Category Archives: Social Media

What do we need?

According to the video, its a great big melting pot (though not the group you’re expecting?), but there are times when I think even if humanity agreed on that issue, you’d still get some that would argue about the size, colour, and probably the gender of said pot! yes, its one of those days when I feel like screaming at some of the more extreme transgender activists, but then they’d probably say I dont count, that I’m Intersex! Seriously, to quote another song, you’d think the LGBT community would want to stick together, especially in these times, but that is far too easy for some.

Being honest, one of those trend things I always dread on Twitter, ironically, is Trans Ally. Why, because it generally means we are under attack from some right wing group, or it means that some poor ‘snowflake’ of a Transgender person has taken exception to the realities of life being pointed out to them. Today, thanks to the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party), we got a bit of both. Part 1 was care of 3 MSP’s posting on Social Media, complaining about the fact that Trans people should be treated to equal rights in Scotland. Not really much to ask, in truth, but too much for some, clearly! Most other MSP’s quickly came down on them, though I doubt it will change their views.

Part 2 relates to the forthcoming Census in Scotland. It seems the form will only give options for male, and female, and not any non binary options. Now, I’m elderly, and understand the practicalities of these things, and besides that, despite being Transgender, in Transition, my passport, and all other paperwork says I’m female, so I’m sorry, whenever, and wherever I’m asked my gender, I’m female, matter solved. Thing is, the younger generations (especially the newest ones) arent obliging, and expect everything in the world to fulfil their desires. Sorry, the real world isnt like that, and I dread to think what some of them would have done if they grown up 20 years ago, for example, and all people like myself went through.

So yes, the inevitable combustion blew up, and all sorts of insults, and threats have been thrown by said activists, at those not letting them have their way. Rattles from prams have nothing on them, lol. And of course in these days, with a bit of stirring thrown in by the Christian right, who think anyone who isnt in a traditional man and woman relationship, or desired to be in one, clashes with a group of young activists who think otherwise should be the case, it all gets explosive.

Dont get me wrong, I’m proud to declare as Transgender, though far too many of these young activists drive me to despair. As I also mentioned, strictly I’m Intersex, I have that man bit (that doesnt work sexually), but I also have the less visible womb too, so technically I’m as much a woman, as a man, anyway. And yes, today, in despair, and to some degree jokingly, I asked what I need to do physically to declare as Intersex, not Transgender, because then I might feel slightly more inclined to let the Trans Activists just get on with it, and I’ll just be a nice Intersex women instead. I guess its just down to declaring myself as Intersex, and then spending 10 minutes explaining it to each person who asks for details as to what that means, but there are times when I think that might still be easier! Not that getting the ‘bits bobbed’ actually solves that issue, as I still lived the first part of my life as a man, and the later part as a woman, but its tempting, assuming I am medically retired by the seizures (seems likely), but I’m still allowed the hormones, and surgery (no idea?) after them? If anyone knows that last answer, please let me know!

Of course, in an ideal world, we’d have a great big melting pot, and everyone of various race, gender, and sexuality could just get on with their lives without any of these issues! But fine, thats far too easy.

Video, no, not Blue Mink. I found a live performance by Boyzone, so lets go with that, as I cant find anything but mimed ones by Blue Mink

 

n social media, from those who think anything but a relationship between anyone but man and woman is a mortal sin, and that all LGBT people should go to hell, clashing with a bunch of young Trans people who think they should get special 

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That was unexpected

It seems that today, here in the UK, there was something happening other than another vote on Brexit. No, the result of that definitely wasnt unexpected, lol. As to the result of the blood tests I had earlier today, I cant comment on how expected they are, as I wont get them until next week. The one thing I hadnt quite expected, but had thought might be the case, was the fact I needed a taxi to get me to and from the surgery today (Ella was busy elsewhere) rather than being able to walk there, as I’ve done previously. Its a fair way (nearly a mile), but nothing I wouldnt have been able to do, with a bit of effort, pre seizures. Ah well, and another medical look that suggests going back to work is an unlikely option. Talking of which, got a lovely ‘get well’ card from work arrived this morning too.

Oh fine, getting to the point, the event today was a Transgender Health Conference, which was pretty much discussing just how young children should be able to begin to transition. Fine, so I knew by the age of 6 that trying to be a boy wasnt working out. Then again, I’m not strictly transgender, I’m intersex, as I already have bits belonging to both genders. But yes,for ease in explanation and stuff, I’m transgender. Thats hard enough to explain to some, let alone getting into the area of Intersex!

