So this is it, the last blog from LA for a considerable period of time at least, if ever again. I know, I could come back again, and may even need to come back again sooner than that, but being practical, I have many other places to see, some for the first time, some for repeat visits, so its going to be a while, if ever again. And yes, at my age, with the distance involved, and I’m sure the deterioration of my physical health, which is far from perfect even now, I’m sure I wont be able to do as much then, as I can now, anyway. I’m already suspecting that delights like walking up the long hill at Forest Lawn might be beyond me by then at least, but we will see.
To be fair, if you’d told me back in October ’15, that my next holiday would be back here, I would have laughed at you, but its happened. I guess I just wanted to show this city that I’d battled through everything that life had thrown at me, and got here again. But now thats done…?
In some ways today has been a light day, I havent actually left Hollywood. However, I spent a lot of the day on my feet, walking, so maybe not as light as all that? It was actually interesting going on a guided walking tour of Hollywood, where I knew the guide! I know, end of holiday, but in truth, it didnt matter, as I got to visit lots of old buildings that I’d never have got into myself. Oh fine, the one that amused me the most, has to be Musso and Frank’s! Yes, I finally got to go in there, if only for coffee, but at least I now know what it actually looks like from the inside. Of course, for works of fiction, thats a mere technicality, but at least I’ve made it there now. Yes, its every bit as impressive as I’d been led to believe. So if I ever want to use it in a story again lol…?
The other thing I’d already decided was where my last big meal in town would be, and though its not bargain basement, its cheaper than that legendary place. So I settled for the 50’s feel of Mels Diner, for one last time. After that, a couple of final, final goodbyes, at the star, and prints of Jean Harlow, before heading back to base. I do wish there was a star to the uncredited chorus girls/bit part actresses of the world, but no, there isnt, so I just said goodbye to Clara Johnson generally, as I turned off the Boulevard for the last time, on foot at least.
What can I say? You can take a woman out of Yorkshire, but you cant take Yorkshire out of a woman? Yes, I stopped off at a gorgeous, quirky, vintage clothing store on the way back, and saw the most gorgeous, silver flapper dress, really looked the part. Had my size too, but I didnt get it. Why? Because I cant justify spending $65 (plus tax, I’m sure) on a dress I have no idea when, or where I would ever wear it. So yes, I know I’ll regret it, but it stayed in the shop. I could get it in the morning (shop opens at 11, I have to be ready to go at 12.30, and its about 5 minutes walk), but I know I wont.
The only walk I’m planning at present to do in the morning, is a short trip around the block, so that I can walk a little way up Beachwood Drive, looking at the Hollywood sign, one more time. No, I’m not going as far as Verbena though, thats far too far for the short period of time I have left ‘in the sun’ of LA.
Yes, thats it for here. Pretty sure you’ll have to wait until Monday for the next blog, I’ll have too much catching up to do on Sunday for that.
The video. I’m surprised I havent used this Elaine Paige classic before, but seemingly I havent (well, on 1 blog at least), so lets use it now
Trying to work around other potential events, which now look like they’re not going to happen, I took the chance yesterday to visit Glendale, and most significantly Forest Lawn, where someone I have a bit of a link to is buried. Strictly, yes, I mean Jean Harlow, at rest there for now fast coming up on 80 years, but call it a feeling, or otherwise, whenever I visit, I just have this instinct that Clara Johnson may be at rest somewhere in those large grounds as well. As I say, no evidence, impossible given I dont know her married name, but just something calls me when I’m there, and though that might be Jean, I do just wonder. But anyway…
As for all the best laid plans…The 2 previous visits, I’d found a pleasant little fast food restaurant near to where I get off the bus, and therefore I planned to go there for lunch, before going on to pay my respects. Only snag is, sometime in the last 18 months or so, it closed! Anyway, I knew I’d seen a few shops on the road leading to Forest Lawn, in the opposite direction at the junction, so hoped I’d find something there. Yes, I did. Its not glamorous or anything, but I found one of these roadside buildings with a few tables, and took my chance. To be honest, under $9 around LA, for a burger, fries, and a drink is hard to find. To find it cooked to order at that price, even more so! If anyone around that area wants to know the name of it, shout, and I’ll work it out on Google Maps, if I can.
