You knew you weren’t a movie star!

Yes, that anniversary I was talking about yesterday? Yes, 2 years ago today, I was introduced (of sorts) to my past life, bit part actress, and dancer self, Clara Johnson!

The day actually started with the unexciting setting of Albany Greyhound station, and ended in a budget Choice Group hotel, but what happened in between…Wow!

Well, not all wow. The trouble with meeting someone you’ve seen one picture of, for both of us, in a city neither of us knew, well, it was fun! But eventually we got together, headed off to his office in New Hampshire, and…

Past life regression time! I’d had a friend tell me that it really worked, but fine, it sounded incredible to me, all the same. But he took me back through a couple of stages of my life first, to prove it to me, then went one step further, back beyond the womb, and…

A cute voice, that certainly wasnt mine, said “Hi there.” and giggled.

It seemed his first questions were where, and when, so when I answered “Hollywood, 1928.”, he apparently had a ‘Surely she cant really be Harlow moment?’.

No, I wasnt. As I proudly answered the next question, my name, it seems I said “Clara Johnson.”

Seems we did a bit of her life story, but by the time, I came back out of trance, and was allowed to remember what had happened (which generated a whole load of ‘Oh my God!’ moments), he was trying to find her on IMdb, and there she was, one movie credit, she really was for real. Yes, bit part actresses, and dancers (I found out the latter about 5 months later, with help from 1930 LA census details) didnt get credited back then, but we had one piece of evidence, so…I also managed to find year of birth, the state she was born in, when she moved to LA, and from where, at that point. So on top of the few pieces of info she gave up in regression, I know a little about her, but far from enough! Maybe some day…?

After I’d recovered from the shock of the news, I had been a mother as well, so…

Yes, what should have been, and indeed was amazing, was the creation of Jean Harlow-bot, which culminated in me seeing her face in a mirror, not mine, and doing a brief interview, very much as Jean! I was given a trigger, so that I could go back to that state, but after 2 years, I have long since forgotten what it was. But yes, it was fun to use, when I did! In truth, I’m pretty sure he has, too.

But yes, my special memory of the day will always be discovering Clara Johnson, even over that. I know, but…I was tempted, when I was doing the name change, but being Clara Johnson, twice in my ‘life’ might have been a bit too much, lol!

Right, video time. In this case, she knew she wasnt a movie star, but its nice old song

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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

Welcome to Hollywood, small time actress, Clara Johnson, aka me!

Yes, fine, I know, ideally this would have been written yesterday evening, but lets just say that given what I discovered yesterday, I wasnt in the right frame of mind to do so. Hey, some of it is still whirring around my head now, but…

Monday started in a dull fashion, the delights of the Greyhound bus station in Albany. No, its not the most delightful place to spend the best part of an hour, waiting for your coach, but hey, thats America, and public transit for you. Most people of even moderate incomes drive, so many of those on the buses are the less fortunate ones. Not that the place felt dangerous as such, just a bit of a depressed area, I guess?

Anyway, about 15 minutes late (making me feel at home, with TPE), we pulled out, heading for Worcester, where S was meeting me. Yes, thats all you’re getting of identification, for his sake. Driver must have known what he was doing though, as we pulled into Worcester, pretty much on time. Then the fun began.

Lets just say that neither of us knew the city at all, and we had some fun ‘getting together’, and getting out of town. But soon, we were heading north, to New Hampshire, and his place of work.

S is a really interesting guy, much my age, and we had some great conversation en route, a lot of it 70’s related, so before a lot of my readers time! 😛 We arrived, and after a short while, set to the first event of the day, my past life regression. Thankfully, he let me remember things, but only after events. I started by getting younger, and younger, until eventually I was back in the womb. Then we went one step further back. I’m guessing we did it this way, to ensure I got the relatively recent life we were looking for, but dont quote me on that.

It worked, I ended up back in the 1920’s…in Hollywood! But no, not Jean, before you ask. In a sense, that might be for the best, because now I know it was real, and not just my influence on things. A dark haired actress, doing bit parts, and extras, named Clara Johnson. Hey, we found one mention of her on Imdb, in a 1937 movie, so she was real! Nothing else, but as a friend who knows these things told me, bit part actresses didnt get the credits back then, that they do now, so nothing to concern myself about there.

But fine, the most stunning part about all this, Clara got married, had a baby girl. Yes, I was a mother, seemingly a good one, oh wow! Died in her early 50’s, sounded like the cigarettes got her in the end, but I suspect she drunk a bit too! Unlikely, but I may have a daughter, or grandchild somewhere in the world!

Yes, fine, as S realised afterwards, he should have asked Clara if she knew Jean at all (possible, they would both have been doing that sort of thing in the late 20’s), but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Lets just say that it took me a while to get over this news, to any degree. As I say, even now, I’m still trying to comprehend it all. So little I can find out about her, so I suspect sometime, I’ll have to arrange for someone (possibly S, via Skype) to talk to Clara again, and find out more that way.

Then, after enough recovery time for me to stop saying “Oh my God” at regular intervals, we went for part 2. Yes, the Jean Harlow moment. He handled this in a fun (for me especially) way, