Modest clothing for Chorus girls?

Alright, there are times when I’m quiet pleased to be a feminist, albeit a pretty moderate one. No, none of that crazy man hating stuff for me lol! Equality would be nice, in truth, though ironically some of those demanding equality are strongly objecting to pension retirement ages being equalled here in the UK, though maybe thats just because, for once, women are losing out by that, oh surely not? Anyway, I mustnt get political, so lets leave it there!

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/lifestyle/style/marks-and-spencers-modest-clothing-for-women-faces-heavy-criticism/ar-BBI50ET?li=AAnZ9Ug

This article seems to have caused a bit of a stir, though I cant quite see why. its not like M&S are saying that all other clothing is immodest, just that this line is designed for those of us who dont want to flash knees, ankles, or whatever. Oh fine, I’d better add, I’ve applied to act as a volunteer flapper for an event over in Blackpool in March (on my birthday in fact), which would certainly mean me flashing an ankle or two, and probably knees as well, darling! Lets just say it probably wont happen, distance, age, and the fact that its my birthday all make it unlikely, but it goes to show there is life in the old girl yet!

But generally, nowadays, I tend towards relative demureness in general, though I’ve had wilder moments in my time!

Me, I think this line is a nice idea, though I couldnt afford M&S prices, as they are expensive for what they are, shall we say, and I’m on a budget, even more so now!

However, its fair to say that my past life chorus line dancing self had a far less modest line in clothing! Oh fine, she was young, enjoyed it, and I suspect the pay was good, especially in the depression era, so…

Ah, clothing. Tonights video features the Goldwyn Girls, so in all likelihood, Clara is in this somewhere. Whether she is one of the naked (under those big wigs, they were, I’ve heard) slave girls, or just one of the dancers, no idea? I’d like to think she was naked, chained up, and enjoying it, but who knows? 😉

Regardless, its fair to say that her, and the rest of the dance team didnt have to worry about whether their clothing was too modest lol! At the end, the Empress. Gloria Stuart, probably better known now for being the old lady at the end of Titanic, but a star back then.

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Soon be living in a brand new state

When I first started trying to find out more about Clara Johnson, it was a case of being in the right place, at the right time. That place, of course was Los Angeles, and a chance to look at the historical 1930 census, or the Los Angeles section of it at least.

And there she was, a certain Miss Clara E Johnson, living in town of course, and even without her giving her occupation as an actress, I might have suspected it was her. It gave me some details which I’ve posted before, the fact that she was born in 1905, in the state of Oklahoma (though it wasnt a state back then, not until 1907, was a territory before then), and that she had moved to Los Angeles, from Texas, in 1925.

I’m delighted to say that last year, I actually managed to find a few pictures of her, firstly from about 1934, then on Christmas day, some more from 1929! It was probably the latter, and some spare time over the holidays that inspired me to try another hunt for details. Remarkably, yes, it worked. Though full birth records didnt start before Oklahoma was a state, basic records were kept, and on one of the State history sites, putting her name, and year of birth into the website, and…bingo!

I now know she was born on 6th September, 1905, and I know she was born in Pottawatomie County! Unfortunately, as to where in the county, no idea, they didnt keep full records there until 1908! I managed to discover the 1920 census, and found 11 Clara Johnson’s living in Oklahoma, and Texas at that time, born in 1905. I assume the others were either born outside of Oklahoma (quite possible for the Texas ones), or their births werent registered properly (or at all), equally possible back then, before officially a state. Snag, Ancestry.com want a fee to see the details, though there is a free option, which might do for me, but its time limited, so I might do something when I’m off in a fortnights time. Hopefully, a date of birth might help to work out which one is her, but no idea if thats recorded, until I try! It wont tell me much more, other than telling me whether she moved to Texas before, or after 1920, I suspect. Parent names might enable me to see if there were any other children, I guess?

