Working with the queen of hearts

Strictly this video should have been written last night, but do to various events, its only happening tonight. In truth, there were follow up murders on 10th August, 1969, to supposedly cover up the events of the 9th, I’m using that as my alibi. Yesterday was an event that I have so many tenuous connections to, that I had to mention it when it was pointed out to me. Yes, the murder of Sharon Tate, 4 others, plus her unborn baby (she was 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time) happened 50 years ago yesterday, carried out by a number of followers of Charles Manson, as part of their devotion to him. The irony being that in all likelihood, Tate wasnt his target, she was just the person in the wrong place, at the wrong time. The wrong place was 10050 Cielo Drive, Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles.

Reading up more about it today, once I realised the anniversary, the person Manson really had the grievance with was Terry Melcher, the son of Doris Day, who was producing, and playing with the Beach Boys at the time. Basically one of the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson fell under the spell cast by Manson, and asked Melcher to help Manson to release an album. All we really know is, it never happened. There are stories that Manson sounded awful, the songs were terrible, or the fact that (quite rightly) Doris Day told her son that there was something ‘wrong’ about Manson, and that he shouldnt help him. Whatever the reason, he didnt, but between the rejection, and that fateful day, Melcher moved out of Cielo Drive, and Tate, and Roman Polanski moved there instead.

But because Manson was fixated more by the address than anything else (he probably wouldnt have the new address for Melcher) he sent a number of his followers there to murder anyone they found there. I’m not going to bore you with all the history, especially as the film, ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ has just been released, which covers many of these events.

The other connection is actually through Jean Harlow. Sharon Tate, shortly before her death is said to have visited the Bern/Harlow home nearby on Easton Drive, and saw Paul Bern’s (her 2nd husband) ghost, who warned her about events to happen shortly after. None of it is truly confirmed, but its a story that survived down the years, all the same.

Right, video time. Same song, two artists, a song that probably described Sharon Tate, in truth. Firstly, the original Juice Newton version (love some of the dresses)

Then the version of the song I grew up with

Like a quake out of hell

Well, I’d planned to do a bit of a wish fantasy piece for tomorrow’s EEG scan, but Mother Nature has seemingly decided that would be far too boring, and decided to inflict a noticeable earthquake on LA. Given its seemingly recent, details are a bit vague but I’ve seen values anywhere between 6.4, and 6.6 on the Richter scale. Given most of my friends based in the area still seem to be posting on Social Media, its fair to assume the end of the world hasnt happened?  I’m not really up on the nature of the scale, but hey, if people in Los Angeles are commenting on it, it must be significant at least?

No, I’m not going to go hunting for news details to repeat them. If you’re reading this on posting night, the news agencies will be my only option, so you might as well go to them. If you’re reading it after that date, well, you’ll still find out more from Google, or whichever search engine you use.

I must admit, the first time I visited LA, I experienced my first earthquake. The fact that not even one local blinked at events just shows how comparatively minor it must have been. I hope there are no major injuries (or worse) relating to this, but if ever an area is built to stand something like this, its LA.

Sadly, I suspect the Orange, Russian bewigged one will be too busy with his dictator style military parade in Washington to know, or care about this, in truth. But please, LA, stay safe, OK, I want you there to visit next year!

OK, the video. No, I’m sure its not an earthquake from hell, and that the only bats in the area tonight will either be at Dodgers, or Angels stadium. But all the same, classic Meatloaf!

Black is black

For those of those fortunate enough to see both blogs, this is the more cheering event, though its also the one, like so many LGBT related events that I wish we didnt have to celebrate. I know, things were very different in 1947 America, though in truth, it took decades after that before things really improved, and rather like LGBT issues, I’m not certain that its really been settled as yet, especially with the current political situation there. For more details of the events than I wish to just repeat, go see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Robinson

for all of the details. The only thing of which I can be really proud is that it was my beloved Dodgers (then in Brooklyn) who took the first move to right matters. His shirt number was 42, and this is why today, all players, on all teams, and tomorrow, for the teams not playing today, will be wearing that shirt number for 1 day. Yes, the first game played by Jackie Robinson, African American baseball player, in the Major League was on April 15th, 1947.

