Yes, let me say I was saddened greatly by the news that came out of Finsbury Park in the last couple of days, in a similar way to how I felt after the London Bridge incident, before anyone points out that I didnt comment on that. Sadly, when I only have time to do 2 blogs a week, and other things do happen in my life, some things get thought about, but not mentioned here, and that was one of them. Add in the Tower block fire last week, and London isnt having a good time of late, lets face it.
Equally, can I say that I wasnt entirely surprised when that horrific incident in Finsbury Park happened, because I wasnt. Such is political, and religious extremism at the far end of the spectrum of late, that no, I wasnt surprised when a white supremacist type decided to take a stand for himself over the matter. Thankfully, both sets of incident are few, and far between (very much so, in fact), but the press, and TV tend to over focus when they do. When parades of thousands of Muslims, protesting against terrorism happen, they have a tendency to ignore, as it just doesnt suit the underlying tendencies of too many in power, trying to scare people nowadays, lets face it.
I only hope that this can be it, that people can see sense, and we have no more retaliation, from either side. I know, as John Lennon said, ‘You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one’, at least I hope I’m not. Unfortunately, the people I’m appealing to with this piece are probably the ones least likely to read this, but I can hope that in some way, the message can get out. Yes, I know, I’m a very liberal type, but I think that most people, with a cool head would be able to see that just continuing the violence isnt a great idea, from either side.
So all I am saying, to quote another Lennon song, is to ‘Give peace a chance’, please. And yes, let me add that if there was a way I could wear a burqa/burka (I’ve seen it spelt both ways) in support of my Muslim friends, without it being religiously offensive, I’d happily do so. I dont deny it, I’ve seen women wearing it in Bradford a number of times, and wondered what it was like. But no, I dont want to offend anyone, all the same. But if the chance arose…?
Right, the video. No John Lennon, no Dusty Springfield, which a few might have thought of, from the blog title. Instead, a live Police classic from 2008!
Some watchful people may have noticed I didnt actually comment on the election in the build up to it, and there was a good reason for that. Nowadays, as a civil servant, I have to be strictly neutral on all matters during that period, but thankfully, now its over…
In truth, I’m still not going to comment on my views of the political parties, simply because I feel its only a matter of time before we ‘party’ like 1974, and have a second attempt. Yes, I’m old enough to remember the last time it happened, even if I wasnt old enough to vote at that point. It was May 1979, and the first Thatcher win, before I could cast my vote in one.
I’m sure when Theresa May decided to call this snap election, she thought that winning it was going to be a case of just turning up, taking the plaudits, and that would be it. I bet she thinks differently now lol! Ironically, that may have been her main problem, she assumed she was just going to win it regardless, and really didnt make much effort to inspire the voters, because she didnt think she needed to! Meanwhile, Corbyn decided to make a bit more effort, and some appreciated that, and yes, fine, the rest is history by now!
There is actually a case for saying that despite an awful campaign, she still won the vote, got the most seats, but fine, its not what she, or the Conservatives were expecting, shall we say? In truth, my main issue with events since then, is her desperate attempt to cling to power, by coming to an agreement with the DUP of Northern Ireland, who are, shall we diplomatically put it, not fans of LGBT folk, like me! I doubt they will have enough power to influence the UK situation as a whole, but yes, its not going to help LGBT people in Northern Ireland in the slightest, not good.
So its all a mess, and I’m sure its only a matter of time before it all falls apart, and Election 2 is called, but…Polls are now showing Labour ahead! I suspect part of this is the LGBT issue, and the DUP, and another part is the arrogant way that May has continued to behave since Thursday night. Not that I’m a fan of either major party, but…Also, there is the matter of the Liberal Democrats leader showing definite homophobic tendencies (on a claimed religious basis), and where do we go?
But yes, I suspect now, if you offered Theresa May the choice of an election, or not, knowing what we know now, she might decide otherwise!
Fine, before we party like 1974…the video. What the Conservatives might be thinking, right now…
Yes, the calendar has crept around again to that annual music fest known as the Eurovision Song Contest. In truth, I’m old enough to remember the days when there waas one show, consisting of just over a dozen countries, from Western Europe, and that was it. Nowadays we have 2 semi finals, and then a final to survive, as the breaking down on the Iron Curtain, and the breaking down of the Soviet Union, and other assorted East European countries means there are over 40 entries nowadays! And yes, a couple of them arent even in Europe!
Politics have ensured that Israel counts as European for so many things, and Eurovision is definitely one of them. Of course, the first Trans winner of Eurovision came from Israel, Dana International! Pretty sure there have been a few more trans entries since, but as I havent watched it in years, I have no idea. Oh, and when Australia became part of Europe, no idea!
The one thing that always amuses me is how people talk about how ‘political’ the voting is nowadays, but in truth, thats always been the case! Though to be fair, there probably wasnt quite the block of voting that there is nowadays with Eastern Europe, but yes, it did happen. Greece and Turkey, UK and Ireland, of course they voted for each other happily, not! The one thing people dont realize nowadays, is that it was only in the 1970’s that songs didnt have to be sung in the national language. Clearly that was the rule in 1974, when some unknown group called Abba won it, but I have a funny feeling that may have been the first?
No, I wont be watching any of it next weekend (9th – 13th), but I’m sure millions will, if only for the sheer kitsch of the event. I wonder, if when the first one was held in the 1950’s, with a handful of entries if they ever imagined it would be like this now?
Right, video. I’ve gone back to my own personal glory days of Eurovision, from the 1970’s, though not Abba. This one won it a year later, and the resemblance, I’m sure, is purely coincidental, lol!
…and avoid at least 10 days of the election hype that we’re now going to have thrust on us, yet again! With luck, I can avoid a lot more than that, but that at least is guaranteed. Yes, could hardly ignore the announcement of a General Election at the beginning of June, could I? No, given my job in the Civil Service, and the fact that my readers will cover the range from Labour, to UKIP, I’m not going to give my views here on any issues, so dont ask! I will vote, and I have a good idea who I will vote for, but I’m not saying more.
The only blessing, as I say, with the timing, is that I’m going to miss 10 days of the campaign, while away in California. Note, I left out the word ‘relaxing’ because in all truth, there will definitely be a good percentage of the time when I will be trying to sell myself to people, or at least I hope there will be. Fine, I will enjoy myself as well, but yes, its probably my last big chance to make it in LA, so…
Fine, I’ll have to kick my unofficial press officer (yes, she will know who I mean!) and see if she can perform miracles at getting me noticed in LA. Yes, Madi, I am joking really, but if you can…lol!
When I was last in LA 18 months ago, I registered with a Transgender Talent Agency, and dropped an email to them, knowing I was only in town for a short period of time, to get myself known with them at least. Yes, she picked it up only after I’d come back, but said to give her notice when I’m going across again, so today, I have! Even if it doesnt provide instant offers, at least she’ll know me, I’ll know her, and who knows where it might lead from there? Movie fame, I doubt it? A decent run in lesser roles in theaters, well who knows, just maybe? I know, it might lead to more, but I’d settle for that chance for now.
Should anyone want to stun her, by asking about my services, before she meets me, the agency can be found here http://www.transgendertalent.com/ Mind, you need to ask for Harlean, not the name suggested by the blog lol!
Sadly, I’ve heard no more about possibly working on a documentary over there, down in San Diego, so I’m assuming thats not now going to happen, but I will drop a line at some point, just to make sure, but fine, that was maybe hoping for a little too much? But if you dont try?
Fine, I might hope that one of the chat show hosts might have been, by chance looking at the Civil Service Blog, and seen my piece, but I would say that ranks somewhere between no chance, and less, but hey, until I come back, you never know? Lol! I must also contact that lovely lady who interviewed me 18 months ago, and see if she wants to do a follow up, or not?
