Category Archives: New York

The gorilla mourns tonight

He might even wreck a building or two in New York City just for the hell of it too. No, somehow I doubt he will in truth, mainly because he was just a fictional film character, though he would have a good reason today, as you could say this was the day, 15 years ago that he lost a friend. Yes, this day in 2004, Fay Wray passed away. Mind, she was 97, so…

And yes, for most people, she’s going to be remembered for one part, as the distressed damsel in King Kong, Ann Darrow. Personally I prefer her (among other films) for her escapades in the Wax Museum, but anyway, she’s always going to be remembered for that movie. To be fair to her, she did say that whenever she visited New York City that she took a few minutes to remember a ‘friend’ who died there. Yes, King Kong.

To be fair to Fay, likeΒ  Mary Pickford, not many realise that she isnt American. Yes, born north of the border in Canada, but Kong probably would have objected to the cold winters, lol. Not that New York is all that warm in winter, but he was fine with filming in Hollywood, I’m sure.

Its funny, because of my name, everyone assumes I’m a big Jean Harlow fan. No, I rolled with the name because I was told I looked like her, though to me, my looks are more in line with Mama Jean, than baby Jean, but anyway… But yes, if you ask me my 30’s girl crush, it probably was Fay. So… But yes, I’d rather be in the wax museum with her, than on top of a New York skyscraper, all the same.

OK, video time. I know the song title, but in truth, the gorilla in this gets as much air time as the lion, and he gets to run off with the lady at the end too! The version of the song is dreadful, but the video is just too much of a match, sorry!

Advertisements

Is it still a holiday?

Strictly, as of 4.00 yesterday afternoon, until a week on Wednesday, I’m not on medical leave, I’m on holiday. Ironically, as with March, it would have been my Saturday (every 5th week) to work this week. Of course, as history has dictated, I havent worked since that fateful day in March, and of course, accordingly to several medical sources, it seems that March 9, 2019 will go down as the last day of my working career. So why, you ask, does this week count as holiday, technically at least?

Well back at the end of last Summer, we are asked to pick our 2 preferred weeks of holiday, and this week, starting tomorrow was the start of the first of mine. I hadnt ever got to making any serious plans for this, in truth. So where would I be, if fate hadnt stepped in, who knows? Its actually possible I’d be where I am now, sat at home, as the US trip this year was always going to be September. I might also have been in Belfast, as Ireland are playing 2 cricket matches there in these few days (first was today), but had not made any definite plans by March on that.

I know where I would love to have started my holiday week, a day early, and that was Pine Bush, New York. Yes, yesterday was UFO day there, and yes, Stacie was there (its not far from here), and yes, I’m jealous. I will state now that if I’m allowed to still do International Travel after having been by the neurologist, its on my target list for next year, believe me. And yes, if I do, I’m definitely doing the full Alien look, and if I can find a flying saucer/space craft to travel there by, yes, I’m doing it, ideally in said Alien outfit. Or new Alien body, who knows? πŸ˜‰

Why did I pick this week, you may be asking? Well, a week tomorrow is a Bank Holiday, so I would have got an extended holiday, thats why! But now, does this even count as a holiday any more? Technically yes, but strictly, well?

Video time. This is most definitely not live, however much they might want it to look like it is. Apart from anything else, the male ‘singer’ didnt even sing on the record. Oh, and the lead singer’s outfit, yes, I’d love it, if anyone is offering?

Together in Transgender Hopes

Firstly, for those of you who weren’t around 18 months ago, and I know there are some, let me remind you that I thought I was going to a wedding in Carmel (New York, not California, but…) as a guest, then as a bridesmaid. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I ended up as Maid of Honour! Not bad for an old Transgender Lady, and Stacie did find out how thrilled I was when offered that dream role. As some might also remember, my back was already gone by then, but I laid off the painkillers for 3 days (as instructed) before the big day, so I could drink, and thankfully the weather was hot enough to get away with that. For further details (if interested), go back to the blogs around September/ October 2017 for more information, and pictures.

