2019, the avenue I might be being taken to

OK, if anyone can spot the (almost) line of lyrics, I’m impressed. Well, there are a couple who might get it, but otherwise?

In truth, 2019 is probably the least pre-planned year that I’ve had in a very long time. Lets face it, the May holiday is not only usually planned by now, its either booked, or just about to be booked. This year, not a clue what I’m doing! And though September has got some tentative plans, in the sense that both Kate and I have agreed, both health permitting, that we will get together ‘somewhere’ at that point. Its fair to say that it will in all likelihood be either, Oklahoma, or New England, but beyond that…? No, no commitments!

The one thing that is sure, is that before either of those, there will be 2 trips to Blackpool. First one in just over 3 weeks time, which will be the pre-publicity event for the Film Festival in March, on my Birthday weekend. This time, the latter is already planned as a longer stay, from Thursday, to Monday, as I can do work, and enjoy myself for the whole weekend. Numerous anniversaries that week, and a theme of Hollywood glamour, which should all be a lot of fun. Seems quite likely I will get to have a ‘Clara Johnson’ moment on the Friday of that weekend, for which I might now be a little old, but will be a dream come true. But more on that at the end.

Other than those, most of the known events for the year are of the less cheery kind. Firstly, and most obviously, is the state of my body. How long the back is going to last, even on a 4 day week, even with TLC (including that heavenly flotation/sensory deprivation tank), I have no idea! There is also the fact that I now have big issues with 1 wrist, and I have a hunch the other might only be biding its moment, and…? Given that now, with my wrist damage, that I’d have issues preparing, and cooking a proper meal, on top of everything else, I have been told I ought to at least try for PIP (disability related) benefit payments, because lets face it, my mobility, in a stamina sense is also becoming a bigger issue by the month. I’m sort of determined I will get to March (for obvious reasons), but in a serious sense, what used to be a stroll to work is now getting a challenge at the end. Oh fine, it is a challenge, but anyway… If you want a resolution (ghastly things), that had probably better be mine!

Yes, any politician offering to reduce the retirement age for women can have my vote, lol! 61, I’d be thrilled, 62, or 63 I could see as a target, but beyond that, not sure its going to happen? No, I know, not going to happen in reality, but would help me so much.

OK, Brexit, lets try and be diplomatic. Especially given the government are seemingly terrified of having a vote on their escape plan, rolls eyes. I could give my view on the ‘threat’ from the government that if they dont win, Brexit wont happen, and say that not everyone would be sorry if that came to place. Its not what the voters were promised at the referendum (we found that out within a few days), so is it any wonder that hardly anyone, on either side of the fence wants to vote for it? Fine, I voted Remain, but besides all that…

Alright, lets get to cricket. This summer will see the first ever test match between England, and Ireland at Lords, a pretty historic moment for we Irish cricket supporters. Yes, I’d probably have got an Irish passport at the last renewal in truth, but my Irish ancestry is 1 generation too far back for that. Even more I’d love to do that now, as so many others are seemingly doing. Nothing to do with the Brexit chaos of course. And if you believe that…?

Oh fine, you want some silly wishes for the year, I guess? Things I’d love to happen, but are only likely in my dreams?

Lets start off with the obvious one, which actually gives me more issues than work? Yes, travel. What I wouldnt give for a cute flying saucer/space shuttle, if a passing alien reads this, to whisk me to work, without strain, oh please! There are some ‘Just Eat’ adverts on TV over here, where the motorbike delivery people have bikes that fly, wouldnt say no to one of them, either!

Clearly, with my health issues, I’d love a full body upgrade. Chrome robot look would be heaven, but a more human looking fembot body would probably be more advisable. If so, if it can come looking about 20, with pre programmed dancing skills, I’d love that.

Oh, and fine, I’d love that sensory deprivation tank to really mess with my mind, as well as heal my body. Brainwashed, or mind controlled, while in that pod, oh please!

Lastly, a sugar daddy, or mummy (I’m bi, lets face it) to put this ‘Broadway Baby’ in her own apartment, somewhere warm/hot all year round, would love that. But fine, who would want an old lady like me for that, lol?

Right, lets get to the video. That Friday night in March, in Blackpool. One of the show moments is a local dance team, performing from 42nd Street. (At least) 2 of us are hoping to at least make cameo performances on that sequence. Will be the closest I ever get to replicating Clara Johnson without that new body, for sure! No, I’m certain I wont be this good, but some of this might be involved, so…

 

Advertisements

Part 2 of the year, and the passing of the pre code baton

And so to the second half of the year.

