Praying for a miracle, and reaching for the stars

Regardless of what happens tonight, and it might be all over then, though I hope not, by the next time I get to post here, the baseball season will finally be over. Hopefully, it creeps over into November, because if it doesnt, it means the Dodgers have lost the World Series, and I will be a slightly less happy bunny. I mean, they could still lose it tomorrow, in November, but then at least the dream will have lasted one more day.

In all honesty, against any other team, I’d probably be hoping for a Houston win, because of all the problems they had with the hurricane, and everything there, it would be nice for them to have something to bring cheer. But, yes, its the Dodgers, so fine, I care, lol! No, I have no idea what I’d do if the Dodgers were playing the Royals, except that I probably wouldnt really care who won!

Technically, the Dodgers have a strong hand, given the last 2 games are at home. But the pressure of having to win both games, or else, must still play a part? Game 5 was an absolutely crazy game, 13-12, in what was supposed to be a game between 2 strong pitchers. But yes, whatever they’ve done to the balls this year, its certainly changed things in favor of the hitters, indeed, gone too far in my humble opinion. Yes, I like runs being scored, as much as others, but all tactics seem to have gone out of the game this year, beyond the hitters just trying to smash every ball out of the park! And the balls flying for miles, to help them!

Anyway, not a lot I can do, from here, I guess. I know what some think, but no, I’m not a witch, and cant fly at supersonic speed on a broomstick to get there, and change the history of the game lol! Even if I had a flying saucer spaceship (oh please!), still the same! But yes, in my sleep, I’ll be hoping for 2 Dodgers wins in the next 2 nights, and a World Series title.

My next game, all things permitting, will be next May, on the West Coast. But no, not Dodgers Stadium, but a long way north of there, in Seattle. Yes, another stadium to tick off my list of visited for a game, though I have done a tour of that stadium. But yes, definitely health permitting, but fingers crossed.

The video, well the title is a line from the lyrics. Cannot find an actual live performance of this one, sorry!

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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!

A residence in Hollywood? Just maybe?

A funny thing happened during my job hunting this week. Normally, when you apply for a job, the start is going to be (relatively) soon, exactly how soon depending on the whims, and needs of your potential employers. But the job that I should have registered for on Monday, and been assessed on Tuesday, but for events mentioned earlier in the week, wouldnt actually start until November. Why, because it would be working at the brand spanking new shopping centre in Bradford, which only actually opens to the public on the 5th November. Yes, the Westfield shopping centre, only a “few” years late is finally going to open for business! Guess what, they are looking for concierge agents already, well in advance.

Good news, on Thursday, when I got there, seems there are still vacancies. And there will be an assessment day, for those roles on the 20th. And if you pass, you hear soon after, great stuff. The thing is, thats quite a gap between getting the job, and starting work, and getting paid. I know, I could look for something temporary in the meanwhile, and maybe I would, and should. Though as mentioned before, finding anything at present, for someone of my age, quite challenging! And as an ex workmate has already discovered, our ‘Dear Leader PM’ has decided that for whatever reason you’re not genuinely job hunting, you’re not going to get paid benefits. Lovely chap, so glad I didnt vote for him (yes, sarcasm alert there). So they might get equally feisty with me, probably would, such a ghastly bunch!

In the mean while, I’m carrying on the search for more current jobs, though I’m beginning to get to that ghastly window where employers arent going to be so keen on me, given I’m going away on holiday in 6 weeks time, and those with longer training periods arent going to be interested. Already had one, agency enquired this week, no holidays in first 8 weeks, and I havent even started the process yet!

So, as is my way, I started thinking laterally. Dangerous thing I know, but all the same. No, I dont mean thinking, but if anyone wants to solve that problem, offering me a position, I wouldnt say no! No, I meant the lateral thinking bit lol. Suppose I know I’ve got a job at the end of August, which doesnt start till the beginning of November, what options does it open up? Well, given the fact I’ve been pretty miserly with my redundancy money, one idea came to me. A month away, in the US, in my own rented apartment somewhere, living like a local, with a local address (of sorts). And yes, Hollywood did come to mind, though a couple of other West Coast cities also came to mind (Seattle, San Francisco) because lets face it, for a week, they are a lot of travelling. But for 4 weeks, hmm… And before you say that I’ve only recently spent 10 days in Hollywood, believe me when I say I barely scraped the LA area in that time. Long Beach, Anaheim, Burbank, most of down town…not at all.