Anyway, finally New York State caught up with a lot of places at the weekend, and passed some Transgender Equality Rights into law. Not that I’m likely to ever live there now (Florida, Arizona, or California is more my climate needs now), but I’m delighted for those that do. Thing is, probably as I might have said in truth, when Stacie was asked her opinion on this, she was obviously thrilled at the outcome, but commented that it would be another matter to see if it actually happens in reality. For giving this utterly honest answer, someone accused her of being trans-phobic. I know, I might have stopped laughing by the 2nd wedding anniversary in September, but anyway…

Thing is, in truth, having experienced the reality of life, I probably would have said much the same thing as she did, and I’m actually Transgender! In truth, any rules relating to LGBTI (sneaking intersex in) people being made, and actually being applied, are 2 different matters. So fine, I know the person who accused her is unlikely to read this, but whoever you were, you’re wrong, Stacie is not trans-phobic, just the opposite in fact. So think things through logically, before jumping to conclusions, pretty please.

Oh fine, I mentioned Carmel (California this time) before, and I’m going to mention it again, as a famous resident celebrated her 97th birthday there today, a certain Doris Day! Its fair to say that one is more winter suitable for me than the New York one, thats for sure.

Last connection for today. Over here at present, there is an advert on TV for Strongbow Cider. The amusement, the song is played on acoustic guitar, and old fashioned piano. Why is that funny? Well, the song is Together In Electric Dreams, and I’m pretty sure its all deliberate. Why, well, near the end, in the background, Phil Oakey, who of course sang the original version. I’m sure the ‘joke’ is lost on anyone under 50, but I can only hope…? So, yes, thats the song, but again its not Phil. I have no idea if Gary Simmons, and Kirsty Marr are still a couple, but fingers crossed, but this was done over 8 years ago. If either see this, maybe they can let the world know?

The Acting Capital Of The World?

I’ll be honest, when I think of the echelon of places to act, my first thoughts turn to Hollywood. No idea why, because I’ve never made a proper movie of any kind, and in terms of theater royalty, Broadway, or Leicester Square should rank higher for me? Not that I have ever got even vaguely close to acting at any of those places either, to be honest.

Me, look at small theaters, village, or school halls would have been places where I was far more likely to perform, lets face it. Then tonight, I was watching something on TV, where the actors involved said that in fact, the acting capital of the world, for them, was Stratford Upon Avon.

I suppose if you’re a classical actor of some note (they are), then I can see the logic of that, given the whole Shakespeare thing, and all. As far as I can remember, I’ve only acted in one piece by Shakespeare (that Scottish play), and amusingly, and probably aptly, with foresight, I played a witch! Let me add, it was being done by a boys Grammar school, so apart from a few main parts, for which we borrowed girls from their grammar school across the road, we were expected to play all the parts. So, with hindsight, probably my first main female role!

Now, if I told you that the first movie capital of the world wasnt Hollywood, wasnt even on the West Coast, would you believe me? Yes, the movie industry was created in, and around the New York/New Jersey area in fact! But the winters made filming tricky, and when they heard about the all year round warmth in California, then history was created! It was really late into the 1920’s before Hollywood began to dominate the scene.

So where, readers, would you say was the acting capital of the world? I still say my vote goes for Hollywood, but thats probably that 30’s chorus girl/movie actress buried within me. No, I dont really expect anyone to answer here (rare that anyone does), but just think about it, for me, OK?

OK, video time. So my vote goes for Hollywood anyway, and besides which, I couldnt think of an apt song that links to Stratford in any way. I did think of using Shakespeare’s Sister, but seriously…? Anyway, fine, this seems apt, as its what the modern day chorus girl would probably be doing nowadays, shows on cruise ships, and the like.

They’ve got it!

