Monthly Archives: September, 2014

Enhancing the Harlow image

Well, it looks like the next few months could see the whole Harlow image thing develop in an interesting way for me.

You may, or may not, depending on how long you’ve been reading all this, you might remember that a while back, I had a photo session done, just outside of Leeds, and in a sense, thats where the whole Harlow thing took off from for me. I mean, at that time, I wasnt even thinking about that, but by the time I got to about the tenth comment that I looked like Harlow, that I started to investigate it all more deeply. And before very long, I could see they were right!

So fine, gave me a nice image to go with, so I’ve done so ever since. And yes, I have to say it, its a lot of fun. No, I havent taken up smoking, and I certainly only drink in moderation, and as for sex…no, I cant match her on that either lol! But the look, and the confident attitude…oh yes!

Anyway, I’ve continued to support the studio on social media, and recently I won a free shoot, which will be done very soon. The big difference this time around of course, we are planning to play up the whole ‘Jean Harlow’ thing in advance! So the outfits might be a bit more glamorous this time around, I suspect! Talk is, that the vast majority, if not all, will be done in black and white, to really give it a 30’s tone. And yes, I’m really looking forward to doing that.

Then on top of that, I read something about past life regression. Now, put together a hypnotherapist looking for volunteers to try this, combined with all the comments about me being a Harlow lookalike, and curiosity gets the better of me. Now, I know that somewhere there must be the reincarnation of Harlow (assuming you believe in past lives, of course), but the chances of it being me, hmm…? Of course, her mother looked very much like her (for understandable reasons) so I could be her, I guess? If I am Jean (junior, in the sense her mother was Jean, she was actually named Harlean, of course), then someone might need smelling salts, or something!

The interesting factor in all this of course, is that under hypnosis, you do ‘play’ with the mind somewhat. And I know a few people (including myself, I guess) who wouldnt mind me being made to believe that I was either her reincarnated, or just made to think I was Jean! Lets face it, I dont think my mind would resist such suggestions!

Lastly, in January, I’m getting permanent make up done, by a person I know from a previous job, and no prizes for working out where the suggested look comes from. Hey, I’m even getting a beauty spot done! So by then, it might be an advantage if I think like/think I am Jean Harlow!

Should all make for an interesting trip to Hollywood, though I suspect there might be more interest if I looked like a modern star, not a 30’s glamour queen, but anyway…Would make me the perfect guide for tours of the Golden Age of Hollywood there, assuming there are any?

Alright, I’ll keep the Harlow video to a brief one, there are plenty of links to longer ones, if you want them! 😉

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Even a Red Sox fan has to mention this.

Yes, we’ve come to that time of year when summer sports come to an end. The last rites of the cricket season are being played out over here, and in the US, the last week of the regular baseball season is doing the same thing. And yes, this blog is more related to the latter, shall we say.

Tomorrow, for the last time in Yankees Stadium, Derek Jeter will play for the New York Yankees at home. Seriously, in these days of free agency, and transfers, he has played for the Yankees, his only team, since 1995, quite a record. Ironically, given the rivalry between the 2 teams, its ironic that his career will end with 3 games at Fenway Park, against the Boston Red Sox. Even more remarkably, given the history of the 2 teams, they are likely to be 3 meaningless games, unless the Yankees win both their last 2 games at home, and Kansas lose both of theirs!

Yes, to a degree myself (I follow Boston), and my friend Kate (passionate fan) hate the Yankees for all the obvious reasons. But one person, the thoroughly likeable Derek Jeter almost transcends all this.

My biggest Jeter memory, would be his 3,000th hit for the Yankees. I knew he’d been creeping up to the landmark, and by sheer luck, the magical moment occurred on a game being carried by ESPN over here. Within a few minutes of getting home from work, and switching on the TV, Jeter came to bat, and proceeded to hit the ball out of the park, and make a mark on history. Thats right, not just a hit, but a home run!

I’ve never seen him play live, only on TV, so I was denied that pleasure. But all in all, I’m delighted to have seen him play many times, and even more delighted when the Yankees lost, sorry, Derek. To say he’s a Hall of Fame certainty, is to put it mildly, the only talk seems to be whether he will get the highest percentage of votes ever, quite likely, I suspect. Lets just say that next season, it will be funny watching the Yankees play, and not seeing Jeter there, ever again.

