May we all have hopes and visions, if we wish to

For those hoping for a wonderful ‘war and peace’ length blog tonight, sorry, you’re not getting it! So lets keep it a sensible length, and let those who want to go out celebrating tonight go and do so, and those of us who just want things peaceful can get to bed before ‘all hell’ breaks out at midnight! Yes, no shock, I’m one of the latter! I’ve done the wilder stuff in my time, but nowadays, the easier way to spend the last day of the year suits me just fine.

I’m long past making any significant resolutions, and have no plan to change that next year either. So no, I’m not going to make any crazy resolutions about making it as a Hollywood, or Broadway actress, because in all reality, its not going to happen now, at my age. Mind, if someone wants to prove me wrong? Equally, I’m not expecting to get the promotion from bridesmaid, to bride at any time soon! Would think the only way I would make a good bride would be if I was turned into a Stepford type robot wife lol!

So what am I resolving to do, other than hopefully last long enough to hit the big six-o, in March? I think the main thing I want to do, given the chance, is do more publicity work for LGBT issues, or at least work with other people to improve life for other LGBT people in the UK, and hopefully further afield. I doubt I will get the chance of a speaking tour, but if I do, I would definitely go for it!

The other big challenge, even this close to retirement, is to keep trying to improve myself. For example, at work I’m in the middle of doing tests for an Action Pathway at work, which could lead to promotion. I’ve passed part 1, part 2 tests are in just over a weeks time, so…? I know, at my age, chasing for promotion sounds crazy, probably is, but it counts as a challenge to hopefully push me on!

Oh, and I resolve that if a situation arises where I need to use a wheelchair, I’ll accept it, and not fret about it, OK?

So thats it, readers, for 2017. For those of you with resolutions for the New Year, I hope you succeed with them. Equally, for those who just want to survive another year, I wish you well.

So, to the video. Yes, I’ve used this song before, its a very apt one. However, despite it seemingly having been on You Tube for a few years, its a new one to me.

Happy New Year, readers, to those for whom its already started, and for those like me that its still to happen, all my best wishes.

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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 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

 

Respect yourself, Miss Harlow

I seem to be fast becoming the Diversity Queen of the DWP, which has to be a good thing, and I’m proud of anything I can do to help with this matter, for sure. I’m not quite in movie star mode for interviews, in that I still have to get to them by bus, definitely so sign of a chauffeured car at present, ah well…So no, not quite in the Harlow class just yet. Maybe the film studios are saving that for May, in Hollywood, but I very much doubt it! But a lady can dream, for at least 2 more months, so…?

On Tuesday, I was enhancing my Harlow look, with the semi perm make up top up session, though it didnt involve me being shrunk to a mere 5 ft 2 ins tall, or anything dramatic like that. Sadly, it didnt involve me becoming 20 something again either! But the eyebrows are now even more 30’s style (though with a saner width to them), and I have the Harlow rosebud look on my lips, so, playing Mama Jean at least, absolute piece of cake! So, if some studio wants to call, and discuss the part? Yes, I wish!

The intriguing thing about being a stats loving type, is that I do tend to look at the stats for my 2 blogs more than I probably need to. The main thing that interests me, is what blogs, other than the most recent ones, are attracting a lot of interest. As I’ve mentioned before, there are 4 regular candidates who appear a lot, but of late, in just the last few days, this one has rocketed back up the viewing charts!

https://robotunit8.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/youve-got-the-power/

Yes, the one I did when I was looking for assistance with the last story, that ECT one. No, I never got an offer, not even a placebo one. I mean, dont get me wrong, I wasnt seriously expecting anyone to offer me a full voltage session, but I thought that maybe, if nothing else, I might have got an offer of a look at a suite, and maybe experience a non voltage session, but no. But the last few days, someone, or a lot of someone’s in the US (yes, you get country location in your stats) have been looking intently at this blog. No, no one has actually offered yet, I might add.

I know what you’re saying, the books written, even sold a few copies, so I dont need to do the research any more? Maybe you’re right, but all the same, yes, if given the opportunity, to any degree, I’d definitely take it. Hey, I can edit the story if needed lol! 😛 Oh, that story, for those who wish to be reminded…

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/667260

As if an actress would ever do anything like that? 😀

Right, video time. Resisting the temptation to avoid Bruce Willis quite easily lol. Something that all LGBT people, and indeed all people need to do! Folks, let me introduce most of you (I suspect) to the Staple Singers!

When all is said and done

Right wingers, look away now!

So fine, its happened, Trump is now President. The world hasnt ended yet, though I have little faith that given 4 years minimum in charge, he might try for that yet. Yes, I deliberately set out to avoid all coverage of the Inauguration, though with a combination of being at work when it happened, and avoiding the news channels since then, its not one of the harder challenges I’ve faced. Irony is, I remember a time when there were 2 channels on the TV over here (the 3rd began in 1967), and it would have been on the news on both here, if not a live broadcast!

I think most here know I’m not a Trump fan already, but equally, not a Clinton one either. I suspect if Sanders, or Biden had been the Democratic candidate, we may not be in the position we are now, but we will never know? As is the way with so many fake news websites nowadays, I have no idea how many people attended the Inauguration. I’ve seen tiny crowds in pictures, but I’m told there were more than that, though not as many as either of Obama’s, but anyway…

Today, what was initially planned as one protest about Trump, and his sexist, racist ways was meant to happen in Washington. Indeed, probably has already happened, but I’m still on news avoidance at present lol! But there hasnt been just one protest, there have been hundreds, if not thousands, all around the world. Probably not in Moscow, mind, but fine, thats getting sarcastic, so…

I’d love to think these protests will make a difference, but in truth, Trump is such an egotist, and his friends on the ‘religious right’ are so oppressive towards women, and other minorities, I doubt it will. Great shame, but being realistic… Still, for now at least, I can hope! To counter that, some people have over reacted to matters, and lets see what actually comes about before screaming louder.

To which: Yesterday evening (my time), and today, there have been numerous people complaining about the pages taken down from the White House website. Yes, the ones concerning, LGBT, Climate Change and Disabled being the main ones noted. Thing is, they dont remember, or dont want to remember that the same thing happened 8 years ago, when Obama came to power, they archive off the previous presidents work. And expecting Trump to have people in place to put them back up, with his opinions, oh please. Fine, the fact that he hasnt even started on replacing all the Ambassadors is beside the point, and probably of as much concern. In truth, he wants the power, without the hard work involved, and everyone else (but his wealthy friends) will suffer accordingly.

So no, I’m not saying those things will go back on the website, but he needs to be given time to do so. Hopefully not 3 years, 364 days, though with him, that wouldnt surprise me! But when all is said and done, USA, he’s your President (unless impeached, or resigns) for at least 4 years, we just have to survive that time as best we can.

The video, one of those last Abba songs, from 1981, very poignant, very sad, but possibly very apt at the moment.