I got a nice surprise while I was away, when a friend of mine asked if I would still be in the NYC area on 19th October (do the date that way, to get around the whole UK/US thing), and sadly I had to say no, that I was actually flying back home last Monday, and enquired why? The answer, darlings, before you ask as well, is this:

Yes, something important in a publicity sense (a reading, I believe?) is happening in NYC that day, and they wanted me to be there. Well, Jeffery did for certain, and I’m sure he wouldnt have asked without checking with Barry, so to say I’m flattered, would be putting it mildly. Lets just say that I’m assuming he only wants me to attend the event, and nothing more, but of course, you meet people at things like this, and who knows where things might lead from there?

Equally, I thought I was going to a wedding as a guest, only to discover I was a bridesmaid, which turned out to be being Maid of Honor, and where all that led to. No, I dont think I’m likely to end up starring, or even working on Broadway (though I wouldnt say no, if offered), but its that thing of getting yourself known, and seeing where it takes you?

Sadly, unless I win the lottery (I know, stop laughing), I really havent got the money to go at present, especially as the ‘old girl’ is on a 4 day week at present due to her back issues. So yeah, probably any part needs me either to be sat, or in a wheelchair, which pretty much kills most roles anyway! But yes, I could make a cute ‘flapper’ for the day, given the chance! In truth, I dont even know if the holiday is available at work at present lol, but…?

So fine, if any ‘guardian angel’ out there wants to make my dream visit come true, then I’d love it. No, I dont expect it to happen, but no harm in asking lol! Comment here, or email at stephmajor8@hotmail.com if there is a W.R Hearst type out there, lol!

Regardless of helping me out, if you’re in the area, and hear of this event happening, go support it, please! 2 lovely friends deserve all the support they can get, in every sense, and I only wish I could be there to help them too. If anyone needs details of venue, and time, and cant find it, ask, and I will ask. My logic is, if I cant get there, its probably better I dont know. Equally, Jeffery, or Barry, if you see this, and want to add those details to the piece, please do!

Video time. Well, it might include some Clara Bow, and it might feature film from one of her better known movies, so…

Dear idiot, in seat 5A, and others!

Fine, I’ll get to the title matter in a minute, but for now…

Sunday evening started with a change of plans, a trip to the cinema, to see It. No, not the 1927 silent movie starring Clara Bow, though I’m sure she would have looked adorable, even in a clowns outfit. No, this was the recent (shock horror) movie based on the Stephen King book instead. Something very different for me, but impressed with it, all the same. Mind, the final outcome (of this section at least) appealed to me no end. The actress playing Beverley caught this actresses eye, as someone to watch for the future, just saying…

After that, a dose of ‘The Orville’ which is a new series on Fox over there, which seems to be a witty take off of Original Star Trek, among other things. Yes, the big attraction for me, the chrome robot, no surprise. Yes, if they ever want an actress to play his female companion… πŸ˜‰ Suspect its just CGI, in truth, sadly. Not sure when I see any more of it mind, over here, but will keep an eye out for that.

Yesterday was the last full day (for a while) in the US, most of which I just spent relaxing, before heading for home, via JFK, in a shuttle. Yes, wisdom prevailed, given the state of my body at present, only way to go. Before that, I did get to see the Creature from the Black Lagoon thing, though sadly not wearable lol. But if anyone wants to make one, and let me wear it…?

Beyond the traffic levels to JFK (its NYC, for pity’s sake), that all went smoothly, and so did the ride through security. Then the fun began! I was taken to the gate on my boarding pass, for my plane home, fine. Thing was, the departures board was showing a different gate, some distance away, and some ‘know all’ told me my plane was going from there. So I struggled down there, only to find a short while later that my pusher had known what she was doing, and the know all was an idiot! So yes, I struggled back to the original gate I’d been left at.