Funnily enough, my dear friend Kate is from Oklahoma! She has told me I might be underwhelmed by modern day Pottawatomie County, and I suspect she’s right. I doubt Clara would recognize it either! But yes, a lot of it would be the chance to stand in her footsteps, just once. So maybe next year, I might yet do that, but not before then, for sure! I know, she’s not really an ancestor, but she’s just so special to me, because well, she was me, in one sense at least.

The video? The most obvious Oklahoma one possible, just maybe?

Sudden death with Buffalo

No, dont worry, its nothing serious thats happened, just the opposite in fact. But I had to do something to fit in with the video lol!

Yes, within the next hour or so, all the American Football left this season will be sudden death, knock out stuff. As I write this, the last ‘normal’ Bowls are being played, the last NFL season games were played yesterday, so after that…

Firstly, tonight, we get the 2 college football ‘semi finals’ for want of a better word, where Georgia take on Oklahoma, and Clemson take on Alabama. A week later, the two winners get to meet for their Championship. The most interesting thing for me has been the multiple shots of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, to be honest. Well, except that with a little more discovery work today, I now know where, and when a certain young lady was born in Oklahoma! Yes, on 6th September 1905, a baby girl was born somewhere in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma. Thats right, a baby named Clara Elaine Johnson! Tried googling for Oklahoma birth and death records, tried her name on the site, then lo, and behold… Looking at a map, she wouldnt have been a million miles from where Oklahoma University would have been! Of course, given she left Texas for LA in 1925, how long she lived there, no idea?

Ah, the title of the blog? Yes, thats the NFL bit. For over 30 years, through thick and thin, I’ve supported the Buffalo Bills. The late 80’s, and most of the 90’s were pretty good times, but other than that, no! Until yesterday, they were the team with the longest interval since previously being in the play offs, 18 years. Not now!
It wasnt hard to see them winning before I went to bed last night, and Baltimore were losing, 2 facts which meant they would be in, but there was still about a half of football to go for each. Bills won, but until nearly the end, Baltimore were clinging on for a win seemingly, then Cincinnati scored, Baltimore lost, and Buffalo were in the play offs.

Oh fine, I found out when I opened my emails this morning (one was from team, mentioning they were in play offs), which made a nice way to start 2018! They now get to play Jacksonville, who were last in the play offs in 2007, and last played a home play off game in 1999, the last time Buffalo made the play offs! No, they didnt play each other then! Oh, and I’d better mention the Los Angeles Rams, who won their division, leading to the first play off game in LA since 1994, though for much of that time, no team was in town! By coincidence, leading to another Georgia team heading to LA!

Right, video time. For those of you who read both, I used this video on the other blog recently, so you’re not seeing things. For those who dont, enjoy a classic 30’s musical! And all those girls sharing sleeping berths, shocking stuff lol! 😛

Review of the Year, Part Two

So, lets get to the last 4 months of the year now, when a few things might have happened!

To do it in strictly in chronological order, the first new experience in September, was being wheeled through an airport in a wheelchair! In truth, I possibly could have survived the security experience at Manchester Airport (especially as I would have got Fast Track routing as a premium economy customer), but there was absolutely no way I was ever going to stand in the Immigration queue at Boston, I went with the ‘full in’ option. So fine, at Manchester it didnt quite work as planned (twice, but more on that later), as I got wheeled through security, and to the gate, but no one ever appeared to take me to the gate! So in the end, I managed to get myself down, and aboard the plane, but ironically that meant I was last on, not first! Boston end, it worked perfectly, and I can safely say I have never got through Immigration so quickly in my life, even if you allow for the time I waited on the plane before I got off!

