I might want to dance

Alright, the title is a total misnomer, because even if my Physiotherapy repaired my legs that dramatically, I doubt I could dance anyway, have always had 2 left feet. I’m sure Clara Johnson used up all the dancing talent going, not that I entirely blame her for doing so, lol!

So anyway, today, for about the first time in a very long time (I’m guessing 40 years minimum), today I went for Physiotherapy, relating to my right knee. Yes, as a child, when I initially damaged them, and had all the surgery on them, I’m sure I had tons of it. But in truth, since the last major ‘repair job’ in my late teens, there hasnt been anything too dramatic done with them, other than a ton of walking, but thats me!

Yes, its fair to say things have changed a bit since then, in all senses. Back then, they pretty much took the knee apart, tried to clear up most of the damage, then did their best to put it together again. Yes, all that time on, I still have scars to prove it! Nowadays, they’d probably put one of those thin tube things into the knee, small incision, and clean it up better than they did back then.

Yes, the Physiotherapy is a bit different too. There was certainly no ultrasonic devices back then to aid with reducing the inflammation, and swelling, but there was today. In truth, I knew she was doing something with my knee, but really couldnt feel anything. Then the fun began! Something conductive wrapped around the knee, a pair of electrodes, and some slowly increasing surge through my leg, especially when I stretched the joint as instructed, oh joy! Now that was fun, though fine, me, and probably only me wouldnt have minded a bit more power being used, but anyway… I know, not quite Robot Girl, but its a start!

And yes, we did discuss what I write, and things. No, I dont expect a fully electrified body suit, in metallic silver to be waiting for me next week! Would be nice, but not going to happen! The good news, she doesnt think its going to need a knee replacement op, news I was delighted to hear.

But yes, fine, if my other sessions also involve nice amounts of electricity being used on me, if only on my knee, then my recovery should be fun! 😉

OK, video time. I settled on an artist, but then I used the obvious song, it didnt sound as good as it did nearly 40 years ago, so I chose this one instead. Hence the blog title, lol

 

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The perfect climate for a bad back?

Yes, as I’m sure all regulars know by now, my back has been damaged by old age, for want of a better term. Osteoporosis has caused a small fracture in my back, which I keep under control by using painkillers, both in the form of pills, and a gel, which make life sort of bearable, if nothing more. Its probably not going to improve unless I get a new cybernetic spine, or a full robot makeover, which lets face it, neither have got any chance of happening at present. Give it a few decades, and it might happen, but I’ll be long gone by then!

Apart from the general fragility of my body (my knees are a surgical disaster, leading to very poor circulation of blood to my legs), I have no desire to put up with this pain forever, so though I wouldnt mind a few more years, I dont want to talk in decades any more.

So if anyone reading this, for whatever reason wants to help with the ever increasing meds bills, and the reducing number of days that I can work per week (cut to 4, from 5), then feel free to donate here, or not, as the case may be?

http://www.ko-fi.com/merrybrooks

Thought not, but no harm in mentioning it?

One thing that the surgery did mention to me, was living somewhere warmer than here, especially during the winter, because the cold wrecks my back. Yes, would be wonderful, but no money to make it happen, and at my age, finding a job somewhere like that might be tricky too! But yes, if someone wants to set me up somewhere warm, with the funds to look after myself, wouldnt say no. Sadly, I’m not as cute as Marion Davies as a ‘supported’ lady, in case you were hoping I was!

This morning, on one of my Forums, I found out an interesting fact, in an area I love. One of the places in the world where there is very little temperature swing throughout the year, and in a nicely warm sense, is San Diego, in California. Yes, apparently it gets chilly there in winter when it drops to 48 (9C for Brits)! But generally, doesnt often hit 80 (27C) either! Yes, my back would just love that!

I know, Chargers have left town for Los Angeles, and the Padres definitely arent the Dodgers, but I can think of worse places to live, in truth. And lets face it, that idiot Trump wants nice, white Europeans to emigrate there, just needs to change the rules, or provide me with the paperwork at least. Or a wealthy partner, or my own personal ‘Hearst’. I know, I know, no harm in hoping!

The only other place that fits the bill better, Honolulu! But there is far more rain there, and rain is not good for my joints so…

Los Angeles, wouldnt say no, but it didnt meet this match because of the heat in summer. Not that I’d mind, but strictly…

OK, video time. What could be better than a song called San Diego being played in San Diego? I’m not a Blink 182 fan, but thats just far too much fun to miss out on!

