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!

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The first flight of Harlean Carpenter

I might actually be wrong, though I havent seen any evidence that Jean ever took to the air to go anywhere, all her longer journeys seem to have been by train, to be honest. But if I’m wrong, apologies. It is also possible that she took to the air while filming ‘Hells Angels’, but given those planes were generally single seater, I very much doubt it!

Yes, thats right, the new passport, in my new name, finally arrived today! I certainly plan that it will be the last name that I use in a passport, and it might even be my last passport, given that I will be nearly 68 when it expires, its argumentative if I will get another one after that. Health permitting, possibly one more, but dont quote me on that! Its a fact of life, that once you hit 70, travel insurance prices rocket, so…?

I know, I could get married, but forgive me if I laugh a lot at the thought of that happening. Besides, nowadays, the woman doesnt always change her name on marriage, and lets face it, being called Harlean Carpenter isnt anything I want to change in a hurry!

Yes, if I could, I’d love to just get up, and fly somewhere tomorrow, just to hand over the passport, in my lovely new name. But yes, you’re right, I cant afford it at present. So, if any generous benefactor, or wealthy person, wants to get a flight ticket for me, as short, or long a distance, I dont care. I just want to be able to check in, hand over that passport, and hear the person behind the desk say, “Thank you, Miss Carpenter” or whatever they say, it will just be so special.

Yes, in a dream world, it would be a journey to Kansas City, or Los Angeles, but to be honest, if it was a flight from Manchester, or Leeds, to anywhere, I just dont care! I know, its not going to happen, until I can afford it, I’m sure, but you never know! Please!

Well, for something like this, it comes down to one of 2 songs. I chose the one you’re less likely to know, because I’m that type of woman!

Cheer up, sleepy Jean!

Fine, technically its a cheat, but Harlean did become Jean, so…live with it! 😛 Besides which, its a great song, and video!

So what has cheered up little Jean, you might be asking? Well, apart from the fact that she’s finally got a job offer, and yes, its that one where I said the wage was too good to be true, so I will find out about that, at least! I still cant believe that an ordinary call centre job is offering £13.50 ($19.50) an hour, but I cant complain, if true. Oh fine, lets face it, I would be the one person who would love it, if it did involve literal interfacing with the computer system, wouldnt I? 😉 Or if we’ll really be working from an alien spaceship, hundreds of miles above the Earth, then great! No, sadly, I doubt very much either will happen, but a girl can dream! No dress code, so maybe we do get offered silver body suits to wear at work? Again, I wish! Though officially, I’ll be working in Halifax!

In other good news, yes, the passport matter has now finally been sorted out in full, after one last call on Friday. Someone had missed one important document, and the passport I’d sent in, but someone else in the office confirmed they had them, would authorise it there, and then, so should have it by the middle of the week. Thats it, I’m Harlean Carpenter now, for life, unless I marry (ha ha), I guess? Even then, I might not be keen on changing that wonderful name.

Oh, and my little bedroom here, is now somebody else’s office. No, dont panic, I havent been evicted yet, and as long as this job is real, and I’m not sleeping on an alien space craft in the future, I’ve changed rooms, now got one room as my little apartment. Kitchen, and bathroom are still the house facilities, but otherwise…Yes, it will take some sorting out, as I’ve lost a lot of storage space, but at least now I can afford the new chest of drawers, and maybe a second small wardrobe, now I’ve got a job!

Fine, I probably should have got a lottery ticket yesterday, but my outdoor clothes are buried in a bag somewhere, in my room, so didnt happen! Oh, and lastly, seems like I’m doing a vintage clothing shoot, in 3 weekends time. Not sure if it will be here, or Hull, at present. He’s happy to come to me, but its a train line I havent travelled in years, and I suspect he has more space than me, too. Should be great, wherever its done.

OK, the blog title isnt only a play on Jean’s name change, though I’m more than delighted to be using her old name. It also works for the video too. I know, shock horror, and all that!

Was I brainwashed, and just never knew it?

