A bad day for actresses?

To be fair, I wouldnt even get close to either of these in terms of ability, and I suspect that if you take any date on the calendar that you could find famous actresses passing away, but for me at least, and my tastes, August 8th is not a great date. Still, as long as I get through the next 4 1/2 hours…? 15 years ago today, and covered a lot more in my other blog, Fay Wray passed away. Mind, given she was born in 1907, and survived until 2004, she did pretty well for someone that groped by a gorilla lol. Maybe it was the time in the wax museum that preserved her, lol?

19 years earlier, Louise Brooks also passed away on the 8th August in Rochester, New York. The funny thing was, as got discussed earlier today, until just more than 2 years earlier I’d lived in Rochester, though the UK one, and had lived there for over 20 years, not the one in northern New York state. But now, the most recently visited one is the New York one. The subject came up earlier today in one of the Louise Brooks groups I’m a member of, when a poster from the UK version of Rochester posted about her death, mentioning the town connection.

Of course, in my time, I’ve not only visited the other Rochester (the US one), I’ve also visited Cherryvale too. Not yet got to Wichita (home there is demolished anyway), but other than that, completed the circle.

So yes, if I never post again, then maybe I was the 3rd to die on August 8th, though technically, on the 19 year thing, I’ve got 4 years to go, lol?

OK, video time. No, its not the obvious Pandora’s Box, nor is it Sweet Louise (because I cant find a video version, just audio), but still gone with the New Seekers, all the same.

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You know how to please me?

Let me say that I’m currently on a bit of a subject drought for these, now I’m doing 3 a week, instead of 2, so if anyone has any suitable ideas for subjects they’d like me to discuss (excluding anything UK politics related), feel free to either post in comments here, or send them to stephmajor8@hotmail.com , and if they appeal, I might just go with them!

This morning I got to see last nights baseball game between LA Angels, and Kansas City in the latter city. To say the weather was interesting for baseball would be putting it mildly. It would be fair to say that the second half of the game was played, quite literally in a snowstorm! Mind, its not exceptional, as apparently recently, a game there at the beginning of May had the same issue! They did get through, but you couldnt see a lot of anyone’s faces, shall we say? 😉

In truth, only a matter of just over a fortnight into the season, and lots of games have been postponed due to the weather. To say this hasnt been helped by the fact that the season started even earlier this year, to try and give more rest days for the players during the season, but in truth, a good number of these have come after the season would normally have started too. Snag is, now all these extra built in rest days for some teams arent going to happen, because of making up all their lost games in the future.

Of course, if sanity had prevailed, the MLB should have scheduled most of the games for the first couple of weeks away from the ‘frozen north’, though I guess that would have then caused issues late in the season for the warmer weather teams in having no home game revenues later in the season as they tried to compensate. But yes, seriously, games in Detroit, Minneapolis and Cleveland at the beginning of April, oops! You may have noticed Toronto missing from this list, which is even colder, but of course has a stadium that can shut a roof, and solve climate issues that way!

But yes, believe me, you wouldnt get me at a baseball game in a snow storm! Only once have I been to a game where the temperatures couldnt get out of the low 40’s, but that was minor league, in Rochester, in April! That was more than enough. Oh, 4 of their first 5 games, cancelled due to the weather!

Ah well, Seattle will hopefully be warmer, and besides, they have a retractable roof, so I should be fine this year. Famous last words!

Right, video time. Some live glam rock from the 70’s! Yes, its hard to find film from those days, has to be said. So who wants to Skweeze me, lol?

Happy birthday, Brooksie!

Well, I did warn you what tonight’s blog would be about, so please dont tell me you’re surprised at this.

Yes, today, 107 years ago in Cherryvale, Kansas, a baby girl, to be named Mary Brooks was born. Of course, she is better known by her middle name, Louise. No, I have no idea if the city celebrates the day at all, or even acknowledges it, to be honest, but as far as I can tell (from the Cherryvale council website), both homes she lived at are both still standing, though I suspect they have been modernised a bit since then. Unlike Wichita, where the house she lived at, is supposedly long since gone.

