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2015 in review

As per normal, for those who are curious in that way.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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2014 in review

To those who are interested

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

To prove I’m an author

As I promised last night on Facebook, here is a short, factional piece I wrote last night. To recap, for those who are new visitors, or have short memories, last month I underwent a past life regression last month. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered I was an actress in Hollywood in the 20’s, and 30’s, though not Jean Harlow. A small part actress named Clara Johnson, in fact.
Given that I have a contest running somewhere, where one of the options is to have her, and Jean Harlow in the same piece, I came up with this.
A more regular blog will follow shortly

Before anyone gets any ideas, pretty much all of this is fiction. I have included a few of the glimpses of knowledge I have about my previous life in this, but unfortunately, the ‘interview’ between her, and S. lasted about 10 minutes or so, and no longer. So, only a few questions got asked.
If anyone wants to pay my airfare, so that he can put me under, and regress me for several hours, and do a full interview, well, we might learn a lot more about her. But for now…

The Clara Johnson story

Oh, hi. Never thought a small time actress like me would ever get to tell her life story, but I’m told people want to hear it, so…I’m told its less for what I did, and more for who I knew! 😉

A brief resumee of my early life. I was born in 1905, just outside Philadephia, the second of four children, named after my maternal grandmother. Somewhere, up the coast in Brooklyn to be exact, a more famous Clara was also born in the same year, but more on her later. Oh, and yes, I worked with her, as an extra, once or twice! My background was a lot better than Ms Bow’s, but not as high class as Harlow, if you were curious.

Despite my quiet, genial nature, I seemed to have an acting talent. Got to appear in many plays at school, which is why, at the age of 18, I headed up to New York, to try and become a movie star. Yes, I got to work in the movies, but only as an extra, not a real star. But as I quickly learnt, if you were flexible, and you were keen, then it wasnt so hard to live on the pay of an extra, if you worked most days, and I did.

I wasnt going to live like Mary Pickford, but my own little place, in New York City, you bet I could!

(For those who dont know, back in the early 20’s, NYC ran Hollywood a close second as a movie making centre)

But moving on, in 1925, I couldnt resist the buzz, and excitement coming out of the West Coast, and decided to head out there for a while, and see if the new city could make dear little Clara a big star, just like her namesake, Clara Bow was already doing.

No, you guessed it, especially if you look on the film lists of the era, never happened. But again, a willingness to work, and an ability to not turn into a studio with a hangover, got me plenty of bit part, and extra work. And yes, the wages were decent enough, that Clara could have her own little place, near to the studios, and have a good little life. Ten dollars a day may not sound a lot now, but back then, it paid for a lot of things, if you worked 4, or 5 days a week, as I did.

I worked with most of the big names, though you would never have noticed me, even if all those films had survived over the years (I gather they havent, shame). Bow, Pickford, Lloyd, Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, and plenty more. Quite a list, even if I never made the casting lists to prove it, but believe me, I was there.

But OK, I’ve read the press advert, I know who you want to know about, Jean Harlow. Yes, I got to work with her again, after she made it a couple of times, but I knew her long before then. She was sweet, down to earth, and always told me that she couldnt see why I hadnt got the big break, and tried to point it out to a few people. But, to be honest, by then I was less focussed on my movie career, and more on how my man, Clark was doing in his, so I was happy sticking to the bit part work by then, in all honesty.

No, not Gable, I wish! Clark Davis, cameraman, in fact. But anyway, thats getting ahead of myself.

I was first introduced to Jean in 1928. She was working as an extra with Stan, and Ollie, losing her dress, or most of it, so I gathered. I was working in a studio across the road, with Keaton (name dropping again), as a girl that he literally ran into, and a few things that, err, developed from there. Best part of a week’s work, for little effort, suited me fine.

She was fine, we shared cigarettes, we shared booze, we certainly had fun together too. No, not in that sense, we were both very much into boys! Or her, older men, it seemed, but besides… Demanding mother, crazy step father, and all that, just made me glad I was living on my own, with no hassle. Fine, within 3 years, I got a boyfriend, within 5 I was married, but hey, who’s counting? 😉

For a year or so, we shared cigs, and booze, and boys, and then she got her lucky break, when the talkies came along. Me, my voice was fine, I kept working, unlike some. But my work was still the bit parts, even if the pay that brought in was still enough for me. I did see what Jean was supposed to be earning, and I wish…ah well!

But then, one day, I was working on a William Powell movie, and one of the young(ish) guys working the cameras, asked me out for lunch. About my age, mid twenties, nice looking, so I went for it, especially as I hadnt really had much of a lunch mate, since Jean made it.

Yes, Clark. Good company, all round nice guy, and by all reports (I checked around the MGM studio to be sure), a guy who was going to be going places. And what’s more, he fancied a sweet girl, me! So yes, we continued to date, he got me a few bit parts I might not have otherwise got (handy connections), as well as the work I was getting for myself. And yes, about 18 months later, he proposed, I said yes, and a year later we got married.

And shortly after that, well, I teamed up with Jean again. She was the big star, making a movie called ‘Bombshell’, and Clark, and a few others, knowing our history, got me a small part in the movie. Never credited, but it was a decent part, all the same, about 3 weeks work in fact!

The thing that amazed me, was that the moment I walked on set, Jean recognised me, squealed with delight, and ran up and hugged me, and asked how things were. That day, I ended up having lunch with her, just like old times, but this time it was at her ‘little place’ at the studio, not just by the side of a food van. Oh wow, how the other half lived, but it was fun, we talked about the old times, and for most of the 3 weeks I was around, for filming, we did the same thing most days.

No, Clark wasnt working on that movie, but he was at the studio, working on something else. Yes, 2nd Cameraman, a pretty important role, earning a tidy sum of money. In truth, I didnt really need to be working by then, his money would have given both of us a comfortable life, but I enjoyed the work, and hey, it was all I knew. But yes, the promotions continued, and so did his wages increase, and about 3 years later, we both wanted to have a kid, and I agreed, 2 more films, and then I’d retire, and become a mother.

The last film, in the less than stellar career of Carla Johnson (I’d kept my single name, for my acting career) was a movie called Thin Ice, starring the ex Ice Skater, Sonja Henje, and a promising new actor named Tyrone Power. Me, I had a small part in the movie, and for the first time in my life, my name actually appeared in the credits. Nothing personal you understand, just that until about 1935, or 36, anyone less than the stars never got credited. But now, things were changing, and there I was, Carla Johnson, on the cast list.

And it was in the last few days of filming that I heard some really sad news. Firstly, that Jean had been taken really ill, and had gone home from working on Saratoga. Then even worse, she went and died. Kidney failure or something, nothing that could be done back then about it, couldnt believe she was gone, at the age of 26.

I couldnt get to her funeral, only the ‘big folk’ got to do that, and even if Clark was now one of the head cameramen, we werent high enough up the MGM picking list to be selected. We waited for the fuss to die down (and heavens, there was plenty of fuss at the time), and then went up to Glendale, and paid our respects.

A few months later, well, I was in the family way! 6 months or so later, a baby daughter was born to the Clark family, and let me tell you, labour was painful. I think Clark thought I was kidding when I said no more children, but as he discovered, I meant it. We had plentiful sex, but only at the safe times of the month!

Clark didnt get called up to serve in the war, he was in his late 30’s by then, and given his movie making skills, they let him serve at home, doing those. I’m not saying I’m sorry about that, a lot of brave men went to the war, never returned, but…

Though I never worked in the movies again, it wasnt actually the end of my career. Did a few small things on radio, bringing in a few extra dollars, even if we didnt really need it by then. He may not have earned what Jean did, but Clark’s salary was pretty decent, shall we say? But it was fun, working on this new fangled thing, and I could easily do it, while having my daughter close by, and it didnt matter that I was fast approaching 40, I could still play breathy ‘young things’ on the radio, all the same.

Thing was, back then, we all regarded smoking as cool, and trendy. Yes, I know, now you know differently, but back then…So, by the early 50’s, I was struggling with my breathing, and went to the doc’s. Lung cancer, all the smoking I’d done for about 25 years had caught up with me.