After that, I walked down to Forest Lawn, to see a stunning layout of US Flags in the grounds, for Memorial Day on Monday. I gather something is happening there then (think it was 1.00, but check?) to respect the occasion. Fine, not for the first time, I entered the actual grounds, hoping for 2 things to happen. Firstly, some signal from ‘above’ that would lead me to Clara’s resting place. The second, that the gate in the mausoleum where Jean is at rest would be open, as it was the first time I visited, but not the second.
No, neither happened! I didnt really expect the first, somehow, and no, the gate was very firmly shut across the passageway where Harlow rests. In truth, I think the first time was sheer fluke, whether that was divine intervention, or just Jean ‘fixing it’, I have no idea? But yes, shut is the norm, according to everything I’ve read online about the place.
So fine, I said a few words, from as close as I could get, and said my farewell, as I’m pretty sure this is my last visit here for a number of years, if ever again. And whether at that point my body will be capable of climbing the hill up to the mausoleum, I doubt it somehow! Also, at the top of the hill, before dropping down to the exit, I did the same to Clara, not knowing where she was in that huge area, or strictly, if she really is there, but job done.
Then finally, as I passed back those flags, all set up for Memorial Day, I paid my respects to all those brave military folk, who had died in our, and other generation’s service.
Today, really not much to tell, so lets throw it in briefly now. Really just a stroll up the Boulevard, to do some souvenir shopping, for me, and others at home. One gift I couldnt find, so tripped off to Universal Studios to get in the shop out there, which I knew would have it. If she reads this, she’ll know whose gift that was! Tomorrow, I get to walk along Hollywood Boulevard again, this time on a guided walk, run by a friend I know from Twitter, and have met before. Should be fun, especially as she knows the whole Harlow thing with me! I think I have the place planned for my last big meal in town, unless someone wants to treat me to Musso and Frank’s lol?
After that? No idea, in truth. I’ll sort of say goodbye to an old friend on the walk in the morning, so where I go after that, will think on it at the time. I will get out at some point Saturday morning, but wont get far, thats for sure. I have a feeling I might do a little walk along Beachwood, just for old time, and admire the famous sign, one last time, without annoying the locals!
Right, video time. Not that Jean could sing (well proven), and though Clara was a decent dancer, she was no star. Besides which, this group is from LA, and the song fits in from yesterday. So all in all…
Oh fine, I know, a lot of catching up to be done, so lets get things nicely up to date here.
The main event of note on Sunday was a trip along Sunset Boulevard, to a lovely bookshop serving the acting industry, for a series of short pieces written, and directed by women. No, before the men reading this start muttering about rabid feminists, a number of the actors reading were men! Though fine, one of the funniest was a spoof about make up just for lesbians, and if you werent one already, and you wore it, well, you might soon be one! Met up again with some delightful ladies I met just over 2 years ago, had a great time.
Due to some good news, I had to start changing plans on my days out, more on the news, probably in next blog. So I headed out to one of my favorite coastal places around here, Pacific Palisades. Its funny, I’d normally groan at the thought of nearly 90 minutes on a bus, without comfy seats, but for this route, especially the last part, I can make an exception. Had a nice stroll around, though I passed on walking down the canyon to the beach, because I knew I’d see the ocean again, plus you limit your bus options back, if you do that. But yes, I’m going to miss that place.
Known now as the day that if anything could go wrong, it would. A lovely man I know purchased me a nice seat for the Dodgers game that evening, snag was, I had to get the ticket printed off, and obviously my apartment doesnt have a printer, and I dont have a smart phone, so…I walked to a Fedex office in town, got on their internet, to grab the email, print off the ticket, and… Hotmail decided it was suspicious activity, and so wanted me to get a code sent to another email address. Fine, except that when I tried to get into that box, to get the code, it wouldnt let me in, and wanted to send a code to the other address it wouldnt let me into!