In truth, I only wish I had the time, money, and holiday allowance to extend the holiday by another fortnight or so, and miss the whole ghastly General Election experience, but not to be. Yes, I would still vote, I’d get a postal vote, if that miracle happened! I’ll start one of these funding campaigns if someone wants to provide for the extended stay, mind. No, thought not!
But yes, I know a place where about 650 people will be seeking a job at that time, and 1 person who will hopefully be doing the same in La La Land! I know who I suspect will be more successful, but…?
And that last comment, and the blog title leads to tonights video. Two Petula Clark classics for the price of one, and before you think that its a long video, the last 2 minutes can be cut off easily, and not miss anything.
Well, given the ‘love’ there is for Trump on the West Coast of the US, I guess its fair to say that I wasnt totally surprised to hear today that California is talking about having a vote to decide whether, or not they should secede from the rest of the US. I mean, its not like the West Coast hasnt discussed this concept before, as the concept of Pacifica, which would be the 3 west coast states (including Oregon and Washington), parts (at least) of Nevada, and maybe Hawaii would become 1 independent nation. Given that it would include Silicon Valley, the Microsoft technology zone, plus the entertainment belt that is LA, it would probably have quite a decent economy in its own right.
But in truth, I’m not sure its ever got beyond talk, and video games as something that is ever going to happen. I’m only imagining the chaos it could cause, as New England (plus New York, maybe?) might then be tempted to do something similar, and just let the rest of the country get on with their Republican ways. I know, I know, its never going to happen, or seemingly wasnt before the latest Presidential election!
It now seems that California at least, has decided not to bother to wait for anyone else to decide, and are seriously talking about #Calexit, or variations thereon. The irony is, that the vote wont go to the people until next year, and then by the time everything is sorted out, and they are ready to go, well its possible Trump will be ready to go, as it will be 2019! And then, its possible, with their help, they might be getting a Democrat President again, with luck.
Oh fine, it would suit me beautifully if California had a slightly more relaxed immigration policy than the US currently has, but that might only be me dreaming.
To be honest, I have no idea how it would all work out, as logically, their main trading partner would be, you guessed it, the rest of the US. Well, unless anyone else is breaking away by then, and I suspect this might be the start of things, as Oregon and Washington are discussing a Cascadia nation as a result of this, so who knows? On a more pedantic note, how this would work out with their pro sports teams, I’m not quite sure? Having said that, the only one of those sports without teams in Canada is the NFL, so might be the same here?
So yes, I wouldnt mind being a proud owner of a passport from the Republic of California in the future, maybe? 😉
Oh, and while talking about that idiot in charge at present, his move this weekend, blocking Muslim refugees from 7 countries entering the US just stuns me. Funnily enough, those countries that Trump has business interests in, not blocked, hmm?… rolls eyes…
Fine, but just remember me, California, if and when the big day comes!
Fine, 2 videos tonight, for the price of one. Same group, best known over here for 1 song in the early 90’s, but neither of these are it. But yes, 2 suitable songs, from a group from Southern California, you bet! Firstly, the one you got a clue about in the blog title
Secondly, not the greatest version of a song that sort of gets mentioned in the blog, but if anyone wanted to see how Michelle Phillips (the last surviving member of Mamas and Papas) was looking recently, heres your chance!
Let me say that tonight, you’re getting a bonus, of sorts. Yes, 2 blogs tonight, but neither of them actually written tonight. This is the one I wanted to post last night, but wanted to do at least 1 blog without politics, but its too important not to post it tonight, so…
Right wingers, look away now!
So fine, its happened, Trump is now President. The world hasnt ended yet, though I have little faith that given 4 years minimum in charge, he might try for that yet. Yes, I deliberately set out to avoid all coverage of the Inauguration, though with a combination of being at work when it happened, and avoiding the news channels since then, its not one of the harder challenges I’ve faced. Irony is, I remember a time when there were 2 channels on the TV over here (the 3rd began in 1967), and it would have been on the news on both here, if not a live broadcast!