My personal opinion? I dont think anyone should, or should be expected to conform to a gender pre puberty. Hey, thats when hormones really kick in, and give good clues on the matter. But I know, convenience, and conforming with the gender game, cant wait that long, can we? Unlike her, I do think there are transgender people, but convincing me that someone transgender, not intersex really knows that, pre puberty, well…?

Anyway, someone was having their say on Twitter, along the lines of whichever ‘bits’ you’re born with, thats your gender. Anyway, feeling sore, having been stabbed with needles for blood earlier that morning, and feeling mischievous, I asked what happened if you were born with both sets of ‘bits’, like me? I got a nice surprise, she knew that made me intersex, not a ‘gender of convenience’ person as she sees many transgender people, and it pretty much came down to the fact that I should live in the gender I feel comfortable in, which of course I do.

No, we didnt go away following each other, one way, or both, on Twitter, but I guess it shows that if you act in an adult manner, pre conceptions can be proved wrong, I’m delighted to say.

Video time. I’m sure I must have used this before, but I wanted something with an apt lyric line, and its a much under rated Squeeze song, so…

PS Sunday is Transgender Day of Visibility, supported by both Transgender, and Intersex people, hopefully everywhere?

Does it matter if its black or white?

Despite what I might have had you thinking, there is actually something else happening on March 15th, other than my dancing girl moment at the Blackpool Film Festival. For far more people in the UK, the more important event that day is Comic Relief. Actually, I’m missing out on something fun related to that at work, as on the Wednesday, it seems its going to be one of those dress up opportunity days,  of the Superhero/heroine kind. Yes, I’ll miss it, as I’m off all week, due to it being the week of my Birthday, Cheltenham Racing Festival, and said Blackpool Film Festival, all of which work as good reasons for me not to be stuck at work that week. As it is, the only day I’ll see much (if any) of the racing is the Tuesday, as Wednesday is Flotation Tank day, Thursday afternoon, I’ll be travelling to Blackpool, and Friday, I’m sure I will be doing something!

Seeing as how I’m such a quiet, shy soul (stop laughing), I did have a couple of colleagues ask me who I would have dressed up as, if I’d been there, and I ended up coming up with a couple of fairly staid options, Supergirl, or Batgirl/woman. Fine, if I could have found a latex Bat…. outfit, it wouldnt necessarily have been that tame, but besides that. I might actually have been tempted to go for a female version of Iron Man, though the mask would make taking calls a bit of a challenge!

(PS If anyone wants to provide me with a Superheroine outfit to wear, and post a picture of me wearing it, to raise money for charity, let me know? Breast cancer charity preferred, but open to all suggestions)

Fine, for my International readers at least, let me explain the process behind Comic Relief. Its a televised charity campaign, designed to raise money for those less fortunate than ourselves in Africa. And in the days prior to Social Media mass advertising, it probably worked just fine. Trouble is, nowadays, as some might know, an awful lot of those so called celebrities (who I’ve never heard of) are more interested in making sure there are numerous pictures of them on Instagram, and other Social Media outlets, so that they can be seen in a positive light. I’m sure some of them actually do focus more on the work that needs to be done, than Social Media, but there are exceptions.

The one that came up earlier this week, was a woman called Stacey Dooley, who apparently won one of those celebrity TV dance shows, who seemed to be more concerned on getting her pictures up on Instagram, than doing any actual good deeds. And yes, according to some, they’re photo-shopped too! Yes, of the kind of picking up a cute African baby, having her picture taken with him, then put him down again! Under any normal circumstances, I would have just ignored her piece of ego boosting, but unfortunately, a black Labour MP couldnt do so. He complained about this piece of white celebrity ego massaging, and in truth, I couldnt argue with him on that! Thing is, it seems Comic Relief offered him the chance to go to Africa, and do a piece, both before, and after this, and he turned them down both times. Which probably shows he was only creating the row to raise publicity too!

So yes, in truth, I end up with no sympathy for either party, and wont be giving to Comic Relief, not that I have any money to do so, anyway. Maybe its a good thing I’m only a modest standard actress, and not a celebrity, lol?

Right, video time. What seemed a very apt Michael Jackson video, just maybe? This is the short version, and its still nearly 6 and a half minutes!

Living on Social Media ‘reality’

Yes, fine, I’d love to be able to tell you about the ton of Valentine cards that arrived today, but I’d be lying if I did. I did get a couple of nice touches from friends, from online sources, which I really appreciated, but beyond that…? No, was never expecting anything else in truth, though I was hoping that Rotwang, or Dr Frankenstein might offer me a visit to their labs, but…Kidding, fine!