The first few days on Cape Cod was a delight (Saturday night in Boston, went down there on Sunday) with Kate, just relaxing, and giving my back a wonderful break. Then, on the Thursday, we both headed back to Boston, Kate to head off somewhere with her partner, and me to head to Mahopac, NY, via Stamford (c/o Amtrak) to go to a friend’s wedding. Initially I’d assumed I would be going as a guest, then told I was a bridesmaid, only to find out I was Maid of Honor! Thankfully for all the others there, I didnt catch the wedding bouquet lol! It was an amazing experience, thanks go to Stacie, and Eric for the honor of doing that for me. Also thankfully, I was relaxed enough over those last few days that I managed to lay off the painkillers for just long enough to be able to drink at the wedding reception. Fine, I made up for it that night, but anyway…

Flying back afterwards was entertaining. Firstly, for some reason best known to themselves, the airline staff at JFK started boarding people, before boarding me in a wheelchair. It seemed they realized pretty quickly, and sent me through, but it was an interesting journey through all these people who had no interest in giving way to a passenger in a wheelchair!

On arrival at Manchester, chaos ensued. As had shown at JFK, I was the only person who had booked a wheelchair. Therefore, on arrival at Manchester, one wheelchair arrived, for me. Thing is, 5 people suddenly decided they needed a wheelchair, and one woman (who had the physical strength to push me out of the way!) decided she was taking it! Anyway, in the end, after a bit of a delay, a few more wheelchairs arrived, though only 1 extra pusher, and we eventually got through, but after quite a delay, obviously. Not helped by the fact that one person clearly didnt have the right paperwork (not sure if she was from my plane, or a holdback from a previous flight?). In the end, I sort of got up, collected my case, and struggled through on foot (someone pushed my case, thank goodness) to where I was being met! I only hope Manchester Airport does better next May, we will see!

After that, its fair to say that the year settled into LGBT mode at work. A presentation to just over 100 people on working as an LGBT person in my Civil Service Department, and gaining a position on a committee dealing with LGBT issues within said Department are 2 of the delights that followed. Oh, and on top of that performance, was of course, the performance as an Elf very recently!

Lastly, on Christmas Day, on Facebook of all places, someone posted a picture in one of the groups, of a young lady, in Christmas mode, of an event that happened nearly 90 years ago (1929). Yes, an unknown lady, at a pre-Christmas event in Los Angeles, way back when. Except…she looked familiar to me. Comparison to a few pictures taken about 5 years later, and agreement from a couple of other people on the matter, that lady is no longer unknown, to a few of us at least. Yes, 99.9% certain its a certain Clara Johnson! Talk about dream Christmas present, especially as in total, there were 3 pictures! Oh fine, here’s one of them, of her, at 24!

And thats about it! Two more working days in 2017, Friday all day, and a half day on Saturday! Not expecting anything major to happen, but we will see?

The video, big clue in the title. A live version of the song, from 2012, which means no Kirsty MacColl, but the woman gives a decent, if clearly rather starstruck performance

 
Tomorrow, a look forward to 2018, and what might, or will happen

Review Of The Year, Part one

Now, normally when you do a review of the year, and you’re splitting it in two, you’d do two spells of 6 months, right? But when I looked back on my year, it took me about 30 seconds (if that long) to work out that apart from one event in May, not much happened for the first 8 months, then a hell of a lot happened in the last 4! So to avoid a 500 word blog tonight, and a 3000 word one tomorrow, I’m doing this on an 8/4 basis this year.

In truth, the highlights of the first 2 months were getting the news I’d passed probation period at work, and getting a passport in my new name. Oh, and around the same time, my first moments of DWP fame, in an LGBT sense, with an interview from work, about life as a LGBT woman in the Department. Which of course led to something that will be mentioned in Part 2, but for now…

No, diplomacy means I’m not mentioning a certain event that happened in the US, in January, but you all know what I think of him, and his actions, so lets leave it there.

