2017, some things will, some things wont (probably)!

Yes, I’ve looked back at 2016, which was a pretty unexceptional year, in so many senses, but now, as that year comes to an end, its time to look forward at what 2017 might hold.

The three things, everything permitting, that will happen, are passing probation at the end of February in my new job, returning to Hollywood in May, and returning to New England in September. Passing probation, providing I keep my nose clean, and do my job, all should be fine. Hollywood, well, I will visit that modelling/acting agency this time around, though in my heart, at my age, and having not done a lot in a while, no great expectations. But who knows? Beyond that, meet up again with some old friends, hopefully meet a few new ones, and just see where life takes me. One person I’d love to meet while there? Well, assuming Jean Harlow’s ghost isnt for real, it would have to be Vin Scully. Yes, I have no chance of meeting either lol!

New England, will be nice to go back, and see Kate again, after a couple of years, and again hopefully meet a couple of new people I’ve talked to online as well. The other person I’m hoping to meet is the hypnotist who ‘discovered’ Clara Johnson, and get her to give up a lot more secrets about herself. Unfortunately, as I suspect she’s probably buried in LA, is that if I do discover where she rests, it will be too late to take action on it, but all the same…will be nice to know! Given I’m planning on this trip to LA being the last one for a while, as it will be 3 visits in a row on US trips, I might get back there some day, assuming the body, and health holds up, but…

Talking of which, as I approach my 59th Birthday in March, my body, most critically, my knees! I have a horrible feeling that my right knee joint is just about gone, its what 50 years or so of little, or no cartilage in the joint will do for it. And fine, the left knee isnt a whole lot better. So I’m suspecting that come the Autumn, I might have to give in, and put myself in the hands of a surgeon, but I’m not looking forward to it. I dont like pain, I dont like incapacity, so all in all, I probably dont make a good patient. But fine, I’ve got to that point where putting it off much longer isnt going to happen.

What I’d love to happen, but I’m 99.9% certain wont, but a girl can dream. Yes, the arrival of a flying saucer/ space craft I can jet about in, would be handy. Equally, the arrival of a fully functional robot suit, or enveloping alien suit would be nice, but none of those are really likely to happen. Equally unlikely to happen, I’m sure, is finding a partner who is prepared to love me, or a Master/Mistress who fancies dominating me! But yes, for 365 days, I can hope!

OK, video time. Totally out of left field, other than that the lady concerned has recently joined the flood of people who have died this year. One of those songs I probably shouldnt love, but secretly do.

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Thoughts turn to holidays again, at long last!

Funnily enough, this time last year, at time of writing, I was stood in the Immigration queue, at JFK Airport, wondering if I was going to make enough progress to actually get my flight on to Boston, to meet up with Kate. Yes, I did, and I did, and it was a great week. The funny thing was, about 10 days after I flew back from that, I flew out to the US again, this time for that glorious 4 week break in Hollywood.

Well, in the sense of planning holidays, this week marked a landmark date since then, I had to start planning for holidays in the future! Yes, my new work place, we’re allowed to request 2 weeks holiday for next year, that will take priority over other later requests. So yes, I had to think about dates for that.

The first bit was easy, contact Kate, see what she thought looked a good week, and suited her, assuming she still wanted to see me (she does!), and work out plans. So fine, thats one week in September sorted, almost certainly for Northern New England. Who knows, maybe I can get to New Hampshire, get regressed again, and get Clara Johnson to give up a lot more details about herself!

Therefore the other week I was looking for, was the spring week. Given that Easter is late next year (mid April), I decided to look at May, between our 2 bank holidays that month. So, where am I planning to go, you might ask? Or maybe you think you know, and could well be right! Yes, definitely west coast, and providing the baseball gods are on my side, it will be Hollywood, or LA at least. Why the bit about the baseball gods, you ask? Well, next years schedules get released next Tuesday, and lets face it, if the Dodgers are out of town for my whole trip, that would count against going there. But yes, one decent game, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be going to town. If not, I suspect a return to Seattle, or San Francisco would probably be on the cards, again subject to fixture list. Regardless, I suspect it will be a hotel, not an apartment, just not worth it for a week, or 10 days (if I can swing the extra days), though I might take a peek, all the same.

Sadly, I’ll have to return again, unless someone is crazy enough to fall in love with me, or decides I will make their perfect submissive/slave material. I know, stop laughing, I am kidding, I’m sure! Ideally, robot servant, organic, or cybernetic, but thats even less likely!

But yes, after a year or so, its nice to be in a position where I can actually think about holidays again, I must say.

The video? Well given its my first choice destination for my solo break, and its early Village People, lets go with this.

