Just call us Dodgers, of the evening

Alright, fine, its like buses, you go a long time with none turning up, then two turn up together. Yes, blogs that mention Los Angeles a lot. I know, but when I saw the baseball schedules for the first half of this week…

Firstly though, lets sidetrack you. The last time I got to a baseball game, with good company, was in Kansas City, with my good friend Kate, playing the Boston Red Sox, on a glorious Sunday afternoon. In fact, in truth, at present, the only other person I have been to a baseball game with, is Kate! Fine, there were thirty, to forty thousand other people there, and at Fenway Park, which we had done previously, but you get my drift.

To say that day that the staff at the Stadium did us proud, would be an understatement. Kate has a health issue, and couldnt get terribly comfortable in the seats we were sat in. Me, I was fine, but I’m pretty skinny, so…Anyway, on hearing of her issues, we got moved to different seats, and all was fine for the rest of the afternoon. A young man looked after us wonderfully, with food and drink, and we had a great time.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, tonight sees the start of a series between Boston, and Kansas City, in Kansas City! Sadly, neither I, or Kate will be there, but it would be wonderful to think that someone at the stadium might see this, and at least think of us tonight. No, I cant remember who won the match we were at, lol!

Oh, right, fine, Los Angeles. Yes, tonight sees the start of the ‘Freeway Series’, between the 2 LA teams. Well, I’m one of those who calls them the Anaheim Angels, but anyway, its the local rivalry. And yes, tonight, and again tomorrow, the games are in Dodgers Stadium. Which of course, as all shrewdies, and long term followers of this blog will know, is the last baseball stadium that I have visited, at time of writing. Oh, and did you know, between 1962, and 1965, the Angels played at Dodger Stadium, before moving to their own place.

I guess that given my main sport in my early years was cricket, and counties, beyond Yorkshire, and Lancashire, didnt have much in the way of rivalries, as such. Not even a London series between Surrey, and Middlesex, in fact. So no, I’m not big on local rivalries, to be honest, and have no idea what they are like in baseball. I think in all honesty, the Dodgers have a bigger rivalry with the San Francisco giants, than their Anaheim neighbors. But yes, you’re right, I’ll be rooting for the boys in blue! Hey, they’re from Hollywood, so what were you expecting? 😉

So, four teams I’ve seen before (I saw the Angels once in Oakland), and 3 I support, to varying degrees, in special matches tonight. Me, I’ll sleep through them both, sadly, as both are overnight, my time. But in my dreams…

Fine, the video. The one team of the four that I dont support in any way, shape, or form. Yes, the Angels. Though this is of the morning, not the evening.

The last flight for Stevie Nicholls

No, dont worry, its not as serious as it sounds, I will be crossing the Atlantic again some day soon, just not under that name. Well, if Hollywood wanted me to fly back next week (ha ha), I’d have to, but otherwise, thats it!

Yes, thats right, now I’m back, and actually have no trips booked in my current name, or any plans for more, I can finally get around to formally changing my name, phew! Not that I’ve finalised whether it will be Stephanie Harlean Carpenter, or Harlean Stephanie Carpenter at this point, and its quite possible that I wont make the final decision on it until I’m actually on the deed poll website, about to fill it in, and send it off. I know, but I want the one I feel I shouldnt take, so…

Thats right, in so many ways, taking Stephanie as my formal first name just makes so much sense. All those who know me as Stevie, or Steph, can carry on calling me that, absolutely no issues. I mean, they can as my middle name, given how many people are known by their middle names, but anyway…Also, I guess I’m more likely to react to that the first few times, than someone calling me Harlean, and having to think, hey, thats me! And fine, it keeps the Harlean, and Carpenter together too. Not that Jean did, because Harlow was her middle name already! And yes, fine, I could let myself be known by middle name, if I really wanted to!