The funny thing is, as the article points out, he wasnt actually the first African American to play Major League Baseball, he was just the first to do so since 1884, and fine, media was pretty limited back then, and segregation was pretty awful back then, so they were conveniently swept over. In truth things werent great in 1947 for Robinson, as players, and teams refused to play with/against him back then, with little impunity. To be fair to the Dodgers, and the MLB they came down relatively firmly on these people, but only so much could be done at a time when racism was sadly rife. Funny thing is, he never played in Los Angeles. He retired in 1956, and it was 1958 before they moved across the country, to become Hollywood’s team.

Oh, and to say the Dodgers have always been forward on equality matters? First team to let a female journalist into the locker room (1974), the first team to have a female lead trainer (2012), and way back in 1941, the first team to get their players to wear helmets! Oh, and probably the only team that will ever have the same person commentate on the team for 67 years too. Yes, Vin Scully, of course.

No, the Dodgers play tonight in the middle of the night, my time (3.00 am start) so I wont see them play, but there is one extra thing for me tonight, a player of course for once, wearing 42, Clayton Kershaw. He makes his first start in the Major League tonight, after injury, having spent the last couple of weeks amusingly, in Oklahoma. I suspect he flew to Los Angeles, unlike Clara, who I assume arrived by train, though that was from Texas, according to her Census records. When she moved to Texas, I have yet to discover, all I know is she left for LA in 1925 at this point. That might need to be one of my challenges in life, discovering more about her, assuming my retirement is made official, after the neurologist has checked me over. So I might yet find her married name, and later life, lol!

Alright, the video is corny, though it might appeal to my male readers. And yes, I’d love a pair of those gold trousers, if anyone is offering…?

 

Welcome to Hollywood?

Over on the other blog, I made a few comments about La La Land, which I finally got to see last night for the first time. Yes, fine, watched it mainly for the locations (lots that I’ve seen, or visited), rather than the movie (fine, I guess), but it made me think how tough it must be for those trying to break through in Tinsel Town.

In truth, I accept that my time to do so has probably gone, even if I have been performing more again of late, I cant see the Hollywood studios rushing to sign up a disabled 60 year old, lets face it. As the film shows, its hard enough for the younger ones trying to get their break, let alone a mature old lady like me!

Its one habit that Hollywood has been doing now for about a century, getting the young and ambitious arriving in town, dreaming of becoming a star, and in most cases, failing to do so. The result of that has varied over the years. Sadly, at least one related suicide (Peg Entwistle) due to lack of success, and others who had dreams of fame, but ended up in tiny parts, or in chorus lines, dancing. Yes, Clara Johnson, looking at you, lol. Of course, the irony was, many of those pretty dancers attracted the eyes of wealthy men, who wanted a young, and pretty wife, and yes, in truth, thats all some of those girls did it for, anyway, lol.

I wonder how Clara felt when she arrived in town in 1925, with dreams of fame that never happened, but along came the musicals, and her dancing talents, and the rest was history.

Maybe part of me regrets that I never tried that dream, but maybe it was for the best? Besides which, its easier for young, star eyed American girls to chase that dream, than Brit’s!

Still, all permitting, I plan to be back in town next year, so if any Hollywood producer wants to make me a crazy offer, I’m listening, lol! No, I dont expect a rush!

OK, video time. I wish there was a live video of Rafferty, and this song, but sadly there isnt, and of course, never will be now, I guess? But its one of my favourite Rafferty songs, and so apt, so…

Never rains on California golf courses?

I’m sure you’ve all heard the running joke, most noticeably about it never raining in California? Well, in the summer, and up until the last couple of winters, sadly that had been pretty true. Thankfully, last year, there was rain, solved most of the drought issues, and it seems currently they’re trying to avoid drought issues this winter too.

Last weekend, not only was there plenty of rain at the golf course at Pebble Beach, there was hail too, and indeed I saw a TV image where the complete green seemed to be a shade of white, from that event.

This week, they’ve moved down the coast to my favourite city in the world (probably), Los Angeles, and more specifically, that heavenly place on Earth named Pacific Palisades, where if money was no object, I would very happily retire too. Its gorgeous, relaxed, but close enough to LA for events at the same time.

They were due to start play at 6.40 am local time this morning, on a tight schedule so that they can finish the round before it gets dark again, just before 6 pm. Thing is, when they started, the rain was pouring down, and 40 minutes later, play was called, and they arent even going to consider playing again until 1 pm local time, let alone actually start then. So they’re not going to get far today, lets face it!