Friends have even found me a couple of sites, with plenty of suitable places to rest my head wherever I choose to. But given how badly this job hunt has gone, can you seriously see this playing out as I’m planning it? I wish! Mind, if I could find a call centre that was prepared to interview me now, offer me a job to start in November, that would be handy! Its not like these places dont recruit all the time, but I suspect ‘regulations’ wouldnt permit it.

But yes, I must admit, it didnt take long (a matter of hours, in all honesty) for the idea to grow on me, if I could work it. Yes, even if its not truly my place, the idea of having a Hollywood address of my own, even for just 4 weeks, would be wonderful.

OK, I’ll wake up to the reality now, its not going to happen, I’m sure, but I can wish, and plot…No, I’m sure the dream wont go as far as finding a job in LA lol, but again…! If someone wants me to dress up as Iron Man (girl) or something, and have photos taken, I wouldnt say no. Not sure the Jean Harlow look would be popular enough nowadays.

Right, the video. A room (or more strictly, an apartment) with a Hollywood view? Wouldnt that be something, if only for 4 glorious weeks

A writing retreat

As many of my blog readers will know, I write stories, and have done for about 15 years now. All the early stuff, plus a few more recent ones can be found here

http://192.155.80.152/Authors/Robotunit8.html

Warning, some of the early stuff isnt all that great, unsurprisingly my writing skills have developed over the years. As have my tastes. Most of my recent stuff, the mind control level is either so minimal to be negligible, or not even there at all. And to be honest, nowadays I write far less sci fi, and far more stuff written in the 1920’s or 30’s. Though occasionally, as with my latest piece, which I finished today, I have been known to connect both.

In this case though, the story is actually set in the current day (or strictly, about a year from now), as a follow up to my latest piece, “A Hollywood Happening”, which you can find here,

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Z6Z4NLQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Though strictly, the modern day actress who stars at the end of this, and entirely in the new story, is loosely based on a 1920’s and 30’s bit part actress, who I discovered under hypnotic regression, was me, in a previous life! But of course, the modern day Clara Johnson is just a personal view on how her life would be today. I suspect this piece will appear on that Archive you see at the top in good time, though it may go out as an ebook as well.

But enough of that, though it sets up this blog, its not the main reason for it.

On Twitter (I’m lurking there as @harleanlook, if you want to link), one of the groups I follow is a writing retreat, somewhere near Seattle, called Hedgebrook. And every year seemingly, they invite female writers to apply for a stay at their delightful retreat on Whidbey Island, and write in seclusion. You can also enjoy the scenery, good company, and everything else, sounds amazing. And from what I’ve seen, and read, some amazing writers have spent time there, and loved it. The link to their site

http://www.hedgebrook.org/

Yes, a humble writer like me would love to do something like that, but me, beat off the competition, cant see it. But a bit like a delightful man at Loughborough University, for some reason, they think I should apply, and give it a go. Why not, you say, its not like I’m working at present or anything, after all? Well, actually that was part of my reason for not considering applying, there’s a fee involved with application, and I really ought to be preserving my funds. Oh fine, shot down, someone like me, the fee would be waived.

So now, what the hell, I’m going to go for it, though with no great expectations of winning. But yes, it would be an amazing place to go, if I won, I must say, so fingers crossed. Thing is, this wouldnt be a short, so I guess I’m either going to write the Jean Harlow biography I’m told I should do, turn “No Place Like Nome” into the full length story I’m told it should be, or do a crazy piece of sci fi, probably involving robots, and transformation! Realistically, it has to be the “Nome” story, I have been looking for a reason for years to develop that, and I should do that. But… Maybe I need to be hypnotically regressed, and write the unique Clara Johnson (auto)biography, though I can see much of a market for that!

The video. Its about writing songs, not novels, but its close enough!

Its got to be perfect!

As many who know me from the Forums know at least, I’m a fan of baseball. Please, dont ask me why, I’ve no idea? Unless its because I played rounders when younger, and there is some similarity I guess? Though as far as I remember, pitches are a lot more gentle in rounders lol! Oh, and for my pain, and to make it worse, I’m a Seattle Mariners fan. Why, probably because its the first US city I fell in love with.

Most Americans already know, they arent going to win the World Series anytime soon. To be honest, they arent even likely to make the playoffs anytime soon either. So hey, when something good happens for the Mariners, I’m going to mention it. In all honesty, they probably have one star, a pitcher named Felix Hernandez, though to most Mariners fans, he’s just called King Felix. And this week, he threw what they call the perfect game, only the 23rd in Baseball history, and thats going back some time! Some might call it justice as the Mariners lost to a perfect game at home earlier this season. Oh, the victims of Felix, Tampa Bay.

