Medical research positions, hmm?

Yes, tomorrow, I’m back in the role of job hunting again, with a pair of ‘proper’ interviews, in other words, ones where you are in the same room as the interviewer, not talking to someone down a phone. Yes, I had one of those on Monday, and didnt get any further. I know, I know, its the modern trend, but I hate them, and combined with the jet lag, ah well!

There is another local job where the people tried to get hold of me while I was away, who are meant to be getting back to me, but I’m still waiting.

To be honest, in hindsight, one of them probably doesnt have a lot going for it, for me. It said it was in Wakefield city centre (it isnt), and though they say its not cold call selling, its certainly tepid call selling at best, to me. People who have a certain amount of free insurance,, to see if they want to take out more. And looking at the transport situation, it might be fun getting to and from work anyway. So I will probably go tomorrow (what the hell), but cant see it as a long term option in all honesty.

The other one, in Leeds, appeals to me far more. As you might have gathered from the title, its a medical research company, and would involve calling people who have applied to take part in trials, to see if they are suitable, and if so, book them in for the courses. Should be quite interesting, and something very different to anything I’ve done up till now.

Of course, when you’ve written as much mind control, and sci-fi stuff as I have, the whole meaning of the term, medical research, can be looked at in a very different way! And given that I have got a 2 hour window, for a job interview, I’m wondering if they do any research on the job applicants! Might be a way of ensuring you get the perfect staff, who never want to leave, but anyway…lol! OK, fine, you’re right, I’d love every minute of it if they did, and I’m sure I would after the ‘research’ had been done on me!

So yes, the black dress will be coming out tomorrow, though it will be low heels, not the high heels, given how long the day will be, and the amount of walking I might have to do. I’m sure I wont be in a silver, metallic body suit by the end of the day, but a girl can fantasise, cant she? 😉 Brainwashed, obedient call centre drone/hive mind, too much to hope for!

Still, if they set me up in a pod like this, I might not be trying to escape!

transformation chamber

The video, oh I should be so lucky that this is the kind of research involved, on me at least

Other than that, sign on at the Job Centre on Friday morning, as my notice period ends on Sunday, so I can now (hopefully not for long) claim job seekers allowance. Beyond that, there is a ‘before’ and ‘after’ modelling thing at a Salon Foundation over in Bradford on Friday afternoon I’m tempted by, but I’m not sure how long the Job Centre thing will take, so tricky to commit to.

But if I’m making bleeping noises the next time I’m on here… 😉

Goodbye to Hollywood

As promised, the tale of the last 2 days of the holiday, though strictly, I didnt get back here until this morning, but anyway…

Friday, there was a march in Los Angeles, to mark the centenary of the Armenian genocide in Turkey, so the bus services around town were a bit chaotic, to say the least. So, I decided I was going to go down town by Metro, and see what central L.A looked like. I did consider going further afield, but because I wanted to have pretty much everything packed before I went out Friday evening, I took the easy option. Nice, but nothing exciting. I then turned around, headed back to Hollywood, and a late lunch, my last big meal in town. So yes, I ended up back at that nice Italian restaurant, eating pizza, and admiring the Hollywood sign, which was a good way to end things. After that, back along the boulevard, said goodbye to Jean’s prints at the Chinese Theatre, and at her star, then back to base.

Then, with all I could pack, packed, I headed out for a movie, and some networking. A wonderful pair of ladies I git to know through Twitter, invited me to their birthday party, and movie, and to do a little networking beforehand. So, there I was, in my grey, clingy dress, selling myself to other folk. Yes, it was fun, and even if I get no more out of it than a couple of book sales, it will have been worth it. The movie was good fun, Dance, Girl, Dance, starring a young Lucille Ball, and Maureen O’Hara, and I had a wonderful time.

I got back late, only to discover that Prime Time had let me know my shuttle would be arriving 30 minutes earlier than expected. So, a very early morning on Saturday, just as well, as the shuttle showed up 10 minutes before the revised time! Which then drove down Hollywood Boulevard, so I said goodbye to Jean again.

The flights back were fine, and in all honesty, nothing really to tell. Tomorrow, I get back to normal, a bit of job hunting, a phone interview, and other general things. Thursday, two actual job interviews, face to face, though one of those has yet to send me minor details, like where I’m going, so…rolls eyes. The other thing I need to do is arrange to sign on at the Job Centre (or whatever its called nowadays), as my notice period payment runs out next Sunday, so then I will officially be unemployed!

And thats it! The few who know about both blogs will get 2 different pieces, the rest of you, depends which side of the fence you fall lol!

