Flying home for Thanksgiving

Its amazing to think back now to the fact that it actually took the first pilgrims to the US in 1620, about 2 months to get there from England. By the time they sailed, it was autumn, heading into winter, so sailing against the winds was very hard work.

A hundred years or so ago, it would still have taken about a week, or slightly more, to reach the US from England by ship. Ships had far better speed to travel by then, due to the wonders of modern (for their time) engines. Planes were primitive beasts back then, far from capable of Atlantic crossings at that point. Of course, now, its possible to reach the East Coast, around Cape Cod at least, in about 6 hours! Jet planes are a wonderful thing, and the fares now, allowing for inflation, are probably cheaper than some of those ships of the past.

Of course, 50 years from now, flying home for Thanksgiving might be involving interplanetary flights, as well as Transatlantic ones. Yes, ancestors of those first pilgrims to Mars, and maybe by then, beyond, might be heading home to families too. Moon as well, I suspect, but I wont be around to find out, for sure. Though given gravity differentials, will that be possible?

Of course I’m assuming that tradition will stand then, but I cant imagine it changing, somehow. After nearly 400 years…!

This year, I havent flown anywhere for Thanksgiving. Have now done it once, and will possibly do it again, post retirement, but I suspect not before then. Well, unless…?

A friend, Stacie, sent me this, as a suggestion of a suitable Christmas present for me. Yes, I have to agree!

No, as far as I know, Amazon dont actually sell them, shame. Would be beyond my budget if they did, anyway! Of course, to fly such a craft, you need a suitable outfit to wear. For me, this seems pretty good! 😀

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adult-Alien-Fancy-Costume-Standard/dp/B014WZ5UCQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1511340295&sr=8-3&keywords=adult%20alien%20costume

Of course, if you know of a better one that I can wear, going cheap…? 😉 Now, that would be a fun role to play, though I do wonder if you get out of that outfit again after putting it on! Or is it an alien life forever after that? Not that I would mind, but…?

Video time. This works for the present, and the future at least. Those early pilgrims probably wish they could have done a 6 hour flight (or whatever), rather than 2 months at sea!

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Oh my love, my darling…

Thats everyone fooled on the video lol! 😛

Due warning, before we get started, this blog wont be short! So if you only have a couple of moments, come back later!

So, catching up on rest of week…

Wednesday was fairly quiet, the rest of the week hasnt been, so lets leave that day at that.

Thursday was moving day, as Kate headed for the Berkshires, and I headed across a few state lines to New York. The ride up to Boston went smoothly (barring traffic, hardly a surprise, but we had tons of time), and because Kate had a room booked, I got to experience the lounge at a station for the first time. The Red Cap was of the opinion that I could stay there after Kate was gone (her train was 50 minutes before mine), but the lady in the lounge thought otherwise lol. Fair by me, I was her guest, so once she leaves, I should go, but he wasnt impressed lol.

The journey to Stamford was interesting, not so much because I remembered anything from 30 years ago, though I got one memory as we pulled into New London. That first time, 30 years ago, me, and my partner of the time were visiting her elderly aunt on the trip, across the River Thames (pronounced differently to the London one) at Groton. 2 months or so later, she died, and as my partner said at the time, she’d probably only been hanging on to see her UK family one last time, and then…I’m not saying how many ‘doggy bags’ they found in her house after death, but there were, err, a few!

Oh fine, Stamford station was entertaining, mainly because all Eric and I had seem pics of each other, were a few on Facebook. And you have to remember, mine were designed to show me at my best, not my everyday look, but anyway, we got together in the end, and… The rest of Thursday, and Friday, I’ve visited the family, and they are all a delight to know. I sort of knew that, online, but even better for real! I got to see some of the area on various trips, which was nice too.

Oh right, Saturday! Fine, fine, we’ve got there now! No, no pics at this point, sorry. The snag with new, sparkly dresses, is that some of the sparkly stuff isnt going to stay on the dress, perfectly, you get my drift? 😉 But yes, the dress was gorgeous, though in hindsight, given that I need to wear a bra, I should have brought a bandeau bra with me, but hindsight is a wonderful thing! Would have made picture set up so much easier lol.

Oh, btw, I’m maid of honor, and I have to make a toast. Yes, I found out the latter at a couple of hours notice, but like all good actresses, I improvised. Might not have been the standard toast, but hey…I got through! The service first, was very nice, just so proud to be there, let alone in the position of honor that I was. The setting for the wedding was delightful, at Cortlandt Manor, but unless you’re in the area, just a note of reference. The food was good, though far too much for a modest British appetite, but besides that…

The additional magic moment of the meal afterwards, one of the servers recognized me, from one of the documentary things I’ve done in the past. I’m assuming its the LA one, from April 2015, from description, but dont quote me on that. Now others want to see it! I have no idea if there is still a link to it, but I’ve asked the lady who done it if there is, but awaiting a reply. Suspect finding it might be a challenge, even if she can, as she was doing these regularly, but we will see…? Yes, its amazing where ‘fame’ can catch up with you, lol!