There was 1 wheelchair waiting there, mine, and yes, someone came this time, and took me to the plane. At this point, someone asked me to swap seats, so he could sit with someone, and I agreed. Unfortunately, the idiot I soon discovered I had the ‘delights’ of sitting next to on the way home, thought rules were for everyone but himself. As in, mobile phones must be switched off before leaving the gate, and only be put back on, in flight mode, when we were in the air. Him, oh no! Trying to hide from everyone (very badly) that he was still using his phone after this point, and indeed continued to use it, until after the plane accelerated for take off. Even then, I’m not sure if he switched it off, or just hid it away. He was certainly still doing something with it post take off (not meant to be switched back on while seat belt light is on), so who knows? Put it this way, he was still using it this morning, up to, and including landing, long again after having been told to turn it off. Oh, and then everyone else decided to be an idiot, as more than half the people in the plane were standing up, long before the seat belt light went off at Manchester.

Then it got, err, better! There was only 1 wheelchair used at JFK to load a passenger, mine! So, at Manchester, only 1 is sent to the plane, to disembark me. Thing is, seemingly, 5 other people then decided they needed a wheelchair to disembark, despite not requesting one. My name was called, I stood up to get in, and another woman took my chair! She clearly wasnt going to move willingly, so in the end, they tried to round up another wheelchair for me, only to discover 4 more people wanting one! No, Manchester Airport doesnt employ psychics, to know that all these additional people suddenly would want a chair.

Finally, and I do mean finally, I was on the move. Snag was, with 4 pushers, and 6 chairs, movement was erratic, and slow. Not improved when I finally got to passport control, and there is a group of 3, from the sub continent, who were clearly being shifty about their reasons for entering the country. Finally, he decided to let them in, I passed through quickly, but then we had to get all these wheelchairs down to baggage claim. Then pick out the right black expanding suitcase, from dozens of them, but we got there in the end. So only about an hour later than expected, freedom, and greetings! Then at last, go home!

Oh, and one last thing before we move on from the holiday, and back to more mundane events, one of the movies shown on the flight across. A movie called Blended, which given my knowledge of modern movies, I had to look up when I got home. Take my advice, give it a miss. It has a shocking review rating, and the actress in the main female lead role was dreadful. One look on her face throughout the movie, basically rabbit caught in headlights! Yes, I swear even now, after a few years off, I could have acted the pants off her! So come on Hollywood, let me prove it, lol!

Thats it, then. Lets close by thanking Kate, Stacie, and Eric (mainly, but there were others) for such a marvelous holiday experience. Yes, being Maid of Honor, at a wedding, very special.

So what happens now? Another suitcase, in another hall (Evita)? Probably not! To a big degree, a lot depends what the doctors say about my back in the next couple of weeks, and how many days of work, per week, I can get through, post medication. I’m currently suspecting the answer will be 4, but we will see. Maybe a magic cure, or a nice new cybernetic body lol? Oh, I wish for the latter! I suspect I will be getting the airport wheelchair experience again too, but we will see?

In theory, if I could get there next month, I could go to NYC again for a reading for a production by 2 friends, surrounding the life of Clara Bow, but money (definitely), and holiday time (possibly) mean thats unlikely to happen. Ah well, might have knocked them over on Broadway, especially if they were looking for a middle aged woman confined to a wheelchair for a role lol. Still, keep on dreaming…

Right, video time. One thing a plane is called, is a silver machine, though I doubt thats what they’re talking about here! Dont think its a robotizing pod either, but its almost more likely! Yes, thats Lemmy, of Motorhead fame!

The look of love

Due warning, before we get started, this blog wont be short! So if you only have a couple of moments, come back later!

So, catching up on rest of week…

Wednesday was fairly quiet, the rest of the week hasnt been, so lets leave that day at that.

Thursday was moving day, as Kate headed for the Berkshires, and I headed across a few state lines to New York. The ride up to Boston went smoothly (barring traffic, hardly a surprise, but we had tons of time), and because Kate had a room booked, I got to experience the lounge at a station for the first time. The Red Cap was of the opinion that I could stay there after Kate was gone (her train was 50 minutes before mine), but the lady in the lounge thought otherwise lol. Fair by me, I was her guest, so once she leaves, I should go, but he wasnt impressed lol.