I think most here know I’m not a Trump fan already, but equally, not a Clinton one either. I suspect if Sanders, or Biden had been the Democratic candidate, we may not be in the position we are now, but we will never know? As is the way with so many fake news websites nowadays, I have no idea how many people attended the Inauguration. I’ve seen tiny crowds in pictures, but I’m told there were more than that, though not as many as either of Obama’s, but anyway…
Today, what was initially planned as one protest about Trump, and his sexist, racist ways was meant to happen in Washington. Indeed, probably has already happened, but I’m still on news avoidance at present lol! But there hasnt been just one protest, there have been hundreds, if not thousands, all around the world. Probably not in Moscow, mind, but fine, thats getting sarcastic, so…
I’d love to think these protests will make a difference, but in truth, Trump is such an egotist, and his friends on the ‘religious right’ are so oppressive towards women, and other minorities, I doubt it will. Great shame, but being realistic… Still, for now at least, I can hope! To counter that, some people have over reacted to matters, and lets see what actually comes about before screaming louder.
To which: Yesterday evening (my time), and today, there have been numerous people complaining about the pages taken down from the White House website. Yes, the ones concerning, LGBT, Climate Change and Disabled being the main ones noted. Thing is, they dont remember, or dont want to remember that the same thing happened 8 years ago, when Obama came to power, they archive off the previous presidents work. And expecting Trump to have people in place to put them back up, with his opinions, oh please. Fine, the fact that he hasnt even started on replacing all the Ambassadors is beside the point, and probably of as much concern. In truth, he wants the power, without the hard work involved, and everyone else (but his wealthy friends) will suffer accordingly.
So no, I’m not saying those things will go back on the website, but he needs to be given time to do so. Hopefully not 3 years, 364 days, though with him, that wouldnt surprise me! But when all is said and done, USA, he’s your President (unless impeached, or resigns) for at least 4 years, we just have to survive that time as best we can.
The video, one of those last Abba songs, from 1981, very poignant, very sad, but possibly very apt at the moment.
Well I decided it was probably a shrewd move to get my visa waiver sorted out before Trump, Pence and co take over on Friday, and try to start asking questions about whether potential visitors are LGBT or whatever, so I did it earlier today. Fine, before anyone jumps on me, I’m sure it would be illegal for them to do that, but I’m sure Pence would love to know which tourists he needs to offer conversion to, lol. Fine, I’d be interested to get that offer, but…
I realized just how long it had been since I did this (would have been Spring 2014), by all the extra questions now asked. Parents, employers, the works! I can see the logic of it all, but it all meant it took a bit longer than I’d thought. But yes, fine, I got authorized very quickly. All very much easier than getting an actual visa, believe me! Yes, I’ve been there, done that, first time was 1987! Yes, that old!
Mind, getting a visa waiver to visit, or indeed a tourist visa as it was that first time is a lot easier than getting a work visa would be! Still, maybe one day…?
The thing that caught my eye this time around, and maybe it was there before, and just didnt notice it, was that in addition to using the visa waiver for short term (under 90 days) tourist travel, you can use it for short term business trips. Anyone know exactly what that covers? I’m sure I can go visit an agency (or maybe 2) while over there, and discuss things, or equally, if a studio lost their minds, and decided they wanted to turn one of my books into a TV program, or movie, that would be fine. But beyond that?
Pretty sure that no theater, studio, or model agency would want to do an audition/test session while I was there, but could I do so without papers, if not paid? Gets even more complex as I have an American tax number, because of the ebooks, but clearly I’m registered as a non native for that. Dont get me wrong, I know that if they wanted to take it further, I’d have to go through the whole process of applying for a work visa, but can I make a case, and show it, without one? I cant see it coming to that, but you never know, I guess?