Thanks for many memories, all the same

The video, a very late Monkees number

The one benefit of Transatlantic flight

Yes, I admit it, I’m one of those who fall into the group of surviving the flight across the Atlantic, not enjoy it. Doesnt matter what I do, an 8 hour flight, I get bored. I know, I’m not the only one, but anyway, this time around, the flight out flew by, and the one back wasnt so bad either, though I’ve given my knee a bit of a bashing, trying to get into a decent sleeping position, but…

The difference? I had a really good book to read, the Louise Brooks biography, by Barry Paris, and its really good.

Fine, I already knew Louise could be a ‘bit’ awkward to deal with, but reading this, I’ve discovered just how much of a nightmare she must have been to deal with, throughout her life! It really is fair to say that the only thing angelic about her, was her looks! You could forgive her some of her awkwardness in later life, due to all the health problems she had, but Louise was the same throughout her life!

Still glad I discovered her though! 😉

No idea what I’m reading for the Albany trip though at present. I do have a Jean Harlow biography, but have been advised that I ‘might’ get annoyed by some of the tales in it. Hmm…?

Oh, and lastly, I might be a 30’s girl at heart, but there are some modern tricks that are a boon. This morning, at Manchester Airport, no more showing your passport to someone, my chipped passport gets slid into a machine, a photo check done, and…through you go!

Ah well, tomorrow, back to work we go!

The video, perhaps what we have to offer up for (Mary) Louise Brooks,

Following in Jean’s footsteps

Today was the last ‘proper’ day of the holiday, given that tomorrow starts the journey home at an early hour. So today, I ended up heading to somewhere where I know I was following in Jean’s footsteps. Union Station, Kansas City.

See, the station has been there a century, so its the same building that Jean would have used when travelling by train, to and from Kansas City, to Los Angeles. There are a number of photos of her boarding, and disembarking trains, and back then, there really wasnt any other way to travel long distances. Mind, Union Station was a lot busier back then, obviously! Nowadays, there are just 3 trains each way a day, 2 to and from St Louis, and one from Chicago to Los Angeles.

But the station hasnt changed, it has such a feel of history to it, when you step into the building. And though I might have failed to literally stand in Jean’s footprints, I made a good effort.

After that, a trolley car tour of the city, a really nice meal in a restaurant, then back here, for the last night in town. I’m glad I came to her home town, its been a marvellous experience for me. Next year, all things permitting, I’ll pay my respects at the other end of her life, in Hollywood.

In between, a Thanksgiving trip to Albany, but for now…

Oh fine, how else could I end this trip to Kansas City, but with a little bit of Jean!

Catching up on things

Yes, you may, or may not have noticed there wasnt a blog yesterday, well, there wasnt really enough to post on, in all honesty. Very much a calm day, after the storm of Tuesday, shall we say?

It did allow me to catch up on a few things that needed doing, so there was some blessing from such a day. But be it sinus issues, a cold she had caught or whatever, on top of the tough day driving Tuesday, Kate was struggling with her health.

We went out to eat in the evening though, and ended up at a burger restaurant of the quality kind, unlike some bunch that have a clown (apt?) as their spokesman, and had a really good meal. Seriously, when did McD’s last cook a burger fresh, for everyone? So yes, in the US, eat at 5 Guys instead, just saying…

Jean Harlow would probably have wanted to ‘make eyes’ at all 5 guys, I settled for the 1 serving us, but not surprisingly, didnt work, no discount lol!

So this morning, after saying our goodbyes, Kate and I went our separate ways. Me, I set out to discover Kansas City, and its public transit system. Like most US systems (unlike ours), its cheap, and it works! I headed for the Country Club Plaza, and my only mistake was in looking for an indoor shopping centre, not an outdoor one. Ah well, they do generally call the indoor ones malls lol!

Beyond that, the biggest news event today was happening back across the pond, the Scottish independence vote. And no, I have no estimates on how the voting has gone, though it has been mentioned on the news over here at least.