The journey to Stamford was interesting, not so much because I remembered anything from 30 years ago, though I got one memory as we pulled into New London. That first time, 30 years ago, me, and my partner of the time were visiting her elderly aunt on the trip, across the River Thames (pronounced differently to the London one) at Groton. 2 months or so later, she died, and as my partner said at the time, she’d probably only been hanging on to see her UK family one last time, and then…I’m not saying how many ‘doggy bags’ they found in her house after death, but there were, err, a few!

Oh fine, Stamford station was entertaining, mainly because all Eric and I had seem pics of each other, were a few on Facebook. And you have to remember, mine were designed to show me at my best, not my everyday look, but anyway, we got together in the end, and… The rest of Thursday, and Friday, I’ve visited the family, and they are all a delight to know. I sort of knew that, online, but even better for real! I got to see some of the area on various trips, which was nice too.

Oh right, Saturday! Fine, fine, we’ve got there now! No, no pics at this point, sorry. The snag with new, sparkly dresses, is that some of the sparkly stuff isnt going to stay on the dress, perfectly, you get my drift? πŸ˜‰ But yes, the dress was gorgeous, though in hindsight, given that I need to wear a bra, I should have brought a bandeau bra with me, but hindsight is a wonderful thing! Would have made picture set up so much easier lol.

Oh, btw, I’m maid of honor, and I have to make a toast. Yes, I found out the latter at a couple of hours notice, but like all good actresses, I improvised. Might not have been the standard toast, but hey…I got through! The service first, was very nice, just so proud to be there, let alone in the position of honor that I was. The setting for the wedding was delightful, at Cortlandt Manor, but unless you’re in the area, just a note of reference. The food was good, though far too much for a modest British appetite, but besides that…

The additional magic moment of the meal afterwards, one of the servers recognized me, from one of the documentary things I’ve done in the past. I’m assuming its the LA one, from April 2015, from description, but dont quote me on that. Now others want to see it! I have no idea if there is still a link to it, but I’ve asked the lady who done it if there is, but awaiting a reply. Suspect finding it might be a challenge, even if she can, as she was doing these regularly, but we will see…? Yes, its amazing where ‘fame’ can catch up with you, lol!

Oh, the service, well, what with holding my bouquet, the ring for the groom, and the bride’s bouquet at one point, quite an experience, but I got through, and loved every moment of it. I also got to meet a number of lovely people that I will probably never meet again, which will be a shame, but is part of life, I guess? Was a wonderful time, so very glad I could be there, and part of it.

Discretion says I’m not describing events after the reception, OK? Nothing bad, but entertaining, just maybe…?

This morning has been quiet, as all recover after the big day, including me! I actually went for brunch at a nearby diner/grill to the hotel, and if I needed reminding how crazy US portions could be, they did it! The omelette was large enough on its own, but by the time you add in toast, and potatoes, well…thankfully, plenty of coffee! How much more food I need today, not a lot! So currently, I’m in the hotel, watching Kansas City play in the NFL, so…chilling! Tonights ESPN baseball, well, its the Dodgers, so…I guess I can survive for a while, while the Gelhaus family recover after yesterday!

I will get back there at some point, in fact need to, as one of the wedding presents was a mask (if not more) of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and yes, as if I’d love to see that, you bet I do. Hey, I’d love to wear a full suit (if anyone has one laying around lol?), though at my age, underwater swimming scenes wearing it might be beyond my skills, but I’d try, if I had to! πŸ˜€

Tomorrow sees the start of the return to reality, and the return to the UK. Thankfully, with my new shifts, no work until Friday, by which time a very quiet, very shy team leader of mine will have had her birthday. Yes, it might have been mentioned most of September. Yes, Madi, I love you, I really do xxx I’ve accepted the old age thing, btw. I’d originally planned to get to JFK by public transit, but Stacie wasnt happy with the thought of that at present, and in truth, I wasnt entirely looking forward to it either. So yes, going there by shuttle now…angel…and then the wheelchair thing again! πŸ˜€

Even if there are any pictures of me as the creature from the Black Lagoon, you’ll probably have to wait until Tuesday, or Wednesday, and back in the UK before seeing them. I will post wedding pics, of me at least, once I have some, OK?