Maybe I should ask Mrs Trump lol, seeing she was earning money as a model in the US before she had any qualifying papers, oops! If Donald wants to provide me with work papers, just to keep me quiet…lol? You know, keep my lips sealed?
I’ve chosen the original version of this song, because I love the cheerier version, and besides, its more fun to introduce people to groups they’ve never got to know. So yes, Fun Boy Three did the famous version over here, but I prefer this!
Alright, that means the video is a bit of a cheat, but more on the cynicism of that later.
Today marked the big announcement by our beloved Prime Minister about something that half the population are eager to see, and the other half, pretty much the opposite. Yes, the big Brexit announcement. Yes, I voted remain, but thats irrelevant now. But yes, the fact that Trump is a fan of us leaving just makes me regret it even more, but anyway…its going to happen, fine!
Not that I’m a fan of European bureaucracy, it has to be said, but I think, on the whole…but OK, I can understand certain feelings re the invasion force of East Europeans, its just that I think that has advantages, as well as disadvantages.
Currently, the talk is we’re getting out regardless. If we can get a decent agreement, then fine, but if we dont, we’re pulling out anyway! Remarkably, on the back of all this, sterling strengthened today, but then again we’re so far behind where we were (especially after the collapse at the weekend) thats not much consolation. And fine, the rise, and rise of right wing politics does nothing to cheer me, for sure.
Still, I suppose if part of the new trade agreement with the US they’re talking up makes it easier for Brits to work over there, I could at least take that as a bonus! No, I wont hold my breath on that!
Oh fine, we’ll probably survive Brexit, whatever the outcome, and I wont have to put up with the consequences as long as some will.
Right, video. Slight cheat, as I say, but there are some Middle Of The Road songs that are known, but this probably isnt one of them! But yes, if someone wants to make me the talk of all the USA lol?
If by any vague chance there are any right wing homophobes reading this, because of the Pence tag, just move on swiftly, because really this isnt for you. Yes, seriously, you wont like it. And just remember, if you like this because of that mention, and you’re a Trump fan, well I might not be the only one laughing.
Fine, warning over.
Yes, in the week of the Presidential Inauguration, and all the talk about whether Trump should be President, or how long he will last as president, lets look at an even more concerning fact for those of LGBT tastes. Yes, you’ve guessed it, Vice President Mike Pence. Because however much you think Trump is only in it for himself (and maybe Putin?), and that will either just chuck it in, or be impeached, be concerned. Because in all truth, the guy who would take over as President is even more crazy than him! The main reason of concern for us LGBT folk with Pence, his beloved belief in Gay Conversion Therapy.
And no, not as my title suggests, this doesnt mean making everyone gay, or even bisexual (which come on, might be fun? 😉 ), but just the opposite. Sorry, dear Mike, but being gay isnt an illness, its a way of life for a lot of people, but you dont want to hear that, do you?
Clearly Pence is in the pay of the electricity companies, because his main method of conversion seems to involve applying large amounts of electricity to various parts of the gay person’s anatomy, principally genitals, and brain. Yes, lovely! Well, fine, ECT research for my latest book might have been handy, but I dont think it would change me sexually all the same. Fine, strictly I’m asexual, but I always tend to say Bi on those boring forms that dont give that option. Thats right, I’m equally not interested in sex with either gender lol! But yes, I’m one of those in the camp that all ECT should be voluntary, and not forced on anyone just because of their sexual inclinations.
The main thing that fascinates me, and makes me wonder about Mr Pence so much, is the fact that all this GCT seems to only be focused on gay men, not lesbian women. Now is this because he secretly finds lesbians a turn on, as seemingly many men do (a recent popular porn search on the ‘bible belt’ states of the US was throwing up lesbian in the top 3 searches), or is this just a denial that wait for it…he’s gay? No, probably not, but those that shout the loudest are often trying to hide something, so…? 😉 Oh, did I mention, a high up GOP male has just been found to be sexting (ghastly term), boys under the age of consent, hmm?