Funnily enough, in the last couple of weeks, I did attract the interest of a guy on Fembot Central, but when he found out I was over 20 years older than him, not a word since. Ah well… Not even a nice robot suit out of the relationship, lol. No, it was nothing more than a few messages, so just jesting on that front.

Oh fine, social media, primarily Facebook. Its fair to say that out of my nearly 300 ‘friends’ on there, I certainly have never met half of them, probably a fair few more than that. But yes, things like vintage movie love, LGBT issues, cricket and the like, where I have a common cause, and they arent blatantly troll accounts, I tend to connect up. But some dont seem to live in the real world at times?

One of these people I’ve never met, and am never likely to meet (I believe connection is through an orange, wig wearing guy, that we dont have fond affections for) put up a picture that suggested he was getting high on drugs, a massive no no for me. He claimed he wasnt really, just pretending, but then again, who can tell? I did comment that I had played parts where I’d pretended to smoke (never have in my life), so it could be true. Anyway, earlier this evening, I visited Facebook, and he’d made a comment complaining that I hadnt ‘liked’ his picture, and that I needed to do so. Yes, the reason I hadnt done so, was simply the image it gave of condoning drug taking, and I dont do that.

So I saw it, I had 2 choices, I could explain why I didnt ‘like’ it, probably get a reply, but why the hell should I have to tell someone I dont even know why I didnt like their picture! So I’ve asked if he is serious about his complaint, and if he is, the ‘friendship’ wont last out the evening. If he has sense, given the way he’s worded it, he will say he wasnt, and I’ll give him another chance.

But sorry, all you Social Media freaks, unless you want to mind control me to do otherwise (and I’m open to offers!), its my choice whether I like, love, or whatever your posting, and not for you to decide if I should, or not? Fine?

Next year, to avoid this, someone needs to take me out for a Valentine dinner, lol! 😛

OK, video time. A little bit of Bon Jovi. Funnily enough, a group called Bon Giovi (one of those tribute bands) is playing at Brighouse in the near future. As someone once said, wouldnt it be amusing if the real star/band turned up, and no one knew? 😉

 

He’s not in love?

One hazard of modern day Facebook life, is the amount of fake spam accounts that try to be your friend. Mainly so they can then message you, and try and fleece you of your money, or try to sway your views on matters, often political nowadays, but thankfully this cynical old woman can now see through most of these pretty quickly.

The popular one nowadays seems to be the divorced, military serviceman, living somewhere in the US, generally Texas, or California, but not entirely limited to those states. The snags with these profiles is that because they just take stock photos off the internet, I would say that the chances of the 2-3 pictures looking like the same person, are fairly slim!

There are also the classic naming errors, so you get someone called King Peter, a military serviceman from Texas, because they’ve just taken the name from records, and not realized its giving the surname first! Even funnier when the uniform has an entirely different name on it.

The other faux pas I’ve noticed of late, is their lack of care with friends. You get a ‘divorced business person’ from Dallas, for example, who has 75% of his friends in Nigeria! I had another the other day, from a single, middle aged guy, supposedly in Los Angeles, but with one exception (other than me), all his friends were in Azerbaijan! Shame, because his name was possible, and the pictures matched, but… One of Donald’s, and Putin’s friends, I’m sure!

I know, all this is nothing new, part of life nowadays. But the one that amused me yesterday, at least for his honesty, was some guy messaging me from Pakistan. Basically his message stated that he was looking for me as a Bride, as he wanted to move to the United Kingdom. If his picture was right, he was far younger than me too! He didnt actually say that all he wanted was a marriage of convenience for a few months, then drift apart, and he stay in the country, but I’m sure that was his plan.

I was tempted to play him up, ask how much dowry I would be getting, and the like, but passed on it, deciding to be a good girl for once. I can only imagine his face when he discovered his bride came with an ‘added extra’, lol! Mind, I might have found out what life was like, under a Burqua, but too late now! Probably would have never seen him beyond getting the wedding banns, lol! There was actually a woman on my bus in Bradford last night, all I could see was her eyes (just), and yes, I did wonder what that was like, from the inside.

I guess the logic is that maybe we ‘mature’ single ladies might be desperate to find a man, so doing both of us a favor, but unluckily for him, I’m not. Whether, of course any other woman has fallen for his charms, who knows? I’m certain I wasnt the only one he wrote to!

I might be getting a change of lifestyle in the near future, but it wont be as a bride of convenience for someone from Pakistan. More in the future on that, probably! 😉

Right, video time. One of the great, classic songs of the 70’s, full length version. You might have worked out the title already!