No, I didnt see it until tonight, and then all I’ve seen is the most important 27 pitches, the one on the video here. I heard mention of the end of it, was watching  a game on ESPN America opposite it (Think it was Dodgers @ Giants?) and they picked up on it through the last couple of innings. Oh, and mlb.com helps too, with their gameday thing.

Alright, they are going to finish bottom of their division, almost certainly have a losing record and all that, but for one night, the Mariners hit the headlines. Well alright, you might say a 6 pitcher combo ‘no hitter’ earlier this season also made the highlights, but this is kind of special. Thanks Felix, for giving me a special moment

Yes, you’ve worked out the video lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eV9y7FeAd0

A picture of me!

Yes, feel free to run away now, if you’re so inclined lol.

The funny thing is, I thought I’d posted this on here, but seemingly I only posted it on my main blog, not this one. So as to be totally unbiased in scaring my readers, here is a ‘photo’ taken while I was in Seattle in April

 

Yes, you’re right, its not a genuine pic, I have no idea if its even possible to get to a point at that angle from the Space Needle, to be honest. Though that is genuinely me! What happens is, when you first enter the Space Needle at ground level, they take your picture in front of one of those screens. And no, I didnt break  the camera lol.

When you reach the top, and have done your trip around the viewing platform, there are a series of machines where you can view the picture taken, and have an option to having various views behind you, all strangely enough including the Space Needle in them. All quite nice, but this is the one I chose. The surprising bit was, you could have it emailed to you, for free! Now that was a nice surprise, believe me. You could buy a nicely framed one, but as I wouldnt do much with it, I settled for this.

To be honest, I like it, I dont often seem to get decent pictures of myself, but this one… No, I’m not going to win Miss World, not even the over 50’s version lol, and even if I desired them, I wouldnt wait for the rush of marriage proposals either. But short of a professional makeover shoot, this is probably as good as I get.

Yes, you’re right, no make up was involved in this picture, I’m just that way inclined, and besides which, I would rarely find the time, even if I could nowadays, which I probably couldnt, its been too long for that. And hey, I could hardly hold up the queue, even if I’d had any with me.

The song, well, its nearly as old as me! I dont know if I bought the record, or whether it was bought for me, but I once owned the original Piccadilly label 45, featured in this video. As I would have been 4 when this came out, I cant be sure which it was. I do remember playing it on record players for a few years after that though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA02iPuHmY0

Shocking happenings

No, not me getting a large voltage jolt through my body, but if the offer is there lol… No, this is far more stunning than that.

For those who follow me, and my baseball addiction, you’ll know I’m a Mariners fan, for my pains. No other reason than they are a Seattle team, a city I like a lot, but anyway… The first baseball field I ever saw was this one, on my first bus ride into Seattle nearly 10 years ago now. Didnt mean much at the time, but anyway…ironically, because of the long delay with American Airlines this April, I still havent seen them live, but maybe one day, that will happen.

Anyway, thats not the point of this posting. As any general follower of baseball will know, the Mariners are no world beaters. Indeed in 2 of the last 3 years, they have been more of a basement dweller than anything else. But I love them, all the same. But it has to be said, that when they go into Texas, to play the mighty Rangers, you dont expect good results. Yes, the last 2 games, I sort of nervously peered at the mlb.com website, hoping the defeats werent too painful.

Err, either they didnt get the message, or the Rangers just thought they were going to get a stroll in the park, because when I looked on the 30th, at the previous nights result, the Mariners had won 10-3. Not only was the win a shock, the Mariners reaching double figures was even more so. So alright, the next morning, I was expecting the dragon to have spurted flames, and taken their revenge.

Err, wrong again. This time the scoreline was even more amazing, 21-8 to the Mariners! I didnt think they acored 21 in a week, let alone 1 game, especially against the Rangers! But yes, it was true. They had a night off last night, probably to get over the shock. Seriously, it was so they could move on to their next series, starting tonight against the Chicago White Sox, but they might have needed the shock recovery too!

It wont last, it cant possibly last, but I wanted to enjoy this one moment while I could.

The video is probably what the Mariners management might have said to the fans after those games, it so rings true, anyway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX55HEX0hb0&ob=av2n

The video, for anyone of a nervous disposition, is from the New Romantics era, just to warn you lol.