The video, well, it almost matches that film title

The highlight, well, I guess it has to be Forest Lawn, doesnt it? 😉

I got to Beverly Hills…eventually

Yesterday morning, I set off with the intention of heading for Beverly Hills, to walk up and down the Rodeo Drive area, and not buy anything more than a coffee! Ah well, best laid plans…

You see, what I did with Google maps, is not specify Rodeo Drive, but just a general hit on Beverly Hills. So back it came, catch the bus at the stop just down the hill from here, and a piece of cake. Yes, that bus did pass through Beverly Hills, but nowhere near where I wanted to be! But rather than admit defeat, or turn around, I stayed on the bus for the ride, and the scenery. Just when I was gasping for a drink, and a bit of lunch, we pull into a shopping centre, I had no idea where. Soon found out, Pacific Palisades, in fact.

Nice lunch, then ran into a lovely old man who tried to sell me some kind of exercise equipment, in his shop, when I went walk about, who I had a lovely chat with, but no sale made. Then, just as I was considering getting back home, I spotted this sign for a massage parlour, charging very reasonable rates. So fine, by the time you add on the ‘compulsory’ 15% tip over here, not so cheap, but anyway… Despite the more luxurious seats when flying out here, the length of the flights, plus the wrenching the knee took when running for that plane in Atlanta, well, I was a bit stiff. Note I said, was. I thought Linda was good, but compared to the lady who worked on me yesterday, oh wow!

So today, with a more accurate routing from Google Maps, I tried again. Got there fine, eventually, due to road works on Wilshire Boulevard (building metro extension, or something) slowing things down a lot. Yes, it was fun walking around the area, especially given that all of Jean’s homes were in that area, though not down town, as I was. Saw a gorgeous dress in a boutique, she would have loved, but I didnt want to know the price!

After that, I headed back into town, and headed out to the Universal Studios lot. No, I did not pay $95 to go where the rides are, nothing of interest to me (at my age) in there. But I had a look round the City Walk shops, before heading back into town, and did my souvenir shopping. Before you ask, and I rip your head off, no, there is very little Golden Age related stuff, Monroe (and Betty Boop, if she counts?) being about the only non modern stars you can find much for. So I’ve got 3 movie stills (Harlow, West, and Brooks), but thats it!

Tomorrow, daytime, not sure. I had an idea of going down to Long Beach, on the Metro, but then realised its quite a trip, and I pretty much have to have everything I can pack, packed before I go out tomorrow evening, as I have an early start on Saturday. Yes, sadly, the holiday is almost over. 😦 I am out tomorrow evening, a ‘Women In Media’ evening, and a film from 1940, but its going to be a latish night, so…ah well, I’ll catch up on sleep Sunday, and Monday! So just saying, this is your last Hollywood blog, the tale of tomorrow, and Saturday will get posted at some point after I get back.

The video, well, when you mention Beverly Hills, this TV theme tune comes instantly to mind!

A lot of Jean, a little bit of Clara, and Santa Monica

But before you under think this through, that isnt the video! 😛 The video, well, thats for today, so…lets take one step back, for now.

I’d read online, that getting much joy out of a visit to Forest Lawn, at Glendale, was a rare thing. So, when I set out yesterday morning to head there, I was sort of saying to myself, I’ll get as close to Jean as I can, and pay my respects from that point.

The moment I enter the grounds, I start to wonder how recent that bad posting was? Because the Great Mausoleum was decently signposted, and to be honest, beyond one sign respectfully saying not to take photos, I was welcomed in with a smile. Inside, there were no clues as to who was where, but I’d checked a map beforehand (on this less than cheery report), so I had a rough idea which direction to turn. Lo, and behold, the right aisle, and the gate is open, I can walk down it. And yes, there she was, more or less at the far end, resting peacefully (well I assume so) lay Jean Harlow, hidden from view, in an impressive casket, with the words ‘Our Baby’ written on it, and I was stood about 10 feet away. And yes, I stayed there for about 30 minutes or so, ‘talking’ to her, and security walked by, and were fine!

So alright, I thought this was the highlight of my day, my holiday, and everything else, and then I came back into town. The chance to look at historical censuses of Los Angeles, the sign said. I went for 1930, because I had this feeling that ‘someone’ would be there, and I was right. Yes, of course Jean Harlow was there, I’m sure, but thats not who I was looking for.

And with a computer search engine, there she was. Clara E Johnson, born in Texas in 1906, moved to LA in 1925, profession, actress! Yes, my previous life! The only other member of the family with her seemed to be a younger brother, Frank, born in 1912. What happened to her parents, no idea. Might still have been in Texas, might have been dead, it didnt say.

No, I couldnt find her in a check on the 1940 one, but according to my regression, she was married by then, so would have a different surname, of course. So I still dont know a lot more about her, but my knowledge has grown. Clearly I cant track her actual death date, for the same reason.