Fortunately, he’d sent a copy of it to my Facebook messenger page, assuming I could save it on my smart phone which I dont have, but I printed that off, and it got me into the game. Snag was, I didnt notice at the time, it didnt give all the details of my seat number! More on that later…
Finally, about an hour later than planned, I headed to Venice, the California one! You know, with the beach, and the muscles, and…a certain statue! Back in 1922, a shy(?) student named Myrna Williams posed for a statue that was to stand outside the high school. Oh, you might know her by her acting name, Myrna Loy! Unfortunately, with everything, I arrived in the school lunch hour, which made getting to her trickier that it might have been if the students had been in class. Anyway, having given my regards to her, I set off back to the bus stop, to get a bus to the beach, and waited…and waited…and waited. In the end, 2 buses more or less came along together!
After a stroll along the boardwalk, I set off to find the muscle, on the beach. Yes, it might be lively at weekends, but on a Tuesday afternoon, grand total of 3 guys doing their thing! Fine, it was something, but…I suspect a weekend visit is more, err, fruitful in that sense?
Given that I needed to get back at a reasonable hour to get to the Dodgers game, I set off to get home, which should have taken 90 minutes max! Actually took just over 2 hours. Not traffic mainly, just crazy passengers delaying things! Which meant I ended up leaving here late, hitting the crowds trying to get into the stadium, and then…
I normally sit up ‘in the Gods’ at baseball games. Yes, your view is limited, but the seats are cheap! And when you’re on a budget… Last night, I was down at field level, which is a long way down from the entry area at Dodgers stadium. No idea where I was going, took the wrong turn, got there eventually, though I missed the first half of the first innings, ah well…Yes, thats when I found out my ticket didnt actually give seat details. Anyway, at the second attempt, I found a seat no one else wanted, and watched most of the game.
Yes, one of those games that goes on forever, I left at the 11th innings mark, and headed for the buses back into town, to head home. Unfortunately, despite the bus being very full, the driver wasnt keen on leaving while the game was still going on. Eventually he did, before the Dodgers finally won, after 13 innings! Snag was, there were a lot of very drunk, very loud youngsters on the bus, screaming and shouting at regular intervals, but eventually we arrived at Union Station, and… There is meant to be a train at that time of night, every 20 minutes. 25 minutes after arriving on the platform, a train finally turned up! Given there were already people waiting, I would guess, at least 30 minutes, if not more, after the previous one.
I’ll save today, as this is far too long already! I need to thank Sarah for finding this apt video for me. Looks like Madonna was trying to portray a few golden age actresses, but warning, it is Madonna, and some of it might not be suitable for children, just saying…
Though I must admit Harlow, Johnson and Brooks could very easily sound like one!
In truth, there are very few places left in Hollywood that you could trace back to their days in town, but yesterday I managed to visit two of them, though one is no longer used for the purpose that they knew it for. Oh, and I passed a couple of others too, the Chinese theater, and Musso and Frank’s being the famous ones.
I always planned to visit the Hollywood Museum on this trip, seeing they’ve got a special Jean Harlow display this summer, and yes, its really good, if you get the chance, which I suspect a lot of my readers wont! Back then of course, this was the Max Factor building, the man behind the movie make up of many famous actresses, and judging by the pictures there, a few chorus line dancers too! Its a well known fact that Harlow would have gone there, and ‘supposedly’ thats where the platinum blonde look was created. That I’ll question, but anyway…? Kept going, quite possibly. Created, hmm?
In truth, I always assumed that Factor only did the make up for the stars, but yesterday I saw a few pictures of chorus line dancers, waiting their turn to be made up by him, and thoughts turned to Clara. Was she one of them, who knows? Did she at some point have her make up done by Factor, seemingly almost certainly. One thing is for sure, they wouldnt recognize the building today. Not just because of the change of nature of the building, it lost its front seemingly when Highland Avenue was widened.
There is one seriously wonderful helmet type thing, that was seemingly used to measure imperfections in faces, which I would love to have used on me, but it would find plenty of imperfections lol.
Oh, one fun moment, signing the visitors book in my name, especially given who the main display was about, though I doubt they even look!