Alright, the title is a little cynical, maybe, but given the way I feel at the moment, I’m beginning to wonder!

Yes, more delights in the battle with the passport office, if you were wondering.

Today, I got a letter from them, telling me that in fact I did have a driving licence, and have had one since 1983. Thing is, apart from a brief period of holding a provisional licence in the late 1970’s, I’ve never had one…that I know of! Believe me if I say that, considering the qualities of my driving skills, that I remember, I would never have passed a driving test, in my lifetime. A lot of it was co-ordination issues related to changing gears, and pushing pedals at the same time, which was needed with manual cars, in the UK back then. Irony is, if I was in the US, where nearly all cars are automatics, I might have been able to drive, but anyway…

Or was I really a good driver, and just made to forget it, by…”someone”? No, I dont really believe that, but anyway…I’m guessing that someone of the same name (I had an issue with this matter when applying for a mortgage in 1987) did get a driving licence that year, and because of a lack of addresses back then, they think its me! Stolen identity? Nowadays, maybe I would think that, but not in 1983! And besides, if it was some secret government department that brainwashed me back then, I dont think another government department would be telling me about it now!

Anyway, I rang the passport office back this morning, and let them know. They said they would get an examiner to ring me on the matter as quickly as possible, but nothing was heard all day. I will ring them back Monday afternoon if I havent heard anything. Of course, if they’ve checked, and found out I’m not meant to know about events back then…No, I dont believe that, honestly.

But yes, this is all getting very frustrating now, as I need a passport for ID when applying for jobs, and things. And because they are delaying things (its already 5 weeks, when should be dealt with in 4), its causing me problems at a time when money is running short, and I need to change that soon. I couldnt even request benefits at present, because yes, you’ve guessed it, you need ID, and they wont release it! As things stand, I have about 6 weeks before my money runs out completely, and yes, I’m panicking badly over this! So if anyone has any to spare, or some other country wants to trustingly issue me with a passport, I’d appreciate it. Yes, ideally, US, I’m looking at you, but just at the moment… I’m trying to avoid doing anything silly to myself, but the stress is just getting to me totally at the moment.

Help!

Right, the video. Was everything erased from my mind in 1983, or is it just someone else with the same name who requested a driving licence back then? I wonder?

Do you want me, baby?

Fine, much as I suspected, changing the advert on the dating agency to woman seeking woman, has proved a complete failure. I’ve not even had one message, let alone the chance of anything more! Funnily enough, one of the men I was talking to before is still in contact, but thats about it, and for whatever reason, he seemingly wants to do no more than chat, saying that I’m too far away, even if it is only about 20 miles!

Oh, and the guy from Houston who was so interested, not a whisper on when he’s actually coming to the UK, so I’ve written him off too! And until the passport actually arrives, I couldnt do much on that front either.

On that subject, funny story. On Monday, I got a letter from the passport office, asking me to prove I’d also changed my name on my driving licence, as no record of doing so had shown up. So I rang them, and told them the very good reason for that, I dont drive, therefore dont hold a driving licence, so I had no need to change it. She wasnt quite as shocked as people when I say I dont have a cell phone, but quite good, all the same. Anyway, I gather that was the last issue, so hopefully it will arrive soon. I hope so, as I have 1 registration to arrange when it does, and another that I will have to follow up with, after tomorrow, as another are doing an interim thing until it gets here, so they can put me forward for a job.

Right, thats not to say that the whole dating stuff has been a total waste of time, yet.

There is one wonderful gentleman from Long Island who is interested in me, actually a relative of Jean Harlow, roughly my age, so who knows, we might get together yet, and have a wonderful time. I’d love it if it happened, he seems wonderful, we both love the old movies, though our political views are a little way apart, lets leave it at that! Of course, if he wanted to change my mind on that, in a very special way, fine by me!

The other one, of significant interest, is also in the US. Yes, I know, very annoying, though I guess if it means in the end, I get into the country, then great, but planning things in the early stages…sheesh!