I must admit, on my visits to LA, I only remember it really raining once. And yes, when it did, it really did seem like the heavens had opened up. Thankfully I’d been warned, and was in my little apartment at Verbena Drive when it did! But watching the rain pour down, for a short while, and then stop, as if it had never happened, was quite something. As the temperatures soon rose again, it wasnt long before the evidence was gone again, in truth.

All I can say is that I hope that when I next visit Pacific Palisades (hopefully next year), it doesnt feel like I’m in the middle of the great flood, which is how it looked earlier today.

OK, the song choice wins no prizes for originality, just saying…

 

Blinded by a deed?

One of the things I enjoy about riding public transport in the US, is that it tends to be so wonderfully straightforward that nobody can get it wrong. Yes, in most cities I’ve been to, one fare serves all. You get on a bus (or a metro), and unless you’ve got a day pass, or weekly pass, the fare is the same. Seattle is a bit more complex (though not dramatically) than that, but LA is delightfully simple, I’m pleased to say. You just put your coins, or notes in the box, or register your pass, and on the bus you get!

Over here, its a whole different game! Its not quite every stop that you get on at, and get off at have a different fare, but there are lots of ‘zones’ involved, even in a shortish journey like mine into town. And pretty much, within town, most people do the same journeys, know the fare, and should have it ready, pay, and the bus can move on.

Oh, if only. You get people trying to say that they’ll pay the fare from the next bus stop where its cheaper, or that they are getting off a stop earlier than they actually do, to save about 30 pence! And of course, if its the getting on, you get a 2 minute discussion with the passenger, and the driver, before eventually said passenger slams down the right money, says something ‘less than delightful’ to the bus driver, and gets on. Either that, or glares at him for the rest of the journey, for making him pay the right fare. Of course, all this delays the bus, and annoys ‘passengers’ who have a connection to make in town, as some seem to do it every-time I see them travel.

The other thing that makes me a ‘grumpy old lady’ is the people who stand at the bus stop for 5 minutes or more, waiting for the bus to arrive, but only get their fare money, or pass out, when they reach the driver. What is so hard about being ready, folks?

OK, you’re getting this rant because this morning, I allowed 30 minutes to get somewhere, which should be a 14 minute trip. I got there with 4 minutes to spare!

Oh, funniest flat fare story. One morning I got on a bus at Hollywood & Vine stop, heading towards Glendale. A Man got on in front of me, deposited his fare (I believe it was $1.50 at time?) in the box, and sat down. No sooner had we pulled off, and he rang the bell, got off at the next stop, about 100 yards up the road, maximum. Seriously, he couldnt walk 100 yards (no, there were no visible issues, and he ran along street after getting off bus), had to catch a bus? Well…rolls eyes…?

OK, rant over, lets get to the song. This is actually the original version of this song, though many believe Manfred Mann’s Earthband were that. Wrong, lol!

Never happy with the weather?

I know a lovely guy down Georgia (as in Atlanta) way, who regularly complains because he never gets to see snow in winter. Only the other day, he was complaining because the temperature there was in the mid 60’s, at a time when it was barely above freezing over here. I also know a lovely guy in LA who complains that its cold out there, and when I look, even in the chill of the night, its 10 degrees warmer than it is here in the morning! So yeah, he’d have something to complain about if he came over here in the winter, lol!

Yes, my friend in Georgia, I’ve jokingly offered to swap places with him, as my back is far less grumpy when the temperature is above 50. Well, generally it is, but I’m having a bad spell this weekend (to put it mildly), and though its not far off that mark, it feels like an axe has been thrown into my back, but anyway…

Unfortunately we cant just do a winter swap, some trivial item called Immigration rules, and all that, on both sides of the pond! I still hope to retire to somewhere that can fit my requirements post retirement, whenever that may be. Algarve is an obvious target (even more so after November) for me, though I’m not sure how easy that will still be, post Brexit, but fingers crossed. Unless someone (PLEASE!) wants to pay for me to move there before that happens, but otherwise…

But yes, dont ever complain to me about how hot it is where you live, and expect sympathy. An offer (if possible) to swap places, a whole different matter! So…?

I love the sun obviously, which is a corny reason for tonights video. This is one of Clara Johnson’s earlier outings as a chorus girl, though its more walking in an amazing outfit, than actual dance. If I’m right, she’s the last one before the horse rider appears near the end. To be fair, any number of these girls can be seen in tons of musical numbers, not just her!

My favorite golf venue of the year

You might ask how this is my favorite golf course, when I’ve never even been there, let alone ever attempted to play there? Fine, more shortly. In fact, in my life, I’ve only ever visited 2 famous golf courses, and played at both, though not on the famous courses. Yes, putting greens only, lol. Having said that, the 18 hole putting green course at St Andrews is definitely not your average dull course. Carnoustie is a more normal version, but playing on it, literally as people are walking down the 18th fairway, just a fence away from you, still quite special.

But no, the closest I’ve been to this course is on a number 2 bus, heading to, and from Pacific Palisades. Yes, the US tour is playing at Riviera Country Club this week. And yes, in truth, its not the golf course shots I love, its the location views, which the TV companies involved, deign to give us.

Its funny, if things had gone as planned that first time, I may never have visited, and fallen in love with Pacific Palisades. I was heading for Beverly Hills, assuming the bus heading in that direction went there, but it didnt. By the time, I realized I’d got it wrong, that we were well past that location, I decided to stay on the bus, and take my chance, until we arrived somewhere where I could get lunch, maybe a look around, and then, with my tail between my legs (proverbially), turn around, and head back to Hollywood. Yes, I ended up in Pacific Palisades, and fell in love with the place. I dont think it was just the reasonably priced massage parlor, that eased a few aching limbs that clinched it, though that may have helped. It was the laid back feel of the place, the wonderful views of the sea, down the canyon, and everything else that cracked it, I’m sure. Fine, a wonderful ice cream parlor might have helped too!

Since then, I’ve been back there on each of my trips, and if I get to LA again, its a certainty that PP will be visited on that trip too. Though fine, walking down, and definitely up the canyon might be less practical now, with my back!

Oh, and one other thing of golf at Riviera, long range shots of Santa Monica Pier! Not that I’ve ever ridden any ride there, but got plenty of other good memories of that pier! So fine, if they want to show a bit less of the golf this weekend, and a bit more of the locale, I for one, would appreciate it!

Right, video time. Let me say this was one of those You Tube searches, not a song thats my thing in the slightest. But given the video has lots of shots of PP, and Santa Monica, I’ll live with it!

Whats in a name?

One of my pet hates with modern stadiums is that they dont have what I would call, a proper name, especially in the US, where seemingly nearly every team now plays in a stadium with no local name, just the name of whoever may be sponsoring it at the time. Thankfully, Dodgers Stadium, Wrigley Field, and Fenway Park (to name a few) survive at present by their original name, but for how long?

Thankfully, there are some places that regardless of how many times the name changes, most people still know them by their old name. In truth, I suspect the tale of tonight’s rant will be one of those, despite the ghastly name change.

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum started to be built in 1921, opening in 1923. In its time, as well as hosting numerous teams from the Los Angeles area (including for a few years, the Dodgers, more on that later), but also hosted 2 Olympics, and may well play a part in hosting another in 2028, when the event returns to town. I wont be there to see it, even if I’m still alive by then!

But now, or more strictly correctly, in August 2019, the name will change, it will be ‘The United Airlines Memorial Coliseum’. Yes, I know, money talks, and all that! In truth, beyond the whole matter of the name change, its who the sponsors are! Yes, United Airlines.

Thats right, the company who in the last few years have had a total customer services meltdown are putting $69 million towards repairs to the stadium, presumably in a desperate attempt to improve their standing in the community? And yes, they are still as bad as ever, only last week throwing a woman off a plane, due to a ticketing error, on the way to see her dying mother for the last time. No, thanks to their incompetence, she never made it! Of course, it wasnt their fault according to them, but seriously, given those circumstances, and the fact the ticket had been paid for, what a shambles!

The amusing thing of course, is the LA reaction to this. Most of that has involved comments about buying tickets for the stadium, then having someone coming up, throwing you out of your seat, and beating you up for good measure! That attitude might improve towards them over the next 18 months, but I wouldnt put good money on it! That is of course, given the amount of bad publicity they’ve had of late, that United Airlines are still around by then! Wouldnt that be ironic?

With luck, everyone will continue to call it The Coliseum, and nothing more for the rest of time!

What I didnt know, until I did a search, was that the Dodgers actually played 1 game there after their move to Dodgers Stadium. To celebrate 50 years in town, in 2008, they played a pre season game at their old home, against Boston Red Sox. No, the stadium was no longer designed for that, but anyway…

I found this. Yes, the Boston Red Sox song, sung in Coliseum. Official attendance was over 115,000, but certainly not that many there in this shot!

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!