I lasted until 1953, when it all finally caught up with me, and I died. My husband, and my now teenage daughter cared for me, until the end. I too was buried at Glendale, though in a site far tamer, and less expansively than Jean’s! Oh, her name? Guess what, we called her Jean too! Not that it was Harlow’s real name, but anyway…

…..

I got to heaven (seemingly I made the grade), and heard a squeal of delight. Yes, Jean was there waiting for me.

5 years later, I got the call, had the chance to go back again, and have a new life. Fine, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for, but I went for it, and…the rest is history!

The only things in there that I know are fact, are her approximate birth date, and location, the fact she was in Hollywood by 1927, that she married someone called Clark, had one daughter, and died somewhere in the early 50’s, from lung cancer, or some other smoking related illness. Oh, and she was in that film, its the only one she actually gets credited at Imdb for! One day, I need to be regressed again, and find out so much more

Christmas best wishes

To all those wonderful people who read my blog!

Merry xmas from Jean

In their wildest dreams

OK, so many around here know that one of those remaining sports that I still support as a woman, is cricket. And alright, I heard some really funny cricket news today!

An indoor cricket stadium.

So, maybe, with a retractable roof and all that, then maybe one of the major test playing nations might think this is a good move? Maybe, but this is not one of the top cricket nations we’re talking about. Hey, this isnt even one of the elite non test playing nations we’re talking about, this is Canada! And reputedly, it will cost $700 million to develop, and build it.

Hey, lets talk realism, even for the big boys, this would be a major outlay, for someone like Canada, its just plain crazy! Mind, having said all this, there are no design plans yet, no planning permission, and no sign of any of the money, so I suspect the chances of it ever being built are the same as me becoming US President (note, nowadays, only people born in the US can do that, so…)

The irony is, that just at the time that Canadian cricket seems to have gone into total freefall, its threatening to spend money like there’s no tomorrow! Maybe its a North American thing, because the other big joke in cricket at present, is the USACA, one of the 2 major boards squabbling for power in the US.

Dont get me wrong, it might be possible, there are (or have been) a good number of indoor baseball stadiums, more than capable of holding cricket matches, but they all have artificial turf, not grass! There is of course Seattle, which has grass, has a retractable roof, but its only shut when its raining (during, and just before matches), not much of the time as would need to be the case in Canada, where winter is a lot more brutal!

So, an interesting whim, but that is as far as I expect it to get.

This video title seems to sum up the chances of this happening

2013 in review

As promised, the WordPress review of the years activity

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Less Fortunate Ones

in case anyone is wondering, no, I’ve heard nothing back from work yet, so none the wiser on that matter. I might know more tomorrow, but as its probably Monday before I get chance to post here again, it might be a while before you know. And yes, thats another reason for blogging tonight, to forewarn people, the next one might be a while in coming.

So, as I have no other real material thats new since yesterday, what shall I talk about. Had a quiet day, did some writing, which was fun, did some holiday tourist stuff for next month, but otherwise, kept much to myself. Probably for the best, as annoyances would have got in the way of things if I’d tried much anyway.

But, however lousy we might think our lives are, and how much worse they might be after tomorrow, and the Chancellor has inflicted more pain on us, in his attempt to get the country out of the mess primarily created by the idiot bankers, compared to some, we have it easy. You must have seen them, the ones who live on the street, and must really suffer in this cold weather. I might have had 1 or 2 cold nights in my time, but these people do it day in, day out, for how long? Who really knows?

Dont get me wrong, I’m not that sympathetic. No, I dont give money to those there, I’ve heard too many tales that it just gets drunk away on alcohol to do that. But at the same time, I have no idea how they survive it all, day after day, and I hope I never have to find out. But given that tomorrow, most of us will be bemoaning our fortunes after the budget, just cast a thought for them.

The song, well I guess this seems quite suitable.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Just in case anyone was wondering…

No, this blog hasnt died, well only in the sense of having absolutely no time to post anything just at the moment.

It will return, but probably not until Tuesday. Dont worry, as Arnie would say, I’ll be back!