They dont need to know

Yes, first of 2 blogs today, special treat.

I discovered this morning, care of my ‘friends’ at Facebook, that it was one year ago today, that Harlean Stephanie Carpenter entered the world. Not the first time a Harlean Carpenter had entered the world (3.3.1911), but she had a different middle name! And yes, to keep things easy on people who knew me as Steph, or Stephanie, I kept that as my middle name. Fine, without that, Clara, for Miss Johnson would have been tempting, but anyway…I know, deed poll job, not an actual birth, though it felt like a rebirth, so…

Thats right, it took a whole 9 days after arriving back in the UK to get the matter sorted out, what took me so long lol? A couple of months later, I got the passport sorted out, and… Yes, that was not fun, one identity in life, and applying for jobs in my old name, but given you have to have ID for those matters…

Still hoping to find someone who can transform my looks so that I look like the other, more famous Harlean Carpenter, but mad scientists seem to be in short supply at present!

So yes, if anyone wants to buy Harlean a ‘birthday’ present, I wouldnt mind, but in truth, I’m just glad I can really be me, cut off all ties from my past self, and just enjoy life. Yes, thats right, I still have to remember the old name, in case I need it for references, or anything, but beyond that, Stevie Nicholls, who was she? 😉

The video. Not a version of this song most will remember, because the Tracey Ullman version is the famous one. But this is the original, which for me at least, is the better one. Sadly I cant find a live version of Kirsty singing it, video, or otherwise, so this is the best I can do.

Oh, officially, the first appearance of Harlean Stephanie Carpenter was before the deed poll, due to one lovely friend in Hollywood. Thanks to Eden for that. Yes, Harlean went to the Magic Castle, not Stevie!

Early In The Morning

So fine, lets do a bit of reminiscing about this weekend last year, and events surrounding it.

The main thing was, it was my last weekend of my Hollywood stay, and it was also the weekend that Europe moved the clocks back, at the end of summertime. This year, because of the way dates split, next weekend is the last in October, so that will be when I get my extra hour of sleep, which I missed out on last year. Why? Because I was still in the US, obviously, and they change the clocks back later than we do! So, all in all, I missed out on it! I know, technically the time I landed in Manchester, on return was an hour earlier than normal, but due to ‘fun’ meeting up with the taxi, I missed out all ways around!

Oh, the other funny thing about this weekend last year? Well, on the Friday night, I never went to bed! No, only on a technical, but it was about 2.00 on Saturday morning before I got to bed that night. And yes, funnily enough, the next morning was the latest I got up all holiday, about 8.30! Me, I am normally in bed soon after 11, and definitely before midnight, but, for one night only…

I had a good reason. That was the night I met 2 lovely people for the first time, and went to the incredible place that is the Magic Castle. Yes, unless you know a magician, who is a member, its tricky to get in! Fortunately for me, one of those lovely ladies, who I only knew through Facebook at that time, got me in. Yes, I had to put on a dress to go there, but I love doing that anyway. In truth, I spent much of the break in summer dresses anyway. Yes, I know it was October, but this was LA, and it was 80, or above, pretty much all of my stay!

We didnt even meet up until about 9.15 (we had planned on 9, but all had traffic issues!), so it was never going to be an early night, lets face it. I had a wonderful evening with her, and her friend (no, no names without their permission, and I havent had time to ask!), seeing numerous talented magicians, having a great time, with lovely company. Eventually we decided to call it a night, and I checked my watch, it was about 1.30 in the morning! By the time they had taken me back to near my place (I got dropped off on the corner, of Beachwood, at my request, as roads are narrow after that), and I’d got in, it was nearly 2.00 in the morning! So I put on my nightwear, crawled (quite literally) into bed, and went to sleep. And yes, I was late up the next morning lol!

And unlike so many of these things, all things permitting, we will meet again! Yes, next May, when I go back to Hollywood, I need to pack a nice dress! And yes, looking forward to meeting them again!

Lastly, the other element of early mornings is actually about next week. Yes, its the last week of training hours, so its the last week when I will have to keep getting up about 6.15 in the morning! After that, my weekday hours will mean a noon start, so I can get up, err, a little later! Well, about 7.30/7.45, at least!

OK, video time, a real vintage number! Thing is, it might seem vintage to you, but its a song of my childhood, so…

Pacific Palisades, Traffic woes, and something very magical

Alright, fine, its getting towards the sad end of the break, the last few days. How do I know that? Well, for the first time in a few weeks, I had to really think about what I needed from the supermarket up the hill, and not get more than I really need. Most things I’ve managed to work fairly well, though the peanut butter is going to run out 1 day early, and I wont quite use up all the sugar, or the last part of the loaf bought today, but done pretty well. I’m planning a nice last lunch out in Hollywood for Tuesday, instead of cooking for myself, mind. Why lunch? Simple, I will need to pack as much as possible on Tuesday evening (being picked up at 7.45 am Wednesday), and besides which, just after 5 pm, the 1 game of the World Series I will get to see live. Game 2, I will be in mid flight, and the rest will happen in the middle of the night, UK time. Only wish I could see more, but unless someone is crazy enough to give $2,000 dollars to me in the next day or so, not going to happen. But seeing Kansas City get this far, has been pretty special, all the same.

The other reason I know its the end? I’ve started doing the trips I was leaving until now, to say goodbye to a few places, and “friends”. The first of those happened at the end of last week, the return to Pacific Palisades. Its funny, when I went there in April, it was by sheer accident, this time it was deliberate. Its a lovely little place, which as the name suggests, sits very close to the Pacific Ocean. So after lunch, and a last look around the community, I headed down the canyon towards the Pacific Ocean. I walked down the beach, to the ocean, and said my goodbyes. I mean, I will see it again, when we take off from the airport on Wednesday, and its quite possible I will see it again, in San Francisco, or Seattle, but from here, in lovely LA, by the water, that was it, almost certainly forever! As far as I can see, thats it, though 1 Facebook friend tells me I will return, in 6 months, but I cant see it myself.

Alright, after that. the journey back here. It should be just over an hour (70 mins or so) to Hollywood from there, but…it took 2 and a half hours! I assume there was an incident on the freeway, but we crawled, or simply sat still until we reached back to the junction with the 405 freeway. I did hear a couple of sirens, so I assume it was that. Let me just say at this point, that the bus seats on the Metro buses win no prizes for comfort, or design. So my back stiffened up beautifully, and getting home from town was fun. As was clambering into the bed that night! Better by next morning, but that evening…ouch!

Yesterday evening, I had the chance to go somewhere different, The Magic Castle. To go in there, you either have to be a member, or a guest of a member, and I was fortunate enough to be the latter. OK, as with so much travel this trip, things didnt go smoothly. The taxi was fine, and then we hit a traffic jam on Franklin Avenue. So he went down to Hollywood Boulevard to avoid it, just as bad. So down to Sunset Boulevard, then all the way up to my destination, but it meant a $12 taxi fare ended up at $18! Oh, and of course, my friend got stuck in the same jam, but texted me what to do on arrival, and all was fine.

The evening itself was wonderful, I had wonderful company (thanks Eden, and Phylis), and was wonderfully entertained by both them, and a string of magicians. One especially took my heart (though not in that sense, I think?), but they were all great. Phylis ran me home afterwards, and I got in about 1.15 am, a time I have no idea when I last saw before bed! Oh, and this morning was the latest I’ve got up in my stay, about 8.15! No surprise, I guess? Still, Wednesday (when I guess I’m going to have to be up by 6, or soon after) is going to come as a culture shock!

Right, 2 full days, and 2 special trips to do. Tomorrow is off to Glendale, and Forest Lawns by bus, to say my final farewell to Jean Harlow. Yes, I know, she’s not going to answer me or anything (unless her “ghost” turns up, who is seemingly very chatty, then all bets would be off!) but its something I really want to do, just spend some time with her, one last time. Hopefully its as easy to get close as it was in April.

Then Tuesday, one last farewell trip to the delight that is Hollywood Boulevard. A little bit of souvenir shopping, a nice lunch (which I wish could be Musso & Frank, but I really cant afford it. Silly, its only because I included it in a story, but…), and then say farewell again, at Jean’s star on the strip, and to her’s, and a couple of other people’s hands, and footprints at the Chinese Theatre. Then 1 last nice ice cream at Hollywood & Highland centre, then with, I’m sure a few tears, say goodbye to Hollywood for the last time, as I head back here, to pack, and watch baseball!

Then, Wednesday morning, the long trek home. At least I will see that wonderful Hollywood sign, one last time, as the shuttle pulls out on to Beachwood before I leave.

I have got a few possible jobs to follow up on, from before I left, and I’ve applied for a couple more in the last few days, telling the people concerned that I wont be back before the 29th! Hopefully they noticed!

I’m sure there will be one last posting from LA, assuming Tuesday doesnt prove more problematical than expected, packing wise, and the like. So, if I dont…

Right, lastly, the video. Lets go back to last night for that.