Oh, and a quick early plug for my new ebook, coming out soon. I have the edited version back, just need to work out the funding method to top up my credit card sufficiently to pay for the cover. I know, $7, but I have to put a minimum of £30 ($40) on the card to pay for it, and funds are complex until the end of this month. But I’ll work it somehow!

I have no idea how well an ECT related story will sell, but it will be interesting to find out. I suspect a few wont buy it because of that, but hopefully a few others will, for the same reason. As to research, sadly just online, and taking the practical issues from You Tube (most of those scenes in movies are just so wrong!), and taking it from there. Yes, I’d hoped for, and enquired to the local Health Service about at least a placebo session, but never got a reply, ah well… Yes, fine, I’d have enjoyed a low voltage session even more, but certainly wasnt expecting to be offered that, in truth.

An English Woman in LA – A brief look back at 2015

Alright, that title is a slight cheat, as I only spent just over 10% of the year in LA (38 days out of 365), but hey, its the second longest period I spent anywhere, so…

Fine, the year started off badly, when in mid January, I was told that I was being made redundant (again, 3rd time) by the company I’d worked for, for 6 years, so this time I decided to take the hint, and take the money and run. No, thats not the video, or the one you might be expecting from the blog title. See, been told lol! I actually left there at the end of March, and if you’d told me that 9 months later I would still be out of work, well…ah well, too late now!

The main thing that allowed me to do, was extend my stay in Hollywood, in April. To be honest, I wondered how I would take to life in ‘Tinsel Town’, but took to it like a duck to water. Fine, 10 days wasnt enough (would have been 7), and I pledged to return. Fine, I wasnt expecting it to be 6 months later, but more on that shortly.

I came back, and started job hunting, with no success. It might be age, but more likely, its the current recruitment infatuation with competency based questions that didnt help. Thankfully, I had the money to help me cope with this. Anyway, by August, I’d reached breaking point with this matter, and was about to snap. So despite having a week in Cape Cod with a US friend booked for mid September, I took a dramatic step! I booked a 4 week stay, in a rented apartment in Hollywood, up in the Hills, best thing I’ve ever done. Oh, and that is so much more fun than a hotel room, even if the place isnt (strictly) your own. Oh, and btw, 38 days in LA still isnt enough, but anyway…enough on that, plans are already in hand, should the chance arise!

The one thing that wonderful trip stopped me doing sooner, was changing my name, as I’d had planned for a couple of months by then. But straight after I got back, the deed was done, and my name is now officially Harlean, even though to some, I will always be Steph, or Stephanie, I guess. Main reason I kept Stephanie as my middle name, rather than Jean lol!

Now, finally (due to needing the passport as ID for job applications) the old passport has gone back, and the last trace of Stevie Nicholls will be no more. Yes, I’m really looking forward to going to the US, as Harlean, when money, and time permit.

So fine, what have I been for a lot of this year? A California girl, just maybe? Yes, its the Katy Perry song, but its not Katy! Its a rather excellent parody by Sarah Gregory, and Mark Douglas, whoever they may be? It is rather good, mind.

Crossing to Cape Cod, New England

Yes, lets get in the holiday mood tonight. Fair thing to do, as looking at matters, this is likely to be the last blog from the UK for a little while. Tomorrow is getting my body ready for the trip day, which at my age, is going to take a while. Friday, I will need to pack, get to the overnight hotel, and not be too late to bed, given I will have to be up reasonably early the next morning, for my 10.15 flight. So yes, next blog should be from Cape Cod.

I have been there once before with Kate, I think it was 3 nights, spent at 2 different hotels, in the same group. Why, because the first hotel had internet in reception, but not in the rooms, not much use for either of us. So they moved us along the coast the next day, to a hotel that fitted our needs, and that was that. A trip to Martha’s Vineyard, a trip out whale watching, and some nice places, and thats about all I can remember. Ironically, this time will also be 2 hotels on the Cape, one for the first night only, as we couldnt get in the planned hotel all week. Then back to a hotel near Boston Airport for Friday night, after a relaxing week.

Yes, a relaxing week. Its fair to say that both Kate and I need a break, though for differing reasons. Her, because work has been crazy, and me, because job hunting has got stressful in the extreme! I must say I’m looking forward to the company, and the break.

And then, after that, get ready for part 2, more of which after I get back.

Fine, the video. This is originally a song from the 50’s, but I’ve found a live version from 2004. And yes, I’m pretty sure she’s singing live. So what, she was 77, and still sounding good, thats what!

Well, one thing has been decided at least!