Oh, the service, well, what with holding my bouquet, the ring for the groom, and the bride’s bouquet at one point, quite an experience, but I got through, and loved every moment of it. I also got to meet a number of lovely people that I will probably never meet again, which will be a shame, but is part of life, I guess? Was a wonderful time, so very glad I could be there, and part of it.

Discretion says I’m not describing events after the reception, OK? Nothing bad, but entertaining, just maybe…?

This morning has been quiet, as all recover after the big day, including me! I actually went for brunch at a nearby diner/grill to the hotel, and if I needed reminding how crazy US portions could be, they did it! The omelette was large enough on its own, but by the time you add in toast, and potatoes, well…thankfully, plenty of coffee! How much more food I need today, not a lot! So currently, I’m in the hotel, watching Kansas City play in the NFL, so…chilling! Tonights ESPN baseball, well, its the Dodgers, so…I guess I can survive for a while, while the Gelhaus family recover after yesterday!

I will get back there at some point, in fact need to, as one of the wedding presents was a mask (if not more) of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and yes, as if I’d love to see that, you bet I do. Hey, I’d love to wear a full suit (if anyone has one laying around lol?), though at my age, underwater swimming scenes wearing it might be beyond my skills, but I’d try, if I had to! 😀

Tomorrow sees the start of the return to reality, and the return to the UK. Thankfully, with my new shifts, no work until Friday, by which time a very quiet, very shy team leader of mine will have had her birthday. Yes, it might have been mentioned most of September. Yes, Madi, I love you, I really do xxx I’ve accepted the old age thing, btw. I’d originally planned to get to JFK by public transit, but Stacie wasnt happy with the thought of that at present, and in truth, I wasnt entirely looking forward to it either. So yes, going there by shuttle now…angel…and then the wheelchair thing again! 😀

Even if there are any pictures of me as the creature from the Black Lagoon, you’ll probably have to wait until Tuesday, or Wednesday, and back in the UK before seeing them. I will post wedding pics, of me at least, once I have some, OK?

And so endeth the longest blog, with its traditional moment, the video. No, I’ll save a certain Dave Edmonds song, in case I need it, and go for a song I didnt hear yesterday at the reception, but which sums up the day so perfectly. Yes, I’m old enough to remember this, I know…

As to the next US trip, I have no idea when, where, or for how long. Need to hear what the Doctors say, how many days work per week my body can still cope with, and take things from there. I have enough saved that I might be able to do two next year regardless, but if I’m limited to 4 day weeks, that will be the end of that. Though if its one trip per year, I will probably make it longer than a week (flight is major element of cost), but we will see… In theory I have an invite to a stage reading of a Clara Bow show next month in NYC, but unless anyone wishes to donate £1000 (flight and accom) to me, and even then, there is holiday available at work, not going to make it. Shame, as I could use the publicity time for myself, as well as the show! Ah well…

So from the US for the last time, probably…bye for now!

I’m already torn

Well, more snapped than torn, but anyway, minor details…

I got a follow up call on Thursday, while at work from the surgery, and no prizes for working out what it was about, my back. In fact, I was going to ring them on Friday morning to get the update, but they actually beat me to it! No, they’re not waiting a few weeks to see how the back settles down, I’ve already been referred for a bone density scan check, so that doesnt sound good? No, still waiting to hear when it will actually happen at present.

So yes, MIT, if someone reads this, and you need a guinea pig for some back strengthening robot type thing, I’m your girl! Chrome body would be an additional bonus lol! If reprogramming comes as part of the package, thats not a put off! 😉

One snag I’ve since worked out, given that I’m due to fly to the US in less than 6 weeks time, is my inability to stand still for more than a few minutes at present, without the back giving way, even on painkillers. I can walk fine, though not quite as fast as normal, I can sit relatively comfortably too, but just standing still, no!

The issue, I hear you ask? Simple one, US Immigration! The last 3 times I’ve been through, the average queue time would be almost an hour. I know, some of that time is shuffling along in the queue, but I suspect that will be nearly as bad for my back as standing still! There is one obvious option to take, but typically me, I feel guilty about it, though several have already told me not to be. Yes, for want of a better term, especially in my case, the ‘medically disadvantaged’ situation.