Search for the hotel room for yourself

Well fine, I have finally come to the decision that the back will (probably) survive the flight to Seattle, and back in May, so have started the process of transferring money to cards to allow me to pay for everything. Fine, I might have left it a couple more weeks, but Thomas Cook tell me there is a sale on to Seattle, so fine, it has to be done! Always was on a budget for these things, but even more so now I’m only able to work a 4 day week. A fact which also means this will be the only US trip that I will pay for this year! So yes, only trip lol! 😛

The amusing thing, when it came to hotel rooms, was the discounted rates available at the Choice Hotel group hotel I’ll be staying at. As a member of their scheme, I get a discount over those that dont belong, which is fine, we need some incentive, lets face it! And no, I’m never going to stay enough to get free nights lol! The thing that ‘annoyed’ me slightly, was the fact that I can get my discount for a standard queen/king bed room, but nothing if you need an accessible one! Fine, I can almost certainly get by without one, and will have to now, but I must admit I looked for one, as the extra help in the bathroom at least might have been handy, given the state of my back, let alone the room more designed for someone with some mobility issues.

Maybe its the norm, I dont know, as of course its the first time I’ve ever looked for such a thing! But no, I’m not paying $17 a night extra, for 8 nights, just on the vague chance I might need that! I guess the number of access rooms are more limited, so not offering them for discounted rates is due to that, but it concerns me for others, who might need it, are on a budget, if they cant get rooms for the same price as people with no health issues.

OK, disability rant over, though I might yet write to their customer services dept, and ask them why, and see what answer I get, hmm?

Fine, video time. M People fitted for my other blog video, so I took the lazy route in finding this one. As so often, clue is in blog title!

Preview of 2018, only part. The year of being senior!

Very strictly, the answer to that question, is wherever life takes me, I guess? But strictly, for 2018, assuming I live out the year, some things will happen, some things may happen, and some things almost certainly wont happen, but it would be fun if they did!

Anyway, lets be boringly practical first, things that will happen, assuming the life quotient of course. The biggest, and most obvious one to mention, is that I hit the big 60 next March. I know, who would ever have believed it? But yes, the body is definitely now giving me more than hints that its not as strong as it used to be, so… Hard to believe, that 25 years ago, when a woman hit 60, she retired from work! Now, with a longer life expectancy for everyone, and things, its another 6 years to go! Still, gives me chance to build up my pension, I guess, body permitting. Lets face it, I’ve already had to cut back to 4 days a week, and the back isnt likely to get better, only worse, so…?

The only other definite things at this point, are the fact that I will be heading to Seattle in May for 8 days (yes, already decided the back will be up to that, fingers crossed it stays that way once booked), though that will be the only US trip this year. Yes, thats one cutback due to the financial situation. I thought I might be able to pull it off this year, for the last time, the double trip, but no, now know its not going to happen! I have got a few thoughts for a break in September, but will only be a few days, and will only be in Europe. Well, unless the work syndicate wins the lottery lol! So yes, I’ll be using an airport wheelchair (or 5) in May again on that trip. Hopefully, all will be a little smoother than last time!

The other is, of course, working on a group on LGBT issues at work within our section of the Civil Service. First actual meeting is planned for some point in New Year, but location and date, TBA at present. Quite an honor, quite a challenge!

The maybe’s look trip related. I might try to get to Ireland, for at least some cricket this summer, though sadly it wont be that first Test match, as its literally the week before I go to Seattle. But other games are planned, so time, and finances permitting, it will be nice to meet old friends again, and maybe make a few new ones.

Hey, another maybe, I might write another story or two lol! I really ought to, I have a few ideas, but getting around to it, but yes, I’ll risk putting it on the maybe list, rather than the unlikely one! The other maybe, is my first ever ‘senior citizen’ pass. Yes, the Railway senior discount pass still is permitted from 60, so if I travel on the Railways in September, as I might, I’ll get one then!

The unlikely ones, but not impossible? Well, the first one obviously relates to performing, in an acting sense. I suspect a presentation style performance might be more likely, probably on LGBT issues, but I suspect that will be it. Lets face it, who’s going to want an actress who hasnt done anything much in years, and now has back issues, which means standing for long periods for a role, is nigh out of the question! But maybe, out there is a director/producer who wants to do something crazy, and then, well…?

Then we come to the silly stuff, that ‘could’ happen, but you can be sure wont. Winning a lottery jackpot (I know, theoretically, but me, win anything, dont think so!), getting abducted by aliens, turned into a robot, or regenerating (well, if Doctor Who can do it?) as a young(ish) Clara Johnson might all be fun, but none are going to happen, I think we can safely say!

Lets finish with a dramatic, stat based thing. Look back through early film history, and you find a lot of famous actresses who passed on at 60. Clara Bow is one that immediately comes to mind! Now its fair to say that health matters have improved nowadays, and I have never been a famous actress, so I’m probably safe, but… Still, hopefully we will be doing this in a years time!

The video tonight, isnt a proper one, but it fits the title, and yes, its the Carpenters, so just rolling with it. Just a nice song, that hopefully you can enjoy.

So, one blog to go for 2017, as its back to work tomorrow. Any ideas for something you’d love to hear about, either from this year, next year, or Clara Johnson’s era, feel free to suggest in comments

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!

Why couldnt it happen to be me?