The evening was spent in the company of the last of our trio, Louise Brooks, at the Egyptian Theater, which is 5 years short of its centenary! I wonder if you’d told Grauman that, back in 1922, whether he would have believed you that it would happen? Looks very different in places now, to then of course, but so much remains, though mainly restored, but all the same…
I found out shortly before coming here, that there were 2 of her films on last night there, neither of which I’d seen before, beyond glimpses of one. Beggars Of Life is probably one of the better known Paramount ones that survives, with ironically Louise playing a girl pretending to be a boy. Some of the shots were amazing, especially when you think there was no CGI back then!
The other was the second film she made in Germany, Diary Of A Lost Girl. I’d seen brief scenes from this, but that was it. Personally, for all the fuss made about Pandoras Box, I found this the far superior movie. The cast seems stronger, in deeper roles, and benefits from that. In modern eyes, its amazing how much censorship was used on this film originally in US (Yes, I saw a restored version), as some of it is daring, but not extreme. But its not hard to imagine that in 1929, things were seen very differently to that. Oh, and the ending is delightful.
So yes, yesterday was a look back to Old Hollywood for me, this afternoon I’m off to see some new, at a female playwright festival. Just watching, nothing more, unless…? No, I doubt it somehow! More on that in next blog, I suspect.
The video. Well, I couldnt think of anything more apt on a California Sunday Morning. Cant believe there will be many who know this already.
Fine, today I proved to myself why I dont bet, and its because I’m a lousy gambler. More on that shortly.
Yesterday, the first target was to turn my little phone into an active one, by getting its umpteenth new Sim card over the years. Basically, they last 90 days, and apart from 2 occasions, everytime I travel to the US, I need a new one. And so, choices, choices…
Because I wanted to go back to Pasadena at some point on the holiday, and there was an AT&T store near the metro station there, I went over there to do it. I could have done it locally, but it would have needed a fair walk, so fine, excuse made. Pasadena is a lovely place to visit, except for this weekend, when I gather it will be chaos there, with pop concerts, museum tours, and roadworks, all adding to the racing at Santa Anita, so yes, glad its done.
After finishing there, I did the opposite to the Pet Shop Boys, and went East. The line has been extended eastwards to Azusa, so I took a chance to travel on it. A bite of lunch, then back to Pasadena for the bus journey home. Apart from 4 people each travelling just one stop (one may have had health issues, the other 3 definitely didnt), it was a fairly dull affair.
This morning is when I gambled, and got it wrong. I walked down to the Metro station to get a train downtown, to find that an ‘every 10-12 minute service’ wouldnt be along for 21 minutes! So fine, I thought, I’ll walk down, get the bus to Santa Monica, and get the train back. Yes, another new line I wanted to go on. Oh fine, I picked the crazy bus, clearly! So yes, with all the delays with those folk, I could have waited over 20 minutes for the train downtown, gone back out to Santa Monica, and still have been quicker!
I did my stroll around town, stopping off for a coffee, before heading to the biggest Santa Monica landmark, the pier! Which supposedly is the end of Route 66, halfway down its length, according to the sign. I strolled to the bottom, said my close up farewell to the Pacific, in case I dont go down there at Pacific Palisades, though I will see it as I fly out, but thats not the same thing. Lunch on the pier, then finally I got that train I could not miss, back to LA.
In truth the most memorable bit of the journey was 2 teenagers being ‘tough’ until some guy actually stood up to them, and then they quietened down! They had reminded me why I’m not a fan of modern music at least!
Tomorrow evening, is dress up time, as I’m off to the movies at the Egyptian Theater. I know, I dont have to, especially nowadays, but it will be fun to put a dress on, so I will. Sunday afternoon, a Women in Media event, so a chance to try and sell my talents, maybe? Other than that, I’ll see what the morning brings!
I’ve given a couple of clues to the video, so hopefully you know what it is, without looking!
I will start with a word of warning for those shrewdies who read both blogs, that for the next 10 days or so, unless something, err, weird happens, that I dont want ‘vanilla’ folk to know about, both blogs will be the same while away. The chances of that happening, very slim, I would say!