Let me say that up to now, I’ve only ever needed to use a wheelchair once in my life, about 50 years ago, when both knees were first operated on. Yes, they were soft on children back then, though yes, it wasnt long before I had to use them again. But fine, I needed one for a while, I simply couldnt walk! But now, I can walk, and I can sit just fine. I can even stand for a couple of minutes at a time, but any longer…nope!

I know, arrange a wheelchair to meet me at Logan Airport, get whisked (relatively) through Immigration and Customs at the airport, thats fine. But what I know I would then feel guilty about, is getting up, and walking away, relatively normally. I know, cant be helped, just do it, but this is me, so…if anyone wants to mind control me not to feel guilty about doing it, it would be appreciated!

For now, I’m going to give it a couple of weeks, see if I get any more medication, and how that works before contemplating booking the service, but I will have to give notice, so…Its funny, I was reading an article that a number of people pull the assistance trick to get through security quicker, but thats not my issue, I hope! Rarely is the queue that long, that I couldnt cope, especially as you’re not actually stationary for that long, but the Immigration queue, eek! I know, I’m 59, I’m crocked, just do it, but its not my nature to do so! But yes, I suspect I will, all the same.

Right, video time. This is not the version of the song that everyone knows. No, Natalie Imbruglia covered this song! I do like her cover, but this is the far more rock laden original. Sadly the only live performance I could find was awful quality, so settled for this

Its no fun being an illegal alien?

Firstly, I’m not going to take all the kudos for this piece of Independence Day lunacy, because I was inspired by someone named Madi to come up with this idea. Oh, happy 4th of July to all US readers, regardless.

And no, let me also add that despite all of Trump’s neuroses over building a wall between the US, and Mexico, this piece also (other than the video?) doesnt relate to people from south of the border, either.

No, this piece relates to another type of visitor on Independence Day, though they were definitely not wanted by the US, for sure. But no, before anyone gets over excited, these were (I assume?) purely fictional. Yes, its movie related, though a very modern one for me at least, given it came out in the 90’s! Yes, the movie just known as Independence Day, when a large number of aliens visited the Earth, destroyed a few cities, and millions of people, in a fictional sense, before their weakness was found, and the ‘good guys’ win out in the end. Now I know the aliens didnt look as cute as this, but its the only apt photo I’ve got.

Yes, I would happily wear that, either for an acting role, or just for fun, given the chance, if someone bought it for me! Though fine, something even more alien looking might be even more fun! Madi actually suggested that this might be very suitable, and in truth, I would agree, very happily, though it might not look quite so good on a fifty something (nearly 60) with middle aged spread lol!

But fine, if anyone happens to have something like that, just laying around, in my size…? 😉 Yes, I’d love to do a photo shoot, or acting role in something like that! Would you believe thats actually from a 1933 movie? Well, yes, you can tell its pre-code lol! Katherine Hepburn, in Christopher Strong, if you’re curious?

However, before anyone shows any concern, I know of no alien plans to attack the US on this Independence Day, at least. So, enjoy the day, if you’re celebrating.

Right, video time. Yes, this is about the type of alien that Trump gets his knickers in a twist about. But dont worry, this is just 3 wealthy Brit’s, who have no need to sneak into the country in that way lol. Now, Donald, just give me that green card/working visa, and I’ll tell those other aliens to send back that attack force…lol?

The insularity of the USA

Before anyone thinks otherwise, this is not about politics! Its about owning credit cards, and phones not registered in the US, and trying to use them over there! I know, I havent got a mobile phone anyway, but…

The first time I discovered this anomaly was a few years back, when I was trying to slyly buy a small thank you gift for Kate, for the way she’d treated me that week. I knew one of her favorite stores, because we’d visited one in a mall, so I had the advantage there, but…I went online to arrange a gift card to be delivered to her home address, only to discover that there was seemingly no way to use a UK credit card on the site, as it rejected firmly a postcode, as a variation on a zip code. So I contacted their customer service, and yes, you’ve guessed it, unless you had a US registered credit card, you couldnt use it!

The next time this faced me, I was trying to top up my little AT&T cell phone over the phone, and the automated system wouldnt accept it without a zip code! Fortunately I managed to get through to a human, and he managed to do it, by using the zip code 00000! So the next time I needed it, to order in food in my LA apartment, I tried that trick, but no go! So I had to ring through the order, and that worked fine!

But yes, this time its not the card thats the issue, its the lack of a US cellphone. Yes, I have one, but the Sim Card expires after 90 days, and its more like 500 days since I last used it. So yes, I’m going to need to get a new one after arrival, but I knew that. Anyway, in the past, I’ve been able to book my shuttle out of LA airport, into town online, with Prime Time Shuttle. Unfortunately, like so many websites, they’ve changed it recently, and now you need a US cellphone number, to get an activation code, to make a booking. Yes, fine, unless you’re an International customer, and then…rolls eyes! I suppose they wont lose that many bookings, because most users are North American, but…thankfully Supershuttle arent as demanding, so I’ll probably book with them. The other option is to be online with my friend in the US, give them her mobile phone number, she pass me the activation code, but seriously…?