Every so often, in my reading, I come across a story that amuses, or tickles me enough that I end up using it in a blog. Tonight is one of those occasions!

http://192.155.80.152/MonasMakeoverPaladin/index.html

(Firstly, let me say I know this is fiction, but for the sake of the blog…)

So fine, this creaky old lady wants to know, who wants to be my William? I assume it would work (in time) equally well on a nigh 60 year old, with damaged back, so…? Oh please, I could even live with the increased libido (anything would be an increase with me!) if I could feel half as good as that again. I know, at the moment I couldnt even look at a gym without my back complaining, but after a few of those pills… Hey, I’d probably be a natural blonde lol! Yeah, I guess I could even live with the female harem lol!

Maybe, given my past life self, I could have the supplements that turn me into the dancer type, rather than a gym bunny? I must admit, it would be fascinating to know life as Clara did, but now, short of something like that happening to me, my days of being a dancer are long gone! Mind, I think she took all the dancing skills, but fine, I’ll have to live with that now!

One thing a few classic movie fans might note is that yes, I’d have been even more amused if it had been William, and Myrna. Yes, think about it, lol…or try Google, it will probably give the game away!

So fine, unless anyone wants to provide me with a few of those supplements, I’ll stick to trying to work out if this old body of mine will survive for 8 days in Seattle/Seatac next May! PS If anyone reading this can, or knows someone who I can use as a ‘buddy’ on that trip, I’d appreciate it. No, I dont want anything more than a contact number, which I hope I wouldnt need. But lets just say that I need something brought in, because the back has locked up, or somewhere I can just relax for a couple of hours, to allow the (Seatac) hotel staff to do their thing, I’d be grateful. Shouldnt need it, but just in case, once or twice, to know someone is there, on the end of a phone?

Fine, I know, but no harm asking, I guess?

Video time. A bit of a variation on the blog title, but I doubt Mona was saying this. Me, I’d love it to be me, but anyway…a little vintage live Abba

Walking on the ‘milky’ way

Oh fine, if that doesnt give you a clue to the video, nothing will! A tale of getting older, and cutting back, so call yourself warned.

When I was young, or indeed while still into my 20’s, I used to walk miles on my days off, quite literally. Yes, in those ancient (facetiousness factor) days, it was nothing for me to just walk out on a Sunday morning, walk 4-5 miles or more, have a bite of lunch, or at least a drink, when the weather was fair, and then walk back again. In truth, if I wanted to go far, on a Sunday, back then, in Somerset, or Dorset at least, and didnt drive, you had to walk, there was no Sunday bus service at all! So I did.

Its fair to say that over the years, my walking has got a bit slower (though some at work might not believe that), and maybe a couple of miles each way was enough, but I kept walking, when I could.

But yes, now, since my back went wrong, I’m now finding that my limit, in 1 go, is down to about a mile, or just under! How do I know this, you ask? Well, according to Google Maps, the distance I walk in Bradford, from the Bus Station, to work, is approximately 0.8 miles. And yes, I’m beginning to ‘feel it’ at present when I near my destination. So in truth, not much more, which is why I’m using a mile as a guide, and I might have problems nowadays. I know, I was about 25 then, I’m 60 next year, with osteoporosis, but its still a blow to the ego.

Will it get better, will it get worse, who knows? I suspect that its more likely to be the latter, than the former, so I’ll settle for stability at least. In truth, any other year, I could book my holiday for May already. I just about have the funds, or will have after pay day next week, I know who I want to fly with, I know where I want to stay, but…its a me issue!

The thing about staying in hotels, is that they expect you to go out for the day, each day. Hopefully, fine, it wont be an issue. Equally, if you can tell me, that in an 8 day stay, there wont be at least 1 day where the body is suffering a bit, I’d love you. It might be true, but given that 2 working days in a row is about my limit at present (Holiday time would not be as hard on me, physically, to be fair), assuming I can get out for several (or more) hours each day of my stay, hmm? There is, to be fair, an apartment option, but that would mean getting provisions on arrival (using a UK credit card, in the US, not always easy online), and I suspect I might not be up to that, after a long flight. So the hotel would be better, now.

Oh, and then there is my own determination, and budget. In theory, the hotel offers a shuttle to and from the airport at all times, so I could use that to get the train into town from Seatac, but it wouldnt get me back, anyway. In fact, I could do a flat 0.7 mile walk to a station, which would be fine at present, but then, and each day…?

So yes, I’ll leave it a while to make my booking, just to see how far I might be able to walk by then. I will make the call by February, and see how I am by then, is the plan. Its not just that of course, it is the length of flying time (its direct coming back, but via LA getting there, adding several hours) as well, so we will see.

In truth, I probably ought to have a Plan C, involving either the East Coast of US (shorter flight times), or somewhere in Europe, but I’m trying to avoid working on thoughts like that at present.

But yes, getting old sucks, lol!

The video, a live version of the blog title!