Not that he wants me as a partner, he wants me as a robot! Fine, its only going to be hypnotized to believe I am one, not the real thing, but anyway…about as good as is realistic, given modern technology. There are small issues at present, and no, not just the building of the robotization chamber, I wish!

Maybe I’m just being cynical, rather than wishful, but if you asked me honestly, I suspect I’ll end up staying a singleton, and not just because I’m a robot either! I guess I’d happily take either, but I must admit, genuinely being part of the Carpenter clan would be great. But equally, if I lived out the rest of my life, as a robot, no complaints whatsoever!

Oh, and being practical at present, if anyone reading this is feeling charitable to a beaten down, unemployed, middle aged lady, I wouldnt say no! More than happy to work for money, either as human, or a robot (ha ha), if that can be easily arranged. Just feeling the despair of seeing the bank balance dropping to less pleasant levels is doing nothing for my cheerfulness at present.

Lastly, the video,, what I seem to have said in an online sense of late, at least.

Young at heart?

Well, regardless of whether I am, or not, I’m not young in body. I’m 57, for heavens sake, more than twice the age poor Jean Harlow ever reached in this life. But thats not the point of this brief blog, its the amusing job interview I had today.

If I heard the line ‘Its a young office’ at my interview today, I heard it a dozen times, or more. Maybe it was, and judging by the glance I cast round the office post interview, seemingly it is, as I couldnt see anyone much the other side of 30, but as far as I know, strictly, age cant be used as an issue when applying for jobs. In fact, I know it cant, but beside the point, no, I dont expect to get any positive news back from my application somehow.

So, at this point, given it relates to this, I might as well slip the video in, here and now!

Well, looks like the last trip out as Ms Nicholls will now be happening tomorrow, for the medical screening, as I’ve heard nothing more about the job assessment on Wednesday, so… Yes, the next time I apply for any roles, or need to show ID, it will at long last be as Miss Carpenter! Can’t wait! And at some point next year, the first flight as Harlean is going to be something special. Mind, I probably need to get a job, and some money together for that!

Talking of money, if anyone has £75 ($113.52 at time of posting) to spare, I love this corset.

http://www.theburgandyboudoir.com/Purple-Gothic-Corset_p_816.html

Yes, I know, its a thoroughly submissive look, but I love it all the same. And hey, I switch, and could probably quite happily full time sub if I got to wear that. Oh fine, technicality, I also need someone to tie me (tightly) into it, but thats beside the point!

I know, I love gorgeous corsets, what can I say? 😉

Sign my name. Which one?

For the last month or so, you could say I’ve been living a double life. Officially I’m Harlean Stephanie Carpenter, but when it comes to job applications, I’m still Stevie Lou Nicholls. Why? Simple, you have to show ID, to prove who you are when you go to register for jobs, or at interviews, and of course, I’ve still been operating off my old passport up until now, which is fine, and then you have to sign a form, and I start thinking which name am I signing here?

Thankfully, now I’m reaching a point where I can risk sending off the passport for a few weeks or so, and get the change done, because of the season, and events. Yes, lets face it, no one is going to start you working just before Christmas, or indeed before the New Year, now. So after one assessment next week (when I might need it), and one medical screening (where I will need it) that needs to be arranged tomorrow, for early next week, I can take a chance, and send the old passport away, and await the return of the new one.

Should the latter happen, I’m going to be in a clinic for a few days at the beginning of the New Year anyway, so I wont even need it then. And hey, if its the job, hopefully I can get someone to get an early print of the old passport, or be patient for a few days, and get the new one, which will be wonderful.

Up until now, I’ve been using Stephanie formally, despite the evidence, and no one seems to mind. Whether, once I have the new passport, I really take on the name, Harlean, I’ll wait and see how comfortably it sits with me. But its definitely growing on me, so…I might!

But yes, it will be wonderful when I dont have to think which name I’m going to sign, because I will only have one again, a name I am truly proud of, Harlean Stephanie Carpenter. Sounds wonderful!

The video relates to the issue I’ve been having, which name to sign, but not for much longer.