Tomorrow, the last full day, I’m planning on going into the heart of KC, and see what its like, should be fun.

The video, well this is Scottish independence vote day, and this blog is coming from America, so…a live version, pretty recent

Somewhere, over the state line

Yes, somewhere over the state line, in the South eastern corner of Kansas, sits a little city called Cherryvale, I have mentioned it once or twice before in blogs, as the birthplace of Vivian Vance, as well as a young lady named Mary Louise Brooks.

Yesterday, I got there, so glad.

Now, this isnt a big city, total population of just over 2,200 people, but for me, it was one of those places I so wanted to visit, but getting there is a challenge for non drivers, unless you have a special friend like Kate to drive you there.

We got to Cherryvale shortly after 1.00, and I rang Tina, my local contact there, to let her know we’d arrived. She was one block or so away, and very soon a car pulled up, and we met up. What followed was a wonderful guided tour of Cherryvale, showing us all the landmarks, relating to Brooks, Vance, and general Cherryvale life, both past and present.

A picture of the first home Louise Brooks lived in

Louise Brooks 1st home in Cherryvale

Her second home

Louise Brooks 2nd home in Cherryvale

Then, while we waited for the Museum to be opened (just for us, I might add), we were taken up to the nearby ‘Big Lake’ to admire the view, and for me to get my picture taken

Me, at the lake, Cherryvale

After that, back into town, and while Kate settled into businesswoman mode, I took a tour of the museum. Lots of Vance, plenty of Brooks, and far more relating to life in, and around Cherryvale. We even managed to find some pictures of Jean in the old magazines of the 20’s and 30’s too!

Last, but not least, an ‘I was there’ photo, outside of the museum

Me, at the museum, Cherryvale

Yes, the lady in the background, in green, is Kate, my heroine for getting me there!

Finally, just before 3.30 we headed out of town, realistically my one, and only visit in my life to Cherryvale, but I got there. I know Louise would probably just say “so what?” or something along those lines, but I’m so glad I did it.

Finally, huge thanks to Tina for all she did for us, and thanks also to the lady who guided me around the museum, whose name I cant remember. Cherryvale, thanks for such a wonderful day.

Under the circumstances, there were only 2 video options. Given this is probably the ultimate Kansas song, and all that…No, not the Garland version, but Eva Cassidy, a version that I personally far prefer

Monday, Monday, it just turns out that way

Well, the plan was for today to be a fairly quiet day, to give Kate a relative break, before the big drive to Cherryvale tomorrow, the home town of Louise Brooks. I suspect they dont get a huge number of visitors, even less so from the UK, so it will be quite something tomorrow, I’m sure. But thats looking into the future, so…

About 11.30 we headed off to the Westport district of Kansas City, home to a vintage clothing store that Kate had been tipped off about. It was sound advice, I must say. It didnt take me long to find a gorgeous Harlow like cape, and dress, but in a size so small, I would never get into it, without losing at least 10 pounds, and I’m not a big girl! And then I saw it, the dress, and cape, so absolutely perfect, I didnt want to look at the price tag, especially as it was in a larger size, that I would get into. Pleasant surprise, $100 including a cape/jacket, so now what could go wrong?

Seemingly, nothing. I tried it on, it fitted, it looked gorgeous, and I ended up getting 20% off, on top of that bargain price. So, brooch, and clutch bag later (same discount), I left the store, absolutely thrilled. In theory, I need a hat, but Kate is working on that. If I get a picture of the dress during the week, I will post it.

After that, my first taste of mid west barbecue food. Loved it, pork ribs, the meat literally falling off the bone, and all that.

Then late afternoon, back here and a relaxing evening. Oh, a delight I dont normally get, Monday Night Football. Because for me, its silly hours of Tuesday morning football! Got a reminder of just how gorgeous Jon Gruden is because of that, swoon.

So, Monday, Monday, it just turns out that way

Tomorrow, Cherryvale, birthplace of Louise Brooks, looking forward to that.

Take me out to the ballpark

Yes, today, one passionate Red Sox fan, and one less passionate follower of both the Royals, and the Red Sox headed out to Kaufman Stadium for a game between those 2 teams.