But yes, the idea of making a clean break from my past, does hold appeal. And yes, actually being named Harlean Carpenter holds pretty big appeal to me too! Its not like Jean used it much, in her later years anyway! But fine, at the same time, the thought of quite literally taking her name doesnt sit entirely comfortably with me. It was her name, and even today, a few people know that, even if it would mainly only be film buffs. Fine, one night in LA, I was being called Harlean Carpenter (and loving it) because that was the Facebook account she knew me through! So yes, its been done, I love the name, and I answer to it, so…Yes, I want to go with it, I really do, especially as those calling me Stephanie, or Steph (I seriously want to lose Stevie, please note) would only be calling me by my middle name anyway, and as I say, there are a few people known by their middle name. But equally, there is just this annoying part of me that says becoming Harlean (Stephanie) Carpenter isnt quite right, because it really was Jean’s name, and so… Mind, her middle name wasnt Stephanie, but…

I know, I know, I probably really will only make the decision at the last moment, one way or another…rolls eyes… There is a poll on Twitter (new thing there, seemingly) on my account @harleanlook, offering you the chance to vote. About 22 hours to go when I post this, so if you read this 3 months after I wrote it, I wouldnt bother lol! You might want to go over there and see what name I chose, mind, though I suspect there will be clues here anyway, on that matter.

Passport might take a bit longer to get changed, as I’m using that as my ID while job hunting, and it would take a few weeks for the new one to reach me. So realistically, I cant order it, until I’ve got a job, as I cant afford to not try and find something in that line, while waiting for it to arrive. So if you can offer me work, so I can get my name changed, pretty please…

Right, the video. I’ve used this song before, but it does seem rather apt tonight. After all, fairly shortly, I might be living as Harlean, in a house! So I’ve used a different version! Oh, and like Harlean/Jean, they were from Kansas City!

2014 – Quite a year!

So yes, as we reach the last few hours of 2014 here in the UK, lets do a brief look back. I’m sure I’ll manage a look forward tomorrow somehow!

Most years of late, I’ve made 2 trips to the US (well, there was 1 to Canada, but), and had a few days in Ireland, taking in some cricket. This year I actually ended up having 3 weeks of holiday, 1 in a Jersey, a lot closer than the US. Yes, not New Jersey (though I went there a few years ago), but the one in the Channel Islands.

Long story. Had originally planned to be in Kansas, and Kansas City in May, but Kate’s work got in the way. Thing is, the rail trip to the airport was booked, so was the hotel there, so I ended up booking a short hop to Jersey, returning after just over 30 years. Glad I did it, saw what it was like now, but pretty sure I wont go back again, certainly not in 30 years time!

Then, in September, I finally got to meet up again with my wonderful friend Kate, in Kansas City, home town of Jean Harlow. Sadly, as is the way with big cities, finding any Harlow landmarks, 100 years on, pretty hard. Thankfully, when you go to smaller places like Cherryvale, finding Louise Brooks landmarks is far easier. Especially when there is a wonderful person called Tina there, to give us a guided tour to the town. I learnt so much more than we would have done on a casual visit, I owe her so much, she was wonderful.

The one place in KC that I knew Jean went to, that I could go to, the railway station. Walking around there, much quieter now than it would have been in the 20’s, and 30’s, really was quite something. I may not have literally stood in her footprints, but it felt that way.

The last big trip, in more senses than one, was later than usual, the end of November. Yes, Thanksgiving week, something I had never experienced before. Thanks to my dear friend, and editor, James, I have now. It was really special. I even got to see that public transport doesnt have to grind to a halt when the snow falls. About 9 inches, and the bus service never even blinked! Over here…more than a few grains…rolls eyes!

But there was one other thing from that trip, that will forever stay with me. In one sense, quite literally! A side trip to New Hampshire (via Worcester, MA) to be regressed to a past life, and just discover whether I really was Jean Harlow. No, I wasnt, but I was an actress in Hollywood in the 20’s and 30’s, if only in small parts. Clara Johnson, take a bow, I’m proud of having been you, or however you like to put it.

Of course, what happened after I recovered from that stunning news, a Hypno Jean-bot was created. I know the voice changed, apparently my whole demeanour changes, it really is incredible to experience, I must say.

Oh, and after 5 years, the old girl went for a job interview, if only an internal one. But getting dressed up, going out, and ‘kicking butt’, yes, it was fun. No, I didnt get the job, but did get high praise for my interview, ah well…

So fine, the last video of 2014. This artist was a star in the 60’s, is now in her 70’s, but still has it, in style. And yes, like Jean-bot, safely nestled in my sub concious would say, she always there to remind me, of an amazing 2014

Jean Harlow really was a Royals fan!

With many thanks to my friend, Kris, for these two marvellous, err, photographs of Jean, clearly a big Royals fan



The video, well, what can I say. Both teams seem to adore this song, so wonderfully apt, for what should be a great series.

Yes, I want the Royals to win, but the Giants are probably my favourite NL side, so…I’d live lol!

World Series 2014: Kansas City and San Francisco, a personal look

Yes, tomorrow night, in Kansas City, the culmination of the baseball season begins. Given that the game will actually start at 1.00 am in the UK, on Wednesday morning, I wont be watching. But in spirit, albeit a sleeping spirit, I will be there.

Its a rare treat, in that I have actually been to both stadiums where the games will take place, and actually enjoyed visiting both of them. The last time there was a World Series when that happened, 1993 when Toronto took on Philadelphia. The Toronto stadium at that time, was the once I visited, but the Philadelphia one wasnt, having being demolished in 2004, and replaced by a very modern stadium that well, I didnt fall in love with!
The last Series between 2 teams I have seen play is far more recent, just 2 years ago, when San Francisco played Detroit. I saw Detroit play, in the now demolished Metrodome in Minneapolis.

But these two…

So lets start with where people leave their heart, San Francisco. AT&T Park is probably one of my all time favourites, probably helped by the fact that the first time I went there (have been twice), I went to an evening game, and not only did I get to watch the baseball, in a wonderful setting, I got to see the sunset over San Francisco Bay, and that was worth the money in itself.
But all in all, its a wonderful setting to see baseball played, though sadly, no one hit a home run into the water while I was there. Have seen it on TV a couple of times, but…

So yes, ironically, under any other circumstances, I would happily support them against most teams, but not this time around.

Because they are playing Kansas City!

So far, I’ve only had the one visit to Kaufman Stadium, about a month ago, when they lost to Boston. As was mentioned in the blog at the time, the service that Kate and I got from the staff, was truly amazing. And seeing those famous fountains, at the other end of the stadium…really good!

I must admit, there are 2 ladies who are the reason I follow Kansas City, Brooks and Harlow. One came from the city, one came from the state of Kansas, so all in all…a big soft spot for me. Neither of course saw the Royals play, they only started playing in 1969. Lets face it, pre war, travel made it impossible for teams to play that far west. And when teams started moving west, California became the big target, so…

And before you ask, I have absolutely no evidence that either lady ever saw a baseball match anywhere!

Given that San Francisco have won it all twice in the last 4 years, Kansas hadnt even made the play offs since 1985, when they actually won the World Series themselves, I might have supported KC anyway. But now, probably the first time I’ve really rooted against SF in all honesty.

Hopefully KC will win, as that would be perfect for me. But at the same time, if a National League team has to win it, well, San Francisco might be my call. But even so, I have to say it, go Royals!

The video, well its about KC, and produced in Cherryvale, surely the perfect combination? I have to thank my friend, Tina for posting it on Facebook in the first place.

Oh, and if any manip/photoshop experts out there want to send me a picture of Jean Harlow, in either a Royals top, or cap, I would so love it, and would post it up. I know, wherever she is watching it from, she’ll be rooting for her home town team

The last couple of days, plus baseball!

So fine, lets fill you in on the last couple of days, they’ve been something, to say the least.

Started off with the interview yesterday, which had a pair of firsts, the first time I’ve worn a dress to work (top and slacks/top and skirt, like always!) due to the interview. Definitely the first time I’ve worn high heels at work, but they only lasted about an hour (around, and during the interview), as I changed back into my more comfortable shoes straight after, and due to events (early call to interview), I only put them on just before it started.

Yes, it went well, or seemed so to me. The result, I wont know until the later stages of next week, but we will see…fingers crossed.

Then. after work, just after 3.00 (short shift), I headed off to see the results of the photo shoot. I was told the pictures were good, and they were right, they were good, or even better! I only wish I could show you some, but until the email versions of a few arrive, you’ll just have to believe me. But as soon as I get them…you’ll see them. Hey, I want you to see them, they’re that good!

Today, I had my MOT, and I passed. No, not a real MOT, a medical check over, and beyond the known arthritic joints (right shoulder, back, knees), all was fine. So yes, I’ll carry on travelling for a while yet! 🙂

The video, well, you might be saying this of me, after the photo shoot

Oh, and lastly, as promised, the baseball.

Lets just say that Jean Harlow was asked how she felt about the Kansas City Royals performance so far in the play offs, and this was her reaction

Happy to see you

Go Royals!

Five hours of baseball, pure heaven?

And before you ask, no, I didnt stay up all night on Tuesday to watch the Royals and A’s play each other in the Baseball play offs, some of us have to go to work, you know! It started at 1 in the morning my time, for heaven’s sake!

But on Wednesday morning, I had to be up before 5 in the morning, for an early shift at work. The TV was switched on (I need something to keep me awake that early in the morning), and it was previously set to ESPN (UK version), so thats the first channel that appeared. Hey, baseball, must be the round up programme, but hang on, they’re in the 10th innings, and it says live, so…

For the next hour (just under), I sat and watched, engrossed. Then in the top of the 12th innings, Oakland scored, I groaned, and feared the worst. Until the bottom of the 12th, where Kansas first tied things up, and then hit the winner! Lets just say that ‘Jean’ went off to work that morning, even at 6.20, with a bounce in her stride!

I managed to see the ‘as live’ version last night, and it wasnt just the last hour that was quite something, the whole game was!

Oh, and of course, the perfect result, for Jean Harlow’s home town team.

Irony is, like Jean, they have moved on to Los Angeles, if in name only, given the Angels actually play in Anaheim! Hopefully they will be as much of a success there as she was!

Thanks, Royals, as has previously been said on here, the service you gave Kate and I on our visit, was very special, and we appreciated it. Hopefully, you can go a long way in this, possibly all the way.

One interesting note, since 2006, when I started visiting North America twice a year, every year but one, I’ve seen a play off team in action live. This year was no exception. The bad news for Kansas, only once, have I seen a team that won the World Series. Ah well, hopefully time for the second one this year.

The video, this was played at Kauffman Stadium, and sums up how they felt about this incredible game. Besides which, I like Journey, so…

Union Station, Kansas City. Quite literally, I stood in Jean’s footprints

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!

Making contact with people

Given that nothing terribly exciting for the readers has happened the last 2 days, lets look at a fun issue thats happened this holiday, putting voices to words (and in some case faces), and indeed, in one case, meeting someone I knew through Facebook, but now know her a lot better.

This is all on top of meeting up with Kate again, speaking to James again, before you ask. Both of these wonderful people are very special to me, and I appreciate all they do for me, or will do for me in a couple of months time.

And yes, I’ve already mentioned that wonderful lady in Cherryvale, so lets focus on those not mentioned before.

Already this week, I’ve spoken on the phone to 3 people I’d never spoken to before. All of them I’ve had a long written contact with, read their work (and all 3 are very good authors, in their style), and in 2 cases at least, seen photos of them. But to hear them speak, one to one, a wonderful thing.

No, I’m not going to mention names, though 2 of them have been mentioned on here before. But at least now, I can put voices to the words/names, if nothing else.

OK, a brief round up of events. Yesterday was a quiet day, though we ended up at 5 Guys, a really good burger restaurant, and ‘Jean’ decided to try fluttering her eyelashes at the 1 guy she got to meet. No deal, no discount, ah well…lol!

Today, after saying goodbye to Kate, I headed towards Kansas City, on the bus, to see what I could find. I got as far as the Country Club Plaza, though I plan to go right into town tomorrow. Posh shops = expensive prices = no purchases lol! I only wish I had a Jean Harlow type budget lol! Ah well…

But yes, one of the delights of this holiday has been getting to know people better, which gives me the excuse to include this blast from the past in the video, that should have been a bigger hit

I do like Monday’s

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.