong, it was nice enough, just didnt have all the facilities it claimed it had.

The funniest moment was a delightful Thai takeaway I had found 18 months earlier, and the lady still remembered me the moment I walked in, despite that. Its sad to think that by the next time I visit, she will almost certainly be gone, as it will be a few years before I get there again (unless I get a role offer), and I doubt she was that young this year, so…but she was amazing!

The other big highlights that will stick with me, would be 2 Louise Brooks silent films, viewed at the historic Egyptian Theater, a guided Hollywood walk given by a wonderful lady that I like to see as a friend, a ‘better than I would buy’ seat at a Dodgers game, thanks to another friend, with the added bonus of it being a game that Kershaw pitched at! Lastly, there was a wonderful Harlow display at the Hollywood Museum, which was a delight to see. Oh, and thanks to the Metro, getting to Santa Monica far easier than ever before!

In truth, I have no idea when I’ll be back, unless I get an offer, which I would have to say is pretty unlikely. But never say never… Certainly, due to something that will be mentioned shortly, walking up the hill to where Harlow rests at Forest Lawn would probably be beyond me now, but anyway…

In July, 2 things happened, one good, one bad. The good one was, that knowing that Clara Johnson’s middle initial was E, and finding a few images of a chorus line dancer/Goldwyn Girl, and putting two and two together, when you find a dancing match, named Elaine Johnson, who has a career that seems to tie in to Clara’s, well I jumped on the issue, and joy, actually found 3 pictures of her from a credited movie promotion shoot. Of course I cant be 100% sure its one and the same, but enough coincidences for me to say it is. In fact, as you’ll find out tomorrow, this isnt the end of that story! Yes, a few new pictures, wow! I’d still love to find her married name, so I’d have a chance of paying my respects if, and when I get back to LA.

The bad thing, my back, after giving me support for about 59 years, decided it had had enough, and snapped. Quite literally, though not in too severe a way, fingers crossed. Yes, osteoporosis had taken its toll on me! Painkillers, and other meds (been tweaked a couple of times) keep it bearable, but yes, its fair to say old age is beginning to catch up with me. It eventually led to me cutting back to 4 days a week at work, with which I can just about get by financially, but holidays will need to be cut back on now, for sure.

August marked 1 year in the new job, and in truth, apart from a dream acting offer, I cant see me leaving before I get to retire in just over 6 years time. Yes, I really am that old lol! The rest of the year, and a few landmarks, tomorrow!

Right, the video. One of the few modern groups I have much time for, are The Killers. I now love them even more now I know that each Christmas, they record a song, and give all royalties to charity! This is the 2013 song, which is apt given where I was in May, and even more so when you see something I post tomorrow!