Right, before we get to the LA stuff for the next 10 days or so, lets start off somewhere cooler, Greenland! Because of the route to fly to the West Coast of the US being a more northerly one, than when heading for the East Coast, I had the privilege of flying over the southern section of Greenland yesterday. To see all those glaciers, and the like, perfectly white, even at this time of year, truly something. Fine, the glare off the ice eventually got too much, but you get my drift? And no, no sign of humanity whatsoever.
The sad thing is, 100 years from now, or possibly even less, people just wont get that view, unless climate change gets stopped. No, I’m not getting all political about it, so please dont either, just stating a fact. Besides which, unless I’ve been turned into some sort of robot that lives forever, I wont be around to know, or care by then, anyway. All the same, I’m glad I got to see it once, in my life.
Right, most of the rest of the flight was nothing exciting, until we’re about to pull on to a gate at Los Angeles, about 5 minutes early. Then we stop, and wait. According to the pilot, he was given the wrong gate number, and we had to be towed back out, and then do a lengthy journey to where we should have been. Then they could only get the entry portal thing to connect to the door partway down the plane, so more delay. So fine, now 35 minutes late, finally off the plane.
Now in the past, I’d been told that the first time you use a passport, even with ESTA, you have to go through the full process. Yes, my first time, with new name. No, I get directed to the ESTA kiosks, which rejected me, as I thought it would. So finally, into the standard queues, and wait, and wait…in truth, about an hour from entry, to getting through Immigration, not awful, given everything.
Then finally, get the case, and get met by a huge queue to leave the building. I have no idea what was going on, because all of a sudden the queue went from tortoise pace, to quick, and finally through.Handing over receipts to allow you in, but why this suddenly sped up, no idea?
Ah, the shuttle. I finally got there about 5.00, and she said one would be along shortly. 20 minutes later…and then we did a lap of the airport terminals, slowly, being rush hour, so finally got out of there about 5.45. We then had a nice guy in the shuttle, who knew where he wanted to go, but had no idea where that was. And the shuttle drivers GPS seemingly didnt want to help either! But anyway, finally about 7.15, I got here.
Yes, apartment is nice, and all I need. Bed is very comfortable too. TV is being moody, but landlord says he can solve that today, so…not that I want it much, beyond baseball, but… First thing today, get the phone active, then head out, probably Pasadena, but dont quote me on that. And that, dear readers, is about it at present. Been a lot of helicopters flying overhead this morning, so who told them the actual Jean Harlow is staying here, no idea, lol?
Right, finally, the video. What I would like to say to those amazing glaciers in Greenland, in truth. Though one or two might think its a subtle hint to a woman in Bailiff Bridge, but anyway…No!
Oh fine, I’m lying, I only wish I had known I was a woman all along, but anyway…Yes, the clues were there from an early age, but how was I to know?
But yes, one thing I’ve known for 18 months at least, is that at some point, I’d complete the full circle, and fly somewhere on a passport that said I was a woman, and tomorrow is that day. I know, no one at the airport is even going to realize how special that moment is to me, because to them, I’ll just be another woman checking in, going through passport control, and other stuff.
So after that, I’ll have had the full set, a male passport while ‘living’ as a man, a male passport when I’d transitioned in every way except the passport, and now, finally, the full female self. And a different name for each too!
I know, its silly, because everything in life is equally important, but for a traveller like me, this passport, and the chance to use it, is just so special, all the same. But yes, that moment when I will do the last thing I did as a man, but never as a woman according to the legal niceties, has only a few hours to go now, cant wait.
So, if you’re flying through Terminal 1 at Manchester Airport tomorrow, and see a very happy old lady, there’s a fair chance it will be me!
I will be amazed if anyone has heard tonights video before, unless like me, you’re a big Rocky Sharpe fan. But yes, the clue is in the blog title
Because as they always say about Hollywood, you just never know! Granted, given that isnt the Golden Age any more, the vision of being whisked off the streets of Hollywood, and becoming a movie star are far slimmer than they used to be. Even more so when you’re fast heading towards 60! But fine, miracles might happen…stop laughing!