In truth, personal things prior to September were fairly limited. Mainly because I was at work, through the school holidays, covering for those who need the time off.

One sad thing that did happen before then, happened in August. To many, it probably seems amazing that an adult actress from the early 1930’s had survived this long, but one of them had. But eventually that tie was cut, when Mary Carlisle passed away at the grand old age of 104. She was pretty sharp to the end, if less mobile, and for a while she had been the last, and all knew the link was coming to an end, but for those of us who love that era, it was still a sad moment when it arrived.

September saw me going back to a place I hadnt visited in nearly 40 years, Inverness, taking Eric away with me for a few days of fun. Well, as much fun as two people with disability issues can have, anyway. I managed to fulfil one ambition I’d had for about that long, if not more, by travelling the Skye Line to Kyle of Lochalsh. The fact that the last time I was there, the only way to Skye was by ferry, and now a bridge has been there for decades, all a bit strange. There are still a couple of railway lines in Scotland I’d love to do (Oban line, Fort William to Mallaig), and the Cambrian Coast line in Wales to a place I could never pronounce correctly (Pwllheli) that are a challenge for another day, health permitting. There are also a couple of very long distance ones in North America too, though they may be less likely, and trickier to do.

At one point I thought that November would see me doing a Transgender Awareness Week speech in Florida, but it soon seemed that someone was all talk, and no reality, so it never happened. So instead, I headed somewhere nearly as warm for the week, to the Algarve, to give my back some heat before winter kicked in. I wont deny I might have done a little bit of apartment prospecting while there, should the chance arise, and yes, if things work out, my old age could well be spent out there. There is a financial issue (not enough money), and a political issue (post Brexit residence rules) that may stop that, but fingers crossed… A lottery jackpot win before March 29 might be very handy! But lifestyle, and health wise, I could do a lot worse.

Then we come to the old chestnut, my health issue. In recent weeks my left wrist seems to have developed issues, probably due to too much typing, and stuff, for the last 40 years or so. So now I have 2 issues leaving me wondering how much longer work is going to be possible? More amusingly, due to coming 4th in a year long Golf tipping contest on Twitter, I gained £100 for my pains, and thought I’d give some new therapies a try, rather than frittering it on clothing, and the like. So yes, I got to discover just how amazing a flotation tank (sensory deprivation tank) is, and even better, the weightless floating does seem to do my back a lot of good too. Fine, the tank hasnt tried to brainwash me yet, though I’m still hoping!

Oh, and December saw the Works Christmas dinner, in a new dress, in a casino, and my first ever bet in such a place. Yes, I lost quickly, but it was a free £5 chip, so nothing lost really!

Lastly, and sadly, the Department I work in, in their wisdom, have decided to move our section out of Finance, and into a new Collection based group. So unfortunately, just as our LGBT committee were getting ready to do something really exciting, I’m out, as from tomorrow. I cant see me going quiet on LGBT issues, but it may give me less options now, though I have applied for something for the whole Department, not just Finance, but will be over a month before I hear about that. Ah well…

Right, tomorrow I will close the trilogy, with a look at New Year happenings (and possible happenings) on the first day of 2019. But until then, let me wish all my readers, those who arent there already at least, a Happy New Year in 2019.

OK, video. Just a quickie tonight. Its hard to find anything for Mary Carlisle other than a couple of full films, and sets of pictures. But I found this, Bing Crosby singing to her, 85 years ago!

Two authors came travelling

So, as promised, the review of the year starts here. It will finish tomorrow, and then at the start of the new year, I’ll take a look at what 2019 might hold, some of it very likely, some of it unlikely, but might be fun if it does.

2018 actually saw something happen, that I’d never done in my 44 years of working life, I was told not to go to work! Yes, a combination of the fragility of my back, and some very cold, and icy weather saw me put on ‘winter weather leave’ for a few days. It made sense in so many ways in truth, but was still a bit of a novelty to me. But agreed, if I’d slipped over, landed on my back, and especially my spine, well you wouldnt want to think about the potential outcome, lets face it. Pretty sure its likely to happen early in 2019 too, especially given the deterioration in my wrist too, but we will have to wait and see on that. In truth, after about a week of that, I was getting a bit of ‘jail fever’ but it was a very wise move, so kudos to my employers for letting me do it.

While on about work, I started working on an LGBT committee at work, which was definitely a fun thing to do. It actually led to a meet with a fellow EMCSA author, the legend known as Betsy, who I got to meet on my travels to Newcastle. And yes, she’s as interesting in real life as she is in her stories! Yes, was, more on that over next couple of posts.

Something else that happened early in the year was also work related. One of my colleagues got notice of volunteers needed for the Blackpool Film Festival in March, and the rest, as they say, is history! I wont claim it as strictly the revival of my acting career (its more a natural performance thing, no scripts), but it was a moment that led to the return of my time performing in public.

This year, it was a flying visit, arrived in Blackpool on the Friday afternoon, left again on the Saturday morning, due to fate, and a memorable date. Yes, the night of my flapper revival was my 60th Birthday! The works celebration was done a week earlier (would have been anyway), but the ‘house’ version was delayed until the Saturday night, which was why we needed to get back as we did.

Yes, a decade or so ago, that would have been it, retirement, which in truth, the body probably needs already. Now, officially it will be March 2024, though I have my doubts my body will hold out that long, but we will see? If it does, I might plan to retire (or take holiday) from work a couple of weeks early, because as things stand, the Iditarod race will start from Anchorage on 2nd March (restart at Willow on 3rd), and that would be an amazing thing to do, and a sort of dream come true. Nome as well? Well, maybe, but all that is a long way off. More on my preferred retirement option in part 2 tomorrow night.

May saw my return to Seattle for the first time in a few years. A few firsts there. Another state bagged, as I flew in via Las Vegas, so getting Nevada as my 24th state. Hopefully get 25 ‘somewhere’ next September, maybe? Ask Kate on that one, lol. She knows the one I’d love it to be, but its not renowned as the most friendly LGBT state in the US, so maybe not? There are a couple of New England options for that title too, so we will see.

The other big first on that trip, was my first Mariners game. It was memorable for more reasons than one, good, and bad. Good, they won. Bad, disability related issues. To be fair to the club, I complained, got a free ticket in the disabled area later in the week, and a few souvenirs as well, they handled it all very well.

Lastly, in the first half of the year, was a return to Blackpool, for World Pier Day. Again I have to thank a colleague for covering my Saturday shift to enable me to do this. Went back even further in time, as an Edwardian Lady, though I never got tightly corseted, cant have everything, lol. Amusingly, it was also Blackpool Pride day, and though I heard a lot of that, didnt get to see it at all. 2 trips already planned for Blackpool in New Year, but more on that on Tuesday, one of which you may not want to miss!

OK, video time. I have been guilty of not doing many Christmas songs this year in the videos, so lets put that partially straight, if a bit late in my day. Its not the best known one, but its one I love, probably because it is a little different. Oh, and it also fits in with Eric’s claim that I’m a spaceman/alien, anyway! 😛

 

Witch Queen of exam taking?

Much to my amusement, at my age, I’m doing an apprenticeship at work. I know, full of prospects for the future at 60, I dont think! But anyway, it has to be done.

Anyway, I got through the first level of exams at end of last year/beginning of this year, and now I’m tackling the second (and thankfully final) level of exams before I can say its over.

Snag for me was, that first set were multiple choice, and even if all answers were relevant of sorts, it wasnt that hard to work out enough correct answers to pass. Unfortunately, this lot, it seems you actually have to do written answers, but hopefully I did enough yesterday to scrape through the first one, I sure hope so. With luck, it will be a few weeks before I find out, either way!

The amusing factor is that I’ve now started studying for part 2, of 5, and if everything goes to plan, I should be taking that exam a fortnight after the first one. Yes, you’ve worked that out, 31st October, aka Halloween!

So, given the dressing up plans mentioned in the previous blog, it looks a certainty that it will be a witch taking that exam, not a ‘human’. Oh, and I’m going to be invigilated by a Zombie, and I dont mean one of the pop group of that name! Oh goodness, this should be fun. Maybe if I can get a magic wand, I can force the computer to put up all the right answers for me, lol?

Now all I need is a magic wand (that actually works), and ideally a flying broomstick (also that works), and I’ll be in witchy heaven! First spell I’d cast, fix my back, of course!

So yes, whether I pass or not, that exam should be an entertaining sight, if nothing else! Yes, I would imagine there will be photos!

Right, video time. This song was a hit when I was a teen, so yes, its old. Just like any good witch should be! 😉

Sitting in my dream office?

Well, its back to the office tomorrow, though sadly, it wont be anything like this place!

https://mcstories.com/OutOfMindControl/index.html

Just to say, if you’re limited for reading time, Chapter 6 would appeal a lot to be done to me! I know, only person who would enjoy that, but besides all that…

In truth, I suspect that a few decades into the future, I suspect this method may well be used in some offices, especially for the more mind numbing duties, and yes, call centre work would definitely qualify for that! Oh please, computer controlled drone for work, then go home at night with free will, mmm? Oh, and those suits they get to wear sound quite something too! Oh fine, that free will thing at night, maybe we could come to an arrangement on that?

Sadly, no, for those of us with just about a maximum of 5 and a half years to go to retirement, its not going to happen in that period of time, I only wish it would!

Oh, and in the previously mentioned chapter 6, lets just say the lucky lady gets an upgrade on just being a  mindless drone for work, and fine, I’d be the only person jealous of her for that!

Yes, lets face it, I couldnt get my CV in quickly enough for a job, if that was for real! Let me just add, I’m yet to read this weeks update, so please, no one post on here how it ends, OK? But equally, if anyone wants to offer me a job, just like that, please post quickly! 😉

Right, video time. No, you’re not likely to find an office on a backyard fence, but we need some 30’s musicals love around here. Dick Powell, and Ruby Keeler might be the stars, but yes, one of those in the cat costumes, yes, its Clara! You do get a better view of her very briefly late in the video, just saying…

 

Will they be waiting for me?

Well fine, I doubt very much that Clara Johnson, or Jean Harlow among others are waiting for me in heaven, though I must admit, it would be quite something to be greeted by them, when my time is up, I must admit. The others who would be at the top of my list, well, as a Haworth girl, I guess at least one of the Bronte sisters might be fun! Knowing me, if it is, it will be one of the 2 unknown ones, lol! Not that I would mind, but…

41 years ago, the day that Elvis died, is etched in my heart as one of those places I know where I was, when I heard the news. A hotel in Arrochar, on a coach holiday, in fact. Someone was crying, and spreading the news outside the hotel when I got up that morning. Today, Aretha Franklin left this world, but its fair to say I’m not going to be around in 41 years to remember being at home in Huddersfield when I heard the news, hopefully I will be with them all by then.

But anyway…thats not what I really wrote this blog title for.

You see, a large number of weeks ago, I booked an hour off the phones next Wednesday, for a Pride meeting I need to cover at work as a rep, at 11 in the morning. At the time, no great issue, I thought, cover that for however long it lasts (normally booked for an hour, but usually runs less), as there will be plenty of others to cover the desks at work.

So why do I feel guilty, guilty as a girl can be (and no, thats not the video), well because of course now, next Wednesday is Eid, and given our office is in Bradford, we are going to be pretty short handed that day, to put it mildly! So now I’ll feel guilty at deserting my colleagues if I do my call, or feel guilty for not doing my D&I work if I dont desert them! Strictly, yes, I declared the event, I booked the time, so I’m entitled to do it. But at the same time, should I just say I’m not now available for the call, and help out?

I know, choices, choices…?

Under any other circumstances, then yes, it probably would have been said Bananarama song, but on this day at least, it has to be Aretha!

Human, or machine?

I gather that at work, what must be the mind numbing task of recording each benefit, and the amount, for each customer, up to now, has had to be typed in by someone individually. It seems now that humans are going to be rescued from this boring task, by something called ‘Robot Automated Processing’ (or something similar), which will do all this very repetitive stuff, and not get bored in the process.

Sadly for me, though probably not for anyone else, this doesnt involve turning humans into robots, or anything interesting like that, it just simply enables people to be freed up to do something more worthwhile, and hopefully more interesting.

As you can imagine, discussion of this process, and my warped science fiction author mind, came up with a much more interesting concept for this.

Of course, if it was genuinely practical, and possible to turn humans into robots (oh, I wish), then I suspect some employers might be more interested in developing things in that direction, but anyway… For now, morals, and technology say no!

But, I wonder, if this sort of thing could be done, would I be the only person who would enjoy being transformed in this way, or are there others? Would others volunteer, or apart from me, would all have to be dragged to the robot transformation pods? Might be a few others, I guess?

No, this wont be affecting my line of work just yet, and probably by the time its capable of that level of AI, I will be retired, given I have at most, about 5 and a half years to go before then! Even that assumes my back holds out that long, or an opportunity arises to do something else, well…? Mind, I do wonder if I would feel the same way if the opportunity arose, or I’m only so keen on it because its not currently practical, who knows? I’m pretty sure that yes, I would be, but unless it happens…?

OK, video time. No, I know this sounds like OMD, but it isnt. Yes, its the lead singer, and they did record this, many years later, but this is the original Elektric Music version of the song. Kraftwerk meets OMD, quite literally!