Not many stadiums have fountains, even fewer have as many as this place does, but it does make a spectacular sight. Oh, and to show how things are, fans from each team sit together at the stadium, and WW3 doesnt break out. Soccer fans, please note!

Me, I got a t-shirt very cheaply before we entered the stadium, a small charitable donation, and I’m the proud owner of a ‘Be Royal’ shirt. I also own a neat little batters type helmet, though not of a material that would be used on the mound!

The match was fun, and ended with Kate happier than me, as the Red Sox won. Before you say anything about neutrality, the Royals are in play off contention, the Red Sox arent! Not that they didnt try at the end to let Kansas back into it, but anyway…

A wonderful day out, wonderful service by Royals staff in so many ways, including a young man, who washed out the helmet for me, so I could take it as a souvenir. Why it needed that, It had contained Nacho’s, and sauces, and was so full of food, that even between us, we couldnt finish it, on top of hot dogs.

A good game, great company, and wonderful weather, what more could I ask?

No video, I’ve done most of the neat baseball ones before, more than once.

The holiday starts with the long, boring bit

Yes, you all know what I mean, the Transatlantic flight.

To be honest, it all went very smoothly, I hope thats a good sign for the rest of the week.

OK, smoothly, in one sense, hmm…?

Every other US airport I’ve been through, you queue up nicely for your turn with the immigration official, do as you’re told, and move on. Nope, in Atlanta, for those of us who have already used our ESTA thing, we can use this machine to do all that.

All fine, but it didnt want to know with one of my finger prints, and the photo was a battle too, to get the right distance away etc, but after that… Seriously, I have never passed through immigration, and customs as swiftly as that, in my life! Even re doing security at Atlanta was quick. Shame is, I have to do Philadelphia in 2 months time, and I suspect that wont be as easy!

Beyond that, not much to say, met Kate, rode to hotel with Kate, and had bite to eat. Then got up to date on here, and went to bed. Bed is amazing, and huge, I could easily do the Harlow sprawl on there, as below, with ease

Harlow reclining

No, I havent got that nightwear though!

And really, for now, thats it! Baseball game later today, which along with any other Sunday happenings, will be mentioned in the next blog.

The video, guess which state Atlanta is in?

I’ll find my way home…to Kansas City

So fine, sue me, its a lie, until tomorrow, I’ve never been to the place. Well, not in this life at least! But who knows what might have happened in a past life, and yes, just maybe I’m thinking of one particular person, however unlikely that will be the case, when I do a past life regression later this year.

But yes, for Jean Harlow at least, finding her way home to Kansas City would be a reality, as of course, thats where she was born in 1911. Alright, strictly, Harlean Carpenter was born in Kansas City, in 1911, but with a change of name (and a boost in fame), it was Jean. It was her mother’s name in fact, which is where she took it from, when getting her first audition in Hollywood. And as they say, the rest is history!

Beyond the obvious, I know very little about the city, so it will be interesting to see if I show any amount of familiarity to the place. Mind, given how much would have changed over the 100 years, beyond obvious landmarks (her homes, for example), there probably isnt much remaining that Jean would recognise anyway. But yes, I’m looking forward to seeing the modern city, with interest, I must admit.

Oh, and fine, I know most know it anyway, but the fact that most of Kansas City, isnt in Kansas amuses me no end. Harlow in fact lived in houses in the city, on both sides of the state line.

As Dorothy said, in a certain film, there’s no place like Kansas.

True, not many places are that flat!

But the charms of Kansas, most particularly Cherryvale wait in store for me too. A trip to the birthplace of Louise Brooks is just going to be amazing, I know.

Neither however, will be the first new state for me on this visit, that will be Georgia, if only as a transit through Atlanta Airport. All in all, one state short of halfway, in the sense of visiting US states for me.

Yes, the whole thing is a trip I’m looking forward to greatly, and getting to meet up again with Kate will be super too.

But fine, the video, is a moment where I look at Kansas City on the map, step into Jean Harlow’s shoes, and say, somehow I’ve found my way home.