Well, for the first time in about 18 months, my nails have been ‘painted’ (gel, actually), my brows have been removed again, and I wont be doing a Julia Roberts if I do wear a sleveless dress either! Hopefully some will get that comment at least? And despite a shoulder that seems determined to join my long list of less than perfectly functioning joints, my body has hopefully been massaged into a state where it can survive a near 11 hour flight. Definitely my longest since 2003 (London – Seattle), and maybe the longest, as I’m guessing flights might be slightly faster by now? Anyway…
And yes, I will be the ‘platinum blonde’ after tomorrow morning, when I get my hair done as well. Though in truth, I’m more suitable for Mama Jean, than Baby Jean material nowadays lol. But actually, today, the subject seems to have been about an actress even closer to my heart than Jean Harlow, though far less famous. Yes, Clara Johnson! Discussed her this afternoon while having my body seen to, which started off with asking if I planned to be regressed again to find out more (Yes, definitely, given the chance) and just went on from there. The head massage part, I did wonder if she was trying to get Clara to come out in my mind, there and then!
This morning, she came up, through talking about another actress of that era, and one I plan to see a statue of, while away, Myrna Loy. Yes, the one at Venice High School. Must see it once, for sure.
Unfortunately, for minor actresses (and chorus line dancers) in the late 20’s, and early 30’s, its hard to find much details, as extras, and chorus line girls didnt get credited, unless they made it later, and as she never did…
So fine, at present, I know…
She was born in Oklahoma in 1905. She moved to LA, from Texas in 1925. She was resident in LA in 1930, and declared her career as an actress on the census form that year, living in town with her brother. What happened to her parents, no idea? 1937, her one actual credit in a movie, in an uncredited role in Thin Ice, and thats definite, care of census details, and IMDB for that movie role.
On top of that, apparantly stated in regression, she was already working as a bit part actress by 1928, got married in the late 30’s, had a daughter, and judging by the impression she gave, I would say, died of lung cancer at some point in the early, to mid 50’s. Of course, the marriage makes things impossible to trace, without going through all marriage records for the area, assuming it didnt happen elsewhere. Pretty sure it would have been local, but…
I know this is the wildest question, but if anyone has any idea who she is in Thin Ice, which I guess is unlikely, as there were numerous uncredited roles in that movie, let me know. Sadly I dont know anyone at Fox, so I doubt I could dive into their archives, even if they go back that far! Must have been a contract, a pass picture, or something? Also, if anyone knows someone who could get me back into the room with the LA census records, and/or marriage records for that era, please let me know. If nothing else, the chance to pay my respects, before I left town, would be so precious.
So yes, in a sense, I want to get a message to Clara Johnson to hold on, because I’m still seeking her, wherever she may be resting. Yes, I’ve stood in Jean’s ‘footsteps’ in Kansas City station, I’d love to stand in Clara’s, in Hollywood. Yes, I know…
The video is all about getting that message out, though actually I will have 10 days, and my life wont be through, if its in vain, as I suspect it will be. Unless…?
So yes, its official now, I’m on an extended break, that just happens to include 10 days in an apartment in Hollywood. So yes, planning, and plotting is very much under way. I now at least have 1 definite booking, a walking tour of Hollywood, on my last full day in town. Yes, I know, not the best timing, but its only happening once a month, and yes, its got to be done, as I know the lady acting as the guide, not only through Twitter, which is where I first met her, but also in real life, given we toured the Hollywood Museum together, on my first trip across, just over 2 years ago. Since then she’s got married, become a mother, and yes, I’m proud of her for that.
The Brooks movies mentioned earlier in the week are almost settled, but technically not definite, due to my regular issue with US websites, of that unless you, and more importantly, your credit card have a zip code, they’re impossible to use on their site. So now I cant do anything until after I’ve got there, so just having to hope its not a sell out, as I will be annoyed if it is. Fingers crossed, it is the Egyptian Theater, it is quite large, but… Of course I have no idea if UK websites are equally bad for users outside of the UK, so forgive my grumbles if they are.