Of course, my first flight as Harlean Carpenter, was in May, going back to Hollywood, or more strictly, Los Angeles. Lets just say the whole apartment thing this time around wasnt the success of the previous trip, both in the sense of initially booking an apartment, and then the landlord deciding he wanted to decline the booking, because he hadnt put in his price rise for the New Year. Fine, I thought, until he told me it was done, and suddenly the price had risen by over 20%, nearly 25% in fact! So I started again, thought I’d found somewhere decent as a replacement, but it didnt live up to all its claims. Dont get me wrong, it was nice enough, just didnt have all the facilities it claimed it had.

The funniest moment was a delightful Thai takeaway I had found 18 months earlier, and the lady still remembered me the moment I walked in, despite that. Its sad to think that by the next time I visit, she will almost certainly be gone, as it will be a few years before I get there again (unless I get a role offer), and I doubt she was that young this year, so…but she was amazing!

The other big highlights that will stick with me, would be 2 Louise Brooks silent films, viewed at the historic Egyptian Theater, a guided Hollywood walk given by a wonderful lady that I like to see as a friend, a ‘better than I would buy’ seat at a Dodgers game, thanks to another friend, with the added bonus of it being a game that Kershaw pitched at! Lastly, there was a wonderful Harlow display at the Hollywood Museum, which was a delight to see. Oh, and thanks to the Metro, getting to Santa Monica far easier than ever before!

In truth, I have no idea when I’ll be back, unless I get an offer, which I would have to say is pretty unlikely. But never say never… Certainly, due to something that will be mentioned shortly, walking up the hill to where Harlow rests at Forest Lawn would probably be beyond me now, but anyway…

In July, 2 things happened, one good, one bad. The good one was, that knowing that Clara Johnson’s middle initial was E, and finding a few images of a chorus line dancer/Goldwyn Girl, and putting two and two together, when you find a dancing match, named Elaine Johnson, who has a career that seems to tie in to Clara’s, well I jumped on the issue, and joy, actually found 3 pictures of her from a credited movie promotion shoot. Of course I cant be 100% sure its one and the same, but enough coincidences for me to say it is. In fact, as you’ll find out tomorrow, this isnt the end of that story! Yes, a few new pictures, wow! I’d still love to find her married name, so I’d have a chance of paying my respects if, and when I get back to LA.

The bad thing, my back, after giving me support for about 59 years, decided it had had enough, and snapped. Quite literally, though not in too severe a way, fingers crossed. Yes, osteoporosis had taken its toll on me! Painkillers, and other meds (been tweaked a couple of times) keep it bearable, but yes, its fair to say old age is beginning to catch up with me. It eventually led to me cutting back to 4 days a week at work, with which I can just about get by financially, but holidays will need to be cut back on now, for sure.

August marked 1 year in the new job, and in truth, apart from a dream acting offer, I cant see me leaving before I get to retire in just over 6 years time. Yes, I really am that old lol! The rest of the year, and a few landmarks, tomorrow!

Right, the video. One of the few modern groups I have much time for, are The Killers. I now love them even more now I know that each Christmas, they record a song, and give all royalties to charity! This is the 2013 song, which is apt given where I was in May, and even more so when you see something I post tomorrow!

Elf pictures, and actually spending some money!

No, dont panic, I’m not expecting you to pay me any money or anything to read this, or even look at the pictures. However, I was sort of collecting at work yesterday for breast cancer charity for doing this, and did consider setting something up for people to donate from here, but seriously, by the time Go Fund Me (or whoever) took their share out of what is likely to be a tiny sum, I cant see any point! However, if the amusement of this leaves you so inclined to do so, then feel free to do so directly to the relevant charity in your Country, they’ll probably get more money that way. If you dont want to do it for your own charity, for whatever reason, then send it to a UK one. If you want to say Harlean sent you lol…?

So yes, yesterday it happened, and I must admit, it was great fun dressing up again, this time as an elf. Oh, photo? Fine…Behave, girl!