No, dont worry hetro folk, I havent yet come up with a therapy to make everyone bisexual, nor am I working on one, but…?
But just in case by some miracle he reads this, or someone passes it on to him, let me just say, Mike Pence.
I will be in LA for 11 days in May, and in New England for 8 days in September. If you want to try and convert me away from that evil bisexuality of mine, with a dose of ECT, give me a call. You’re paying, and I’d prefer half voltage (I am bi, remember), but yes, if you want to pay for my belated book research, out of your very wealthy pockets, lets go for it!
So yes, America, feel free to impeach Trump, or send him home to Russia, or whatever, but please, send Pence with him! Before anyone says anything, no I am most definitely not a Clinton fan, wouldnt trust the woman as far as I could throw a plane, but compared to Trump…
Right, video time. What will happen when I build my bisexual converter system (I am joking!) for all you hetro folk
Though strictly for some of my readers, its already 2017 by the time I type this! But for me, 2016 has still got a few hours to go, so…
As someone elsewhere wrote, who knows what 2017 holds in store for us? Especially for those of us that arent to the right in politics, there are a couple of issues, either side of the pond to concern ourselves about. Over here, the big hot potato is Brexit, and though I’m far from a fan of the EU, I still think we’re better off in it, than out of it, but…The other big issue is the soon to be President of the US, who in all honesty, scares me. I hope he doesnt just think the nuclear red button is a toy to use, when he gets annoyed on Twitter, but anyway, nothing I can do!
For me, assuming good health, and good fortune, I have a few things planned out for the year, something else I suspect might be inevitable, and beyond that, who knows? At least I can go into 2017 feeling a lot better about life than I did at this time last year! But what little surprises will come along, good or bad, who knows?
The biggest thing I’m looking forward to, is my first flight formally as a woman! Now that is going to be special, and more fun because it will be back to LA. I could actually book it now, if I could decide on my planned options, as to which one to take. If anyone wants to give me £400, so I can take the best of both worlds, trip wise, would be handy. I know, I know…
The other trip officially planned at present is to New England, in September, to meet up with Kate again, and hopefully meet a couple of people for the first time. That trip, I’m also sort of hoping to get back to a brilliant hypnotist again, and let him grill Clara Johnson, my past life self, for far more details about her! Irony, the last time I flew to both these places, I had to change flights en route, next year, I will be able to do both as one direct flight!
Then we come to the thing that I’m not looking forward to, but am beginning to accept its going to have to happen. Both my knees seem to be deteriorating fast, and I feel the right knee especially, and in all truth, the left one as well, are going to have to be replaced with artificial joints at some point in the not too distant future. I’m hoping to put them off until after the 2 holidays, but will have to wait and see if I can keep going that long. Fingers are crossed! Yes, it is the resulting pain, and all the related stuff thats putting me off, but I guess its not going to get better, only worse, so…? But yes, if anyone knows a means of pain free surgery to get them done, let me know!
Beyond all that, who knows? I might get a modelling session in the US (I plan to get to the agency in LA in May), or even a theater role, or movie role, but I wont be holding my breath for any of those to actually happen. In truth, its about the only way I plan not to be in the same job at the end of the year, all things assuming they still want me by then!
I might actually get to some cricket in Ireland too, but not sure I can balance the finances, and holiday allowance for that, but we will see. I might even write a new book, but finding the time, and the inspiration for that, might be complex.
Yes, in addition to all this, I know something totally unexpected is likely to come along, but what that will be, who knows? Maybe that flying saucer will arrive, maybe that full working robot suit will, though I would say the chances of either are miniscule, to put it mildly, lol! In truth, just have to wait and see. The one thing I’m sure of, if I survive that long, I’ll reach my 59th birthday, wow! Yes, I feel that old!
Right, video time. Something not relating to the blog tonight, just for once. You know how you have those songs you shouldnt have a soft spot for, but do? Yes, I have one that seems apt at present.