And so endeth the longest blog, with its traditional moment, the video. No, I’ll save a certain Dave Edmonds song, in case I need it, and go for a song I didnt hear yesterday at the reception, but which sums up the day so perfectly. Yes, I’m old enough to remember this, I know…

As to the next US trip, I have no idea when, where, or for how long. Need to hear what the Doctors say, how many days work per week my body can still cope with, and take things from there. I have enough saved that I might be able to do two next year regardless, but if I’m limited to 4 day weeks, that will be the end of that. Though if its one trip per year, I will probably make it longer than a week (flight is major element of cost), but we will see… In theory I have an invite to a stage reading of a Clara Bow show next month in NYC, but unless anyone wishes to donate Β£1000 (flight and accom) to me, and even then, there is holiday available at work, not going to make it. Shame, as I could use the publicity time for myself, as well as the show! Ah well…

So from the US for the last time, probably…bye for now!

An Englishwoman in New York

Given how many times I have visited since the turn of the century, its hard now to believe that the first time I visited the US was only 30 years ago. Yes, it took me half of my current lifespan (more or less) before I actually flew across the Atlantic to make my first visit. That first flight, flying with TWA (who no longer exist) was into Boston, a city I have visited several times since, under my own steam. But like I will be doing this year, flying Thomas Cook Airlines, I didnt fly out of the same airport, or city, as I arrived at. For the last few days, we took the hire car back to Boston, then took a train to New York City. Funnily enough, this year will involve a shorter trip on the same railway line (to Stamford), and no, I havent travelled down it, in all that time! Yes, I suspect its changed.

I guess NYC is one of those cities that you either love, or hate. Its loud, in your face, and very, very busy. Yes, I enjoyed seeing the sights, and I loved seeing 42nd Street on Broadway, but the place as a whole wasnt my scene. The strangest memory is that we got the tickets for the musical, in a ticket booth which was either just outside, or just inside (it is 30 years ago!) the World Trade Center, which 14 years later, attracted news headlines for all the wrong reasons.

It was only after the event, after my stay in Chicago, that I realized that I’d taken to the noise, and bustle in a much easier way than I had in NYC about 20 years earlier. Had I changed in myself, or was it the start of the whole transition thing that lightened me up, who knows? Either way, Chicago is on the list of places I hope to get back to, sometime soon. Will be next year, if I get back to a 5 day week, and 2 holidays next year, but lets see how the health issues play out first. If not, Seattle is calling to me even louder, so if it comes to 1 slightly longer holiday, that will probably win out.

But yes, its my strong love for LA, which lets face it, is very loud, very bustling, especially Hollywood, that makes me wonder how I’d feel about NYC nowadays? I know I’ve changed since then. The whole becoming a woman matter has made me feel so much better about myself, made me more self confident, and probably livelier, that makes me think that I might now see NYC in a different light? Yes, the expensive nature of the city will make it hard for me to visit, but maybe at some point…?

No, it wont be this year. I will pass through the city on the way to JFK airport (which is where I flew out of, 30 years ago), but it will only be passing through, nothing more. And thats assuming I dont get driven to the airport, which I’m not expecting, but then again, I had to convince someone she wasnt driving to Cape Cod to pick me up, and I might still need to try and convince her again lol!

So yes, maybe at some point, I will go back to NYC, and see how I feel about it now. Hey, if I love Hollywood, I might love NYC now? But yes, even at 2 holidays a year, it will be a few years yet, as beyond the 2 mentioned for next year, San Francisco, Kansas City, and Minneapolis St Paul (probably in that order of preference) are all cities I want to go back to.