Before you ask, 2 donations already, plus 1 more tomorrow, so…if you wish to add? 😉

There were 2 other wonderful people who also got dressed up for the day, so I didnt just have the idea to my(s)elf about this. I’m sure they wont mind me posting this, but if they do, and in years to come, this blog doesnt make sense, you know why!

Will I do it again, given the chance? You bet I will! Seeing theaters, and other media people arent rushing for my services nowadays, it will probably be the only way I do!

As for today, back as a human all day…

In recent months I got a couple of vouchers for various rewards, one for being a clever golf tipster, and one for the LGBT presentation I did for work. But being a practical Yorkshire lass, I hadnt got around to spending them, until today…

Given the old creaking bones nowadays find going out to work hard enough, the thought of going into town looking for things, especially at this time of year holds no appeal for me. So, I was limited to sites I could shop from online, that I could use through my ‘One4All’ reward card. So I looked at a few sites, suitably unimpressed, and then saw TK Maxx was available. So, checking it out, I found this https://www.tkmaxx.com/uk/en/womens-mod-box/coral-floral-lace-bardot-dress/p/15098674 and bought it! Put it this way, I certainly wouldnt buy it at the so called normal price, but at that price, of course I did!

I then went for the work voucher, which I put on Amazon to spend, and had a look around. After much looking, and trying to decide what to do, I ended up taking a different course to plan. I was hoping to find a ‘long’ flapper style dress for about the £25, but no joy. Then again, lets face it, young flappers were looking to show their legs, not hide them! But fine, I’m not young, so…I did find a nice, maxi length one, but it was about £40, so no… In truth, I do own 2 flapper style dresses, both above the knee, and never likely to be worn by me outside of home!

So what did I do, you ask? Well, of course I now know of a second movie that Clara Johnson appeared in, so I’ve added that to my collection. ‘Strike Me Pink’, supposedly starring Eddie Cantor, but for me, featuring a certain Miss Johnson will shortly be winging its way to me. I also went on a silver color clothing hunt, and found a silk skirt, with elasticated waistband, so got that instead. Both wont arrive until New Year, movie from US, skirt from China, but at least I’ve now finally spent the vouchers!

Oh, tonight’s video, nothing to do with the charity campaign, and everything to do with some ghastly Amazon adverts! Guess what, the video is that song, only sung decently by original Supertramp member, Roger Hodgson

 

A week in the life of…?

Last night, here in the UK, Channel 4 presented, for want of a better term, a documentary about a white woman, with, shall we say, strong views, spending a week as a Muslim. No, I didnt see it, didnt know about it until after the event, and even if I had, I probably would have avoided it, these things tend to be ‘road crash’ TV at the best of times, basically because thats what the TV people want. As it happened, events took over, as it was being filmed in Manchester, just at the time of the Arena bombing. This showed the sad side of too many people towards Muslim people, which presumably came as a surprise to the woman, and the TV company. Unfortunately, it showed what Muslim people have to put up with so often, whereas she only faced it for a few days. So yes, the few terrorists create the wrong image, but I guess thats what they want to do. Of course, as white supremacists have shown, they’re just as bad!

Yes, that program wouldnt get the same effect if I’d been in her place, but of course, in these days, thats not what TV people want!

Me, I wonder what it would be like to spend a week in the life of a chorus line dancer, like my past life self, either now, or in the 1930’s, as she did. Given that one thing Clara Johnson didnt pass on to me was any dancing skills, its never going to happen, but if I did have her talents, would be fascinating to know what life would be like, in either era.

Of course, the other thing that would appeal to me would be a week in the life of a robot. Fine, given that at present, robot technology is not forward enough for that really to happen, I suppose I could do nothing more than a theoretical life as a robot, but that might be quite something. Even more so if it came with a chrome bodysuit!

I know, neither are really going to happen, or not in my lifetime at least. But a week in my life, as a Muslim, well, maybe…?

The video, some vintage Beatles. Seemingly from the later years, judging by their styles. A few famous faces from outside the group here too!