USA, there’s a big world out there you know, beyond your shores, though Trump, and his cronies might like to wish otherwise. Well, other than Russia…Sorry, I said no politics, but…yes, frustrating.

Of course, if someone wants to pair up with this old lady, and give her a US address of her own…Just dont tell Donald just yet lol!

Right, video moment. No, absolutely nothing to do with the blog! When I was a teenager, a ‘different’ US group called Sparks burst on the scene, remarkably, over 40 years later, they’re still going strong, and indeed will be issuing a new album shortly, and supposedly doing a world tour. Would I love to see them, especially in LA, their home town, you bet I would. Shame I probably wouldnt be able to use my credit card to do so, even if I got the chance! This will be their new single, as quirky as ever!

Wonderful Land?

I wonder if thats how the first Pilgrims to move to North America, in 1620, saw what we now call the USA on their arrival on the Mayflower? The fact that they barely left the ship until the spring of 1621 suggests they may have seen it more as a way of getting away from the oppression of the UK, than anything else, but at this distance in time, it really is impossible for us to know.

The one thing we do know, or so history says, is that for 3 days in November, they, and the native Americans celebrated the completion of gathering in the harvest, by holding a feast, and other associated events, that we now relate back to as Thanksgiving. The likelihood of them calling it that? Pretty slim, I would say! But ever since then, and on the last Thursday in November, since 1863, it has been celebrated in the US. Well, there was one year, in the 1930’s, when it was moved forward one week, but otherwise…

Thankfully, the related ‘feast’ of shopping, known as Black Friday has been around for a far shorter time, though that one day seems to have grown into a fortnight this year, or does it just feel that way?

I know, big Ameriphile me, my grand total, one. Two years ago, thanks to a wonderful friend in Northern New York, I have celebrated the big event. Maybe I can again some day, though I suspect it might have to wait until I retire from work, but who knows? There is also someone, whose birthday clashes with the big event week, which makes it hard to do at present.

Therefore, unsurprisingly, I’ve never been involved in the cooking of a Thanksgiving Dinner, and unless I find someone over there crazy enough to take me on as a partner/wife, then I probably wont! Might be for the best now, my cooking skills are so out of practice, that I might be lousy at it now, but anyway…?

Anyway, to all my friends, and readers in the US, have a wonderful day tomorrow. But while you’re celebrating with all your modern technology, just stop, and think back to that first Thanksgiving nearly 400 years ago, when there were no ovens, let alone what we have now.

Fine, the video. As so often, the clue is in the title

Why today, and not tomorrow? Well, 2 years ago tomorrow, on 24th November, 2014, I met, err, me, for the first time!

We want to be elected!

Yes, after what has felt like 18 months of campaigning, which makes the UK’s look brief, it has finally happened, Election day in the US. Actually, it probably is about 18 months, as I remember when in New England, 14 months ago, the Republican debates going on. Or was it when I was in Hollywood last October? Regardless, its all been going on for over a year, but its nearly over, thank goodness!

As to my comments about the candidates, I’m not going to say too much, as I’m not really a fan of either. But fine, its not hard to work out who is the more LGBT friendly candidate, so yes, they might get my backing, if I could vote! All I will say, to all my US readers is that whoever you want to vote for, go out and vote, please! I might, or might not agree with your choice, but go do it, all the same!

I must admit, my friends list varies in taste from those who are so dedicated to Bernie Sanders, that they cant face voting for Hillary, right through to those who think Trump is wonderful, and all stages in between. And yes, I’m still friends with them all…just!

Oh fine, for those who must know, I’d hold my breath (as I dont admire her greatly), and vote for Hillary as the lesser of 2 evils, but I wish there was a better candidate for my tastes! Now you know, but please dont let that influence you. Probably Jill Stein would be the logical candidate for me, but seriously, she’s not going to win, so…

The most interesting difference, the fact that the people (of sorts at least) get to choose the candidates, whereas over here, we have to take our chance with whoever the political parties decide should be their leader, regardless of what we think. Doesnt mean either system is better than the other, but I suspect their might be a few (especially in the Republican party) who wish someone else was their candidate!

But anyway, at some point tomorrow (UK time, at least), we will know who will be President of the US, in all likelihood, for the next 4 years. At least then, it might be over, though knowing politics, not for very long!

Alright, the video song is the obvious one for today. The beauty for me, its live, its recent, and its filmed in Los Angeles. Warning, those of a politically sensitive nature, you might want to stop it before the end!