I’ve also been trying to work out when Clayton Kershaw will be pitching for the Dodgers while there, based on the 5 pitcher rota teams use. Having pitched last night (a win), and counting forward, it looks like I’m going on the 23rd. But yes, I’ll wait nearer the time, and will probably be an ‘on the day’ purchase at the stadium, though at what I can afford to pay, I’ll be so far from Kershaw that I would see him better on TV lol! Oh, and if anyone could arrange a meet with Vin Scully, I would be thrilled, schoolgirl like!
Talking of which… On my 2 previous trips to LA, I’ve tried both times to get tickets to see Jimmy Kimmel recording his show, with no success. It might be that the people controlling the tickets see a UK address, and dont let me have them accordingly, or I might just have been unlucky? Well, this time, I’ve changed my profile to fit the zip code of my apartment, and applied several times over for both him, and James Corden, so fingers crossed I get to see one of them at least.
Of course, in an ideal world, I’d be the one being interviewed about transgender diversity issues, and trying to get an acting break, but fine, I’ll settle for being part of the audience, I guess? Yes, you never know, but I suspect pigs flying are more likely!
Oh, and finally, I’ve got a lot of the packing done. Probably more dresses than I will possibly need unless something amazing happens, but better safe than sorry. Still got room in the case for more, but mustnt go too mad, as I really shouldnt need more, for 10 days, and I’m sure I will bring more stuff back with me anyway. Green Card, or working visa would be handy lol, but cant see it!
Right, video. This time of year, its pretty fair to say the sun shines most days in LA. Thankfully, the winter was very wet, solved a lot of drought issues, if not all of them. Oh, and I might shine in a TV audience at least. Oh, and how does this guy still look so good?
Now, just for once I’m going to get serious here. I know, I’ll soon get over that, but for better, or worse, thats what some people think will happen with this issue, and to some degree, they’re wrong. In fact to a large degree, but anyway… Oh, in case you were wondering, and I suspect that all readers outside the UK, and some inside the UK wouldnt know, this week is Mental Health Awareness Week.
I’d love to say that my first contact with a Mental Health unit was when I began transitioning, because back in 2004, when that happened, the only way you could start to transition was with a visit to such, and for want of a better term, be declared mentally ill, because you felt you had the body of the wrong gender. Yes, seriously, just 13 years ago! In truth, I have no idea if that rule still stands, and if not, when it was stopped, so please dont ask! Try Google, lol!
I think in hindsight, its not hard to see now, that the serious depression issues I had in the 90’s did relate to the whole transgender issue. No, I didnt know that was it back then, but after that, it hasnt been hard to put two and two together, and actually make four about it! And yes, its far to say that I was still battling depression all the way up until 2010, when I finally took the first real steps to transition, and lived life as I should have done for more than 50 years! I wouldnt say things are perfect, even now, though its pretty much so, all the same. A lot of stress doesnt help, so yes, the 15 months or so without a job didnt help, but I’ve fought back now, hopefully to a good point.
The thing is, for some people, when you talk about mental health issues, they think back to the asylums, and the ‘crazies’ that used to live in those places. For better, for worse, and I generally believe for worse, those places are pretty much gone now. Medications, and treatments are a lot better, but the opportunity for some to just get away from the cruel world, for a short time, or longer, well its fair to say some still need it.
But most issues nowadays come down to depression, stress, and other related illnesses brought on by modern life. Hopefully minor, but sadly some more serious, but yes, they definitely exist. For me, the worst is hopefully in the past, but for others, not so. And yes, I guess I’ve looked into it more than most, mainly since 2004, but I saw some of the other side of it before then. Anyway, one of the related things happening at work, is the instigation of more mental health first aiders at work, and yes, I will be applying for such a role. Its not as a medical position, more of being someone there to aid, and support those who need it, like I needed it in the past, when this sort of role didnt exist.
But let me just say, that trained or otherwise, if you see someone feeling really down, and its safe to do so, talk to them, try to help them if you can, or set them in the right direction to get help, just saying…
I have in the past, tried to bring videos of groups to peoples attention that you might have missed, and tonight is one of them. Not their greatest hit, by any stretch of the imagination, but its apt, in a sense, for tonight.
And yes, if you want an ugly wife, I am available lol! 😛