San Francisco for so many reasons, KC to see if I can find any more Harlow landmarks, and to see more of the city. MSP, no idea why, but I feel I want to go back, all the same. And thats all assuming I cant find where Clara Elaine Johnson was born in Oklahoma, and visit there! Texas, where she moved to LA from, I’ll see how they feel about transgender women by then, even if I do find out where in the state she lived. Mind, I might have had the op by then, so…lol?

But yes, in 30 years, the only place in NYC I’ve visited, is a couple of transits through JFK. Maybe someday, I should go back?

The video? Big clue in the blog title, how original!

Come on, and look at me!

One thing I’ve often heard said by disabled people, especially those in wheelchairs, is that a large number of people either tend to look away, or look over them, trying to pretend they’re not really there. In honesty, I’ve got to the point where I nearly always try to acknowledge them, even if only briefly in passing, simply to prove that I do know they’re there, and are happy to be seen with them.

The other group of people that I always try to acknowledge in a friendly way, are Muslim women wearing either the Niqab, or occasionally the Burqa, simply to show that I want to be friendly, and supportive of them, unlike sadly too many people nowadays. One thing I enjoy about Bradford is that nearly everybody I see, if not approving of such wear, at least doesnt react in a bad way. Mind, that might be because I only really see it being worn in the city center, though hopefully not the case.

But until now at least, the one thing I’ve never discovered is what life is like on the other side of the issue. Yes, I’d be fascinated to know what life is like inside of the Niqab, or Burka, and show my support for Muslim women who wear it that way, but I suspect its too complex a religious matter for it to ever happen. But yes, it would be both fascinating, and probably informative to spend a day wearing the Niqab, and seeing how people react to those wearing it. Probably only brave enough to do it somewhere like Bradford, or similar community, if going out, but as a whole, just seeing what life dressed like that would be a fascinating experience, and probably one that if more people tried it, we might have a lot less religious issues in the world too.

Yes, I am saying that if someone offers me the chance to wear Niqab, or Burka, either privately, or outside, then I would love to do it. And if it can be done in a way that brings up positive publicity for Muslim women, then so much the better!

Equally, fortunately, up to now, I’ve never known what its like to spend time in a wheelchair. I must have done as a child, when my knees were wrecked at the age of 9 or 10, but you dont expect me to remember that, do you? But at least on that point, in 5-6 weeks time, I’m going to get to see how people react to me in a wheelchair. Will they look me in the face, and be supportive, or will they try to pretend I’m not really there, hmm?

Yes, I have to be practical about my flights in a few weeks time. Currently I can walk to a pretty reasonable degree, and I can sit down without too many pain issues, though how much of that is currently clouded by painkillers, I have no idea! However, the one thing I cant do at present for more than a few minutes, is stand still. And yes, while the check in queue, and the security check queue will require some standing in line, you usually move along at regular intervals, which may, or may not be sufficient for my back not to lock up completely. However, when it comes to the queue at Boston, to go through Immigration principally, and Customs to a lesser degree, is that you tend to stand in 1 place, in a queue, for far longer than that. Now it is possible that in 5 weeks time, my back may be less of an issue, but until I’m on proper medication, I wouldnt like to bank on that. Even if on proper medication, I dont want to be confident on that, and not sure we will reach that point in 5 weeks, anyway.

So yes, today I’ve bitten the bullet (you have to give a minimum of 2 weeks warning, but being realistic, I’m not going to improve dramatically in 3 weeks), and requested assistance from the airline for my travels through the airports. Yes, I know I need it, but that doesnt stop the guilt factor, when I can walk reasonably well, but thats just my nature, I guess?

But yes, it will be fascinating to see how ‘fit people’ react to this ‘poor old lady’ in a wheelchair, I must say. So yes, if on 9th September, at Manchester Airport (or Boston later that day), you see a middle aged lady in a wheelchair, be nice to her, it might just be me! Yes, same plan booked for JFK flying back on evening of 18th, just saying…I wonder?

Right, video time. No, I have no plans to be wearing this while sat in my wheelchair, though it might be fun if I was! But yes, feel free to look at me, all the same!

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