As mentioned back in April, I did track down the address she was recorded at, as living in Rochester, a very plain apartment block, but which had one famous resident. And of course, I got to visit her very simple grave, just outside Rochester as well.

At the start of the year, I thought I would have been to Kansas by now, as well, but as regular readers know, thats been delayed till next year, so its still something I’m greatly looking forward to. Fingers crossed that things work out, and I get to Cherryvale, so I can see where Louise Brooks started life as well, but that will be reliant on someone else, as public transport to there is pretty much non existent!

But none of this will happen before May, thats for sure!

In the meantime, lets take the chance to celebrate that birth, 107 years ago, and toast the spirit that is now Louise Brooks.

Oh, a video, oh alright…

Summer (not quite the first time)

Yes, I know, gives away the song title to those of you old enough to remember it, and given thats it a classic, a lot more beside, I hope.

No, before you ask, I didnt take away the boyhood of any young man this summer, or indeed give a girl her first lesbian thrill. Hey, I’ve been asexual for 13 years, so that was hardly likely to be the case! And even if I was a sex driven creature, I’d prefer the company of someone closer to my age anyway. The irony of the song, my only long term love in my life was a fair bit older than me, just not saying how much. But no, I have no ‘cougar’ inspirations, it has to be said.

But yes, next weekend, British Summer Time officially comes to an end, though I know my North American friends wait another week before the clocks go back. Mind, weather wise, summer is already over anyway lol! Crazy, isnt it, we spend more time of the year in ‘summer time’ than we do in our natural time zone! I’m sure there is reasoning there, I just cant see it!

The funny thing is, both of my US venues this year were return ones. The first to a place I visited on my very first trip across the pond in 1987, the latter to the first place I went to on a solo visit, in 2000. Been doing it ever since lol, mainly twice a year. Also includes one much longer stay in 2003, but thats beside the point.

Rochester was the place visited back in ’87, on a brief stop, on the way to Niagara. We stopped in a motel near there on the way back, but I dont remember any details. No, didnt see a lot of the city back then, mainly remembered the lake, but it was nice to go back, and see more. Especially to see where Louise Brooks is buried, something I definitely didnt do back then, as I didnt really learn about her until ’91, and that record by OMD.

As I say, the return to Richmond was a repeat of 2000, though this time I was a lot further out from the city than last time. This time I teamed up with Kate, the weather was wonderful, and a nice break from work. Mind, I nearly ended up doing some work, but anyway…

But now, summer is virtually over, and it will soon be darker earlier in the afternoon, and much colder. Ah well…

The video, yes, the clue is in the title

Lift me up

Yes, back to the old system, the clue to the video is in the title!

39 days from now (volcanoes and everything else permitting), I will be lifting off for the US again, eventually heading back to Virginia, looking forward to it. I just hope US Airways are on a going day that day, not always the case with them for me!

The funniest thing this weekend though, was watching the US PGA golf (mainly for work, partly for me) coming live from Rochester, NY, where I was in April. So alright, the golf wasnt happening down the main street, just outside the city at Oak Hill, but close enough. Funny thing is, that so far at least, the Rochester Red Wings baseball team are having a great year, and top of their division. Not that they would remember the ‘old biddy’ sat in the front row, on a freezing cold Sunday in April, but anyway…I was there! Equally uniquely, they were playing the Red Sox minor team from Pawtucket that day, and the last home MLB stadium I was at, was their parent team in Boston. Also, top of their division at present, though given the year I saw them, they totally collapsed in September, lets not count chickens yet!

As far as I know, the next MLB game I get to see live, is ‘your guess is as good as mine’ country, given my plans for September, and next year, which dont seem to tie in all that well. On TV will be an improvement on present, now that I no longer have ESPN, but live baseball is always fun, just not sure where, or when the next time will be for me.