If the Harlow moment was wow, then this was Wow!

After that, today was a gentle breeze, took a trip down to Santa Monica by bus, saw the beach, and the ocean. A lovely day, slightly cooler (not complaining), but still pleasantly warm.

Tomorrow, the plan is to go down to Beverly Hills for a while. No, I’m not planning on seeing any of Jean’s former homes, though 2 of them are not that far off the bus route, so that plan might change. Unfortunately the one I’d really love to see, the home she shared with Paul Bern, is 3.5 miles from the nearest bus stop, and I’m not doing a 7 mile round walk, just to see it from the outside!

As I said, the video, well it mentions Santa Monica (Boulevard) in the song, so…

Dodgers, a party, 40’s style, and an afternoon at the museum

OK, and now for part 2, the long weekend, Friday through today.

Friday started off with a tour of the city, on one of those open air tourist bus things. Alright, all the stars homes they were taking you to see were the modern ones, not those from the golden era, but lets face it, I’m the awkward customer on that front. As one of the guys doing the trade said to me today, there are people on those trips who dont know who Eddie Murphy was, let alone Jean Harlow, Clara Bow and Myrna Loy!

But it enabled me to get a good view of the Hollywood sign, to be able to get down to Beverly Hills with ease, and other things, so was well worth doing. On my return, I managed to get in front of the Chinese Theatre, and find this

Digital Camera

I tell you something, I havent got large hands, but compared to hers…as to her feet, well, miniature isnt the word!

Friday evening was my baseball fix, down at Dodgers stadium. I went down by standard bus, thankfully the stadium is well signposted, so I knew where to get off. Quite a haul, up a hill, but anyway, I got there. Game was good, and at least I can now say I’ve seen Kershaw pitch, even if I was pretty much up ‘in the gods’ to do so. I thought I’d be clever coming back, and get the special bus into LA, and then get the metro out of town, far easier. Well, it was until we hit a road blocked off, and chaos ensued. But eventually, I got to Union Station, found the metro, and got home.

Saturday morning started off at the same point where the big event of the day would happen, the Egyptian Theatre, with a guided tour around the building, and the surroundings. Then a film about the history of Hollywood followed that. Well worth doing, should you get the chance.

Yesterday teatime, I went to a salon, just across the road from the hotel, and had my hair curled, 30’s style, by a delightful woman named Elizabeth, at the EA Salon. Then back to the theatre, for the evenings big events. The film had a wonderful twist at the end, that I certainly didnt see coming, though it wont be winning any awards. But it was only recently restored so that the public could see it, much appreciated.

Then to the party, which was great fun, and I had a wonderful evening. OK, for those who want it, a picture of me dressed to the 9’s!

Digital Camera

Apologies for the quality, but I didnt take it, obviously.

At the end of the evening, I did a crazy thing. I was in high heels, and it was just under a mile back to the hotel, so I walked it! Yes, my feet complained (especially as I had been on them, in heels for nearly 6 hours) but I made it, quite easily.

Today, I got to meet up with someone who I’ve known on Twitter for quite a while, but never met, a delightful lady named April. Together we went to the Hollywood Museum, and she showed me around the many Harlow mementos stored there. Oh, and the Max Factor rooms where her hair, and make up was done. I hadnt got this photo, so very quietly I took this photo of Jean, at home in bed

Digital Camera

This is her, actually at home, not from a film shoot.

And now at least, you’re up to date. Tomorrow, the plan is to go up to Forest Lawn, and pay my respects, as close to Jean as I can, which depending on how fortunate I am, might be very close, or nowhere near! It seems from reports to be very pot luck as to who you get, but fingers are crossed!

Lastly, the video. Well, the film last night was called The Guilty, so this came to mind

The Start Of The Holiday

Right, firstly, as is tradition now, when on holiday, the 2 blogs align, this time for 10 days or so, so no point reading both, as a message to the few who know both!

Secondly, and I think this an age thing, as like me, this laptop is getting old, and so its not working as well. As far as I can tell (and I am not an expert, it seems to be a card issue, mainly graphics, but the sound doesnt seem too bright either), its had enough, and I will replace it with the one I bought 18 months ago off Dave, when I get back. I hate change, mainly because of all the log ins I have to suddenly write down, or remember, and aargh!

So if things stop completely, do not panic, its more likely the computer than me. Especially as the shutdown button no longer works, along with the image thing that appears in the right hand corner when new emails arrive. But enough of my woes…

Fine, the holiday!

Yesterday was travel day, and I reminded myself why I’ve cut right back on West Coast trips, the body (like this computer) really isnt up to it anymore. Even travelling in relative luxury for me (not basic economy), my knees were screaming for relief at the end of the flights, though my back was surviving better. Ah well, swings and roundabouts, as they say.