 

 

Yet to have their finest hour?

I may not be the biggest fan of Social Media in the whole wide world, and I find Facebook, and to a lesser degree, Twitter, more than plenty for me. So when I had to do assessments for my current role, involving the use of social media, I had some fun working out what the headers were for some of them. Thankfully, most were blindingly obvious enough that I survived, but seriously, how many of these things do some folk have? Too many, clearly!

Anyway, last month, on Facebook, I saw the announcement of a Yorkshire Silent Film Festival, during July. Several of interest to me, but one of those I was interested in, was on an evening, well off the bus routes, so I passed on that. I know its summer, and stays light quite late, but even so, around 9.00 or so, a mile and a half walk, to get a bus back into town, no, sadly. Details…

http://www.yorkshiresilentfilm.com/

It left 2 that I could get to, and would enjoy, but 1 of which I’d already seen on the big screen, that being Pandora’s Box, starring Louise Brooks, showing in Leeds. The other, is actually next weekend, a little nearer to me, in Hebden Bridge, Metropolis. Now somewhere here (no, I cant locate it at this moment), I have a copy of the 80’s version, with the Moroder soundtrack, on DVD. That was lengthy, but since then, in about 2010, in deepest Argentina, they found, and added about another 30 minutes of film, that they had been missing to the version, it now has a running time of 148 minutes! And judging by the running time shown for the Hebden Bridge show, thats the version they’re showing! There are now just 2 small scenes missing, incredible, really.

Fine, the bad news, for me at least. Not unreasonably, its £10 to get in. Hey, I paid that for Pandora’s Box, so under any other circumstances, quite fair. Of course, my lack of finances make that an issue, though, assuming I get paid this week as planned, less so than before. Also, a friend has offered to pay my entry, so no real excuse. My other issue isnt so easy to solve, its called travel by public transport in the evening! Getting there isnt an issue, the show starts at 4.00, the film starts at 4.30, so I can do the travel in about 80 minutes, door to door. The snag is, getting home again! Getting out just after 7.00, you’re talking about 2 hours to get home! And yes, I need to eat at some point, which makes that, and the money even more complex, so…I’m sort of accepting its not going to happen!

Unless, someone reading this is going, or someone reading this, knows someone who is going, who can take my travel issue out of the equation, I’m going to have to pass, I think. If you can help, shout here, or on my Facebook page (Harlean Stephanie Carpenter), though tag me, if you do, as I dont do much there on work days. I know, wont happen, but no harm in trying. I can get there fine, its really the travel back to Huddersfield afterwards where I really need help!

Fine, the video. Well, which song has a lyric in the blog title, and heavily features Metropolis in the video? Yes, this one!

You’ve got a friend

OK, so lets take up from the last blog, seeing I’m not laden with new ideas tonight for a blog, and look at those other friends you get to know through social media, the truly special ones. And no, in this case, I’m discounting all those people you work/worked/live with, or those that its nice to have on your list, but arent bothered about if you meet them, or chat much with them at all. This is about those amazing people, who you discover through social media, who make you feel special.

Firstly, lets start with a couple that I met not through the ‘traditional’ forms of Social Media, but through a writers forum I belong to. One wonderful lady from New England, who not only have I talked to quite a bit online with, I’ve actually had 5 holidays with! Fine, as things stand, this year is going to break the streak, as I just cant see me having the money to do it, unless something miraculous happens, but fingers crossed. Oh, and from the same source, a truly wonderful man from northern New York State too. Yes, the one that invited me over to join his family for my first ever Thanksgiving Dinner!

Anyway, what happened, he found me a budget (relative, this was Boston!) place to stay in Boston, probably the most tranquil week of my life (no TV’s in lodgings, anywhere!), and we made plans that he would come down, during my stay, and we’d have a day together. Then Kate decided that she was going to spoil the visitor for a week around town, staying in a nearby hotel, and taking me out to see the sights. Just one slight snag, they both thought I was a genuine woman! Long story, going back to when I first appeared on the Forums, long before I transitioned, and when I appeared, everyone said Stephanie is here! So fine, I was female in all but transitioning sense, so I went with it, assuming I’d never meet anyone.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, a couple of weeks beforehand, I let them know the situation, in case they wanted to change their minds, as you can tell, neither did. I was told they would probably not have known, but I felt better that way. Yes, such a failure that Kate and I have gone on holiday 4 times since, James invited me over to Albany, and on 1 of those occasions, we met up for a day too, the three of us!

But fine, they’d known me through words, and things, for a while before we met. The next person I’m mentioning, I’d only spoken on Twitter, and Facebook to, before we arranged to meet up, for a guided tour of a small Kansas city. Yes, that one where Louise Brooks was born. The first words we actually spoke to each other were on my cell phone, just as we were arriving in Cherryvale!

Not only did Tina give us a guided tour of the place, she arranged for me to get into the Museum to look around, and also took us out to the lake nearby. We met only for a few hours, and will probably never meet again, but its something I will never forget, for sure.

Lastly, the current Facebook buddy I will probably never meet, is also from New York State. A bit south of James, but north of NYC. So what does she do, she’s always there with a friendly word, and a hi, each day, on Facebook. We throw a few more words about our lives, and stuff, and its great. So yes, its knowing she’ll be there that makes her special, thanks, Stacie.

So, what I’m saying is that those friends you’ve never met, but you know online, they can be so special too. Not everyone on Social Media is out to get you, so true!

The video, a little bit of Randy Newman, from Toy Story

Those ‘real’ people you get to know on Social Media

Yes, tonight’s blog is a tribute to those lovely people who contact you by social media, and email, that you’ve never heard from before, and are never likely to do so again, once they’ve dealt with you. Yes, all the variations of scammers.

Lets be honest, I can’t imagine there is anyone who hasn’t had one of those emails from West Africa (mainly Nigeria), offering you a large sum of money, if they help you to secrete money out of their country. I know, I think that was the first major scam that people fell for, mainly I suspect through pure greed. Yes, the only people who got rich out of it, were the scammers! To be honest, the only surprise is that people are still sending it out, and more frighteningly, people are still falling for it!

Not that I’m totally innocent of being scammed, they got me not so long ago, unfortunately. Yes, I got done, by my sad situation, of trying to find a job. Thankfully, it only cost me £100, not more, as many probably get stung for. Fine, the wages looked too good to be true, and so it proved. Unfortunately, it was only after I’d sent the money, and not heard back from them, that I did a little investigating. The website looked genuine, until you looked between the lines. All the favourable reviews were from Australian companies, which for a firm based in Somerset, would be a bit strange. And yes, when I put the phone number into Google, I found out the bad news, I’d been had! Why anyone wants to prey on the poorest, most desperate people, I have no idea, but it seems they do. Amusing thing was, when they tried to pull the same routine on me, just a week later.

Only consolation now, is that if its not an agency, or a major company, and they contact me direct, I look before I leap. Yes, 3 more have tried it on, but I havent bitten. One was a financial company, seemingly with a London phone number, but that was fake! Yes, if you ever see an 0203 phone number, its almost certainly a scam! Another was some Chinese company, a very weird email, but when you checked the email address out, warning signs come up! The third was supposedly a US company, but the snag was, the head office phone number was on the East Coast, but the company address was in Texas! Yes, fake!

But what brought out this blog, is a couple of things I saw on Facebook today. Firstly, a good friend of mine posted this on her page

scam photo

And yes, before you ask, Juice Plus is genuine, I’m told its very good, so if you want agent details, let me know, and I’ll put you in touch. Me, I might, if I had any money! But yes, what I love is the comment about how many people believe that a random stranger on Facebook wants to give them large sums of money, just for liking, and sharing their posting! Please, get real! These people are simply after large lists of names, and details, that they can use for other purposes.

The one today that made me realise just how many people fall for these things, was made clear, by someone trying to pretend to be Delta Airlines. Yes, a page on Facebook, opened this weekend, called Delta Air. 2 postings, one offering 950 free first class tickets, plus $500 to anyone sharing their page, and posting in the comments. The others was 15 $1500 vacations for groups of 10 people, plus $5000 each to spend. Yes, even if I didnt already know that Delta are just Delta, not Delta Air (I’m a silver frequent flyer, for heavens sake), 2 clicks gave away the fact its a scam. If nothing else, if you have to privately ask what Delta’s website is…

Scary bit, combine the 2 pages together, over 200,000 people had done as requested, and I’m sure their details will be passed for people to abuse! Fine, some had probably done both, but even so…Why do I suspect no one bothered to check through to their page on Facebook? Just saw the crazy offer, and…

Yes, fine, if someone offered me a million now, that could be genuine, I’d probably request to meet them personally to get the funds! So yes, Bill Gates, send me a flight ticket to Seattle, as well as the million pounds! Or anyone else, you get my drift?

Lastly, the video. Well, as a tribute to a non existent airline