I dont really remember anything about Richmond, 13 years is quite a time, and I suspect a lot has changed anyway. Not that I remembered any of Rochester, beyond the lake, but at least that was 25 years! but I’m getting old, memory is going and all that, so…

But given I’ll be flying there, this video seemed sort of apt

Oh, and this evening, I received my first royalty statement for book sales. Amazon in July, brings me $23.69! No, I wont be giving up the day job, especially as August sales have been awful so far, but fingers crossed. Even more so as I wont get paid until October! But if you’d told me that I would ever get paid for writing, I would have laughed at you, but look at me now. Yes, another Geri Halliwell video, but lets leave it at one for tonight.

The end of the end

That title might get a few thinking, but to save on your precious brain cells, its the end of the holiday, in the city where Louise Brooks life came to an end. September sees the trip to the place from earlier in her life, Kansas. I know, the wrong way round, but I dont care. And of course, this time at least, the route is via New York City, the only other place she lived for a lengthy part of her life. Alright, JFK is hardly central NYC, but its as close as I can get lol! As close as I’d want to get to NYC in all honesty, but anyway…

Its funny, when I told people I was coming here, I tended to get 2 reactions, where, and why! The why, I knew, even if many didnt see it, was the obvious one, that lady buried out at Holy Sepulchre played a major part in the call. It was also going to be interesting to come back here after 25 years, though given I remember nothing of the city from that trip, that was only a side issue.

I must admit, there were a few times when I wondered if I would find enough here for a weeks trip, which was why I planned a return visit to Buffalo on one day of the stay. it never happened, there was enough here without that, as I soon discovered. Yes, its a nice city, I’m glad I’ve done justice to it, though I suspect I will never see it again, but thats not because I didnt like the place, I did. But there are other places to see, plus I pretty much covered everything, so unless I get an offer I cant refuse, I wont be back. And no, I dont expect that to happen lol! But yes, I’m so glad I visited Rochester, in so many ways.

Tomorrow, the long flight back to the UK starts, and thats where the next blog post will appear from. In the meanwhile, as promised, the obvious song. Not the official video, but a live version though, but yes, you can see images of Louise in the background. Hopefully I will get to hear it live next month, Andy, are you listening? 😉

Different DVD formats

Yes, this is a whine, so if you dont like that sort of post, walk away now.

…….

Fine, you’re still here, nice to know. Well, I assume you are, but anyway…

Back in the old days of video recorders, when they first came out, there were 2 formats, VHS and Betamax. Both survived for a while, though Betamax was never winning the fight, and eventually was given up on. Of course, in time, VHS submitted to DVD’s, and that to a lesser degree has ended up battling blu-ray discs for sales.

But no, this whine isnt about that, its another issue. In the UK, we use the PAL system for all these things, in the US, they use NTSC. Allegedly non compatible, though nowadays most machines will play both, but not all. The other thing is, making these things regional. For simplicity sake, North America discs are Region 1, Europe are region 2. its more complex than that (there are actually 8 regions), but keeping it relevant to me… There are also region 0 discs, with no limitations, which is nice, but…

I went to the Eastman House Museum today, and in the shop was a DVD of Diary Of A Lost Girl, a Louise Brooks film I havent yet seen. Yes, I know, its on You Tube in full, but watching it on a laptop, and watching it on a 40″ TV, not quite the same thing lol! Snag is, the DVD was NTSC of course, I’m in the US, so its to be expected. But in all likelihood, it would work at home in the UK all the same. But…it was region 1, and that probably wouldnt! Aargh! Well, it wasnt marked as such, couldnt see any marking at all, but the staff were pretty sure it was region 1, so I left it behind. Not a happy bunny lol!

I know, I know, some things have to be protected from certain markets, but seriously, a 1920’s silent movie?

Grumble, grumble, end of rant.

No, I’m not providing a link to the whole film, no point, no one would watch. So here is a 5 minute snippet, including the delectable Ms Brooks.

Anyone think that the eating style is pretty robotic lol, or is that just me?