As to Virgin Atlantic, cant say enough in praise, good staff all around, and more than enough food to feed me for quite a while. Then we got to Atlanta!

Last time, I got through immigration, customs, and security there in a whir, about 15 minutes. Yesterday, when I had less time to spare, 80!I literally ran half the length of terminal A at Atlanta (and it felt a long way, with a laptop bag in hand), expecting to have just missed the plane to LA, but instead, the last couple were boarding, and I, along with another very delayed lady, just about got on.

To be honest, thats the end of the bad news, apart from a misdirection at baggage claim here in LA, where I rashly assumed the people in front of me knew where they were going, but they didnt! Soon in the right place, soon got the bags, and the shuttle was an absolute stroll! Good staff at the airport, good driver, and…Oh, the hotel room is seriously large!

Therefore today, I decided I was going to get the knees loose, with a nice long walk along, and then back along Hollywood Boulevard. It seems to have worked, though the back is complaining a bit more, so…

Ah, the camera, when I switched it on here this morning, 2 bars out of 3, so I left the batteries in. Snag was, after 1 photo, it was down to 1 bar, and after a couple more, it stopped working altogether…just as I was trying to get a photo of Jean’s star! So fine, I will go back and get it, even if my friend, April had already sent me one, but to have one, I took…

I did the tour of the wax museum, but most of them were modern names, not really what I was hoping for, especially as Monroe was featured everywhere in the entrance, I was hoping for more older stars, but…

It says it all, it hit 80 today, and I wilted. Mainly because I was out in the sun a lot, and being April, things havent really warmed up at home yet. So about 2.30, I called it quits, and came back to the hotel for a while. Beyond going out for dinner, thats it.

Tomorrow, I’ll do the guided tour thing, just to get all my bearings, before I set out on my own. But again, it will mainly be the modern stars, so, I’ll just live with it. Plan, if I can get there, is Dodgers baseball tomorrow night, so you might either get an early one tomorrow, or nothing until Saturday, before the big event.

Well, thats let you catch up on things, so for now, I’ll leave you in peace! The video, what I nearly didnt have enough of, yesterday

Flying, then and now

One of the endearing images we have of early passenger flights is the luxury of the planes involved. Of course, back then, only the wealthy could afford to fly, which may well have something to do with it. Its really only since the 70’s, and 80’s that we even started to have what could be called flight prices that the general masses could afford to pay.

So for those who complain about the lack of comfort nowadays, just remember, 50 years ago, you wouldnt have been able to afford long distance flights, in all honesty. If you consider that flights now between popular cities are no more expensive than they were in the 30’s, and 40’s…you get my drift? Of course, you were treated to a whole different level of treatment back then.

The thing is, despite the comfort, those early flights were a pretty dangerous experience. Navigation was extremely basic, especially at night, and many lost their lives in incidents, and accidents. And to even cross America, let alone the Atlantic, took 4 or 5 stops. Whereas nowadays, flights go from coast to coast, non stop, without any problems. As for crossing the Atlantic, by passenger plane, this wasnt even seriously tackled until the 1950’s!

Mind, I remember a story my late mother told me, of flying home from Bermuda (my father was in the navy) in the early 50’s, and the plane had an upstairs luxury bar, and the works! Now, they prefer you to stay in your seat, whenever possible.

My first flight would have been in the late 70’s, a short hop from Gatwick, to Jersey, and back. My first Transatlantic flight was in 1987, when I flew out from Heathrow, to Boston, and back from New York. After that, I began to fly more regularly, but always in economy.

And since then, apart from the Toronto trip, when I supposedly flew First Class with Air Trans (I would say it equated more to premium economy, than first), I’ve always flown economy class, until now. Yes, this week, and next week, when I return from LA, I will be flying premium economy (Virgin), and economy comfort (Delta) for pretty much the first time.

No, it wont truly be luxury, but a step up for me. If I’d had a job to come back to, post redundancy, I might have flown business class, but for now, better safe than sorry. Maybe if I’ve got one, in September, I might treat myself again, and maybe more?

I’ve been told by Kate, that maybe, just maybe, by flying on a Wednesday, I might get a reasonably priced upgrade on Delta to first class, and that would be a real Jean Harlow type landing into LA. But I wont hold my breath. Mind, I say that, all evidence I’ve seen, Jean stuck with the trains, rather than trusting the planes, but…

So, if anyone from Delta sees this, the 4.20 pm Atlanta to LA flight on Wednesday, look for Ms Nicholls if you start offering upgrades to first class, pretty please!

OK, so this is all about flying, so lets have some Gerry Rafferty. Not a live performance (cant find one, despite single release), so I’ve gone for something involving the brave boys of the military, and Alaska.