And no, its not yet which job from millions of offers that I’m going to accept. I wish! Though today at least, I didnt get a job rejection. Didnt get offered a job either, but I’m on a reserve list at least, having impressed a potential employer, so we will see, and hopefully that will mean I’m pre approved the next time they’re looking, anyway. Yes, its a job in the financial industry, so if someone fails their credit test, then I’m ready to jump in. Well, thats the hope, and the plan at least.

No, what has been settled, and booked, is the fact that I’m going to New England in September, regardless. Yes, the flight is now booked, the train fare, and hotel the night before, so its going to happen, definitely. Hey, who knows, it might be just before I start University life!

But yes, I’ve held back long enough, trying to get things sorted, but the deed has now officially been done! And yes, I’m really looking forward to it, and seeing Kate again. No, I dont know what she has planned (beyond a fairly relaxing time), but thats nothing new!

Flying with American Airlines, via JFK, in the seats with a bit more leg space. At least that gives me something good to look forward to, guaranteed.

Right, tonight, you get a choice of videos, or of course, you can play both. The first is the official video for the song, but I’ve used this before, a while back

But if you dont mind non moving pictures, this is McColl, and Billy Bragg, live!

A social life (of sorts) beckons

Isnt it funny, how as the weather gets cooler, my social life seems to warm up!

Of course, this year, it has the added bonus of a Thanksgiving week trip to the US, a first for me that I’m really looking forward to. Fine, it might be cold by then (seen pictures tonight of snow falling in Foxboro), which will be relatively new for me, though still warmer than my experience in early 2003, when I discovered the delights of minus 25, in North Dakota. No, it wont be that cold, but I should imagine it will be below freezing at some point, especially at night.

But seriously, I cant wait, just 3 weeks from now!

After that, the fun that is the works Christmas dinner will follow about 2 weeks after I get back, I booked the hotel in Leeds for that night earlier today. Only question is the outfit, the new (very vintage) full length dress, or play the sexier option, with the shorter, sparkly blue dress instead. I suspect sanity will win out, but I must admit I realised my legs were better than I thought after seeing pics from the recent photo shoot. Its amazing what photographic evidence will do for you lol!

Or maybe, the new sexy confidence is just the release of that inner Harlow in me?

Talking of which, and for which the travel was booked today, is going for the Harlow look big time, in the New Year. Yes, the permanent make up look, definitely inspired by Jean, including the beauty spot. Today, I booked the train tickets for January, to get the best advance fare. As far as I know, its only the Harlow look, not the Harlow mindset, but only because I dont think the latter is possible, or Paula probably would!

Who knows, when I have that Harlow look, to match the inner Harlow, I might decide I need to get a man in my life. Or a man might decide he wants me in his life lol! Either way, could be interesting. I dont know, its been a very long time, but when I look good, as well as feeling good, well, who knows?

Which might make this video very apt?

On the road again

OK, for the second night running, lets start with some depressing news, the death last night of Lauren Bacall, at the age of 89. At least in this case it was natural causes, unlike yesterday’s.

Rest in peace, you will be missed.

On a more light hearted note, a few here will know, in terms of US states visited, I’m quite well travelled. 21 visited in fact, not bad for a Brit. I’m sure there are Americans with a ‘full set’, and plenty of others with more than me, but given that 18 of those have come in the previous 10 years, its not bad. Yes, 3 of the New England states, (Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire) were only visited in 1988, but the rest have either been visited again, or for the first time since 2003.

I think the one that would amuse most Brit’s that I havent visited, is one of the most popular states with us, Florida. No, never been there, and to be honest, its not at the top of my list, even excluding the 3 I will add to the collection next month. Kansas, and Missouri obviously, and I’m flying via Atlanta, so I can ‘state bag’ Georgia as well! Unless I get to Vermont in November (that state, and Maine are the only 2 in the North East I’m missing), I’m not quite sure when I even get to halfway.

Most of the misses are obvious ones, Alaska (I’d love to) and Hawaii really are too far, and the ‘redneck/deep south’ states really arent on my list, beyond maybe Alabama, due to someone I know online. Funnily enough, the other big miss is the Mid West, and Rockies zone, but at least I can right that a bit.

I’d like to hit 25 clearly, halfway point and all that. In a sense, I’d love to reach 30, but no idea how its going to happen. But for now, I look on it as a challenge, and maybe one day, probably when retired (and before health insurance goes crazy) I can get to Alaska, by splitting the journey both ways.

But for now, in just 4 and a half weeks time, I’ll be on the road again.

No, not Canned Heat, nor Willie Nelson, though I did consider both. But as a 30’s girl, this is probably far more suitable lol

Beyond the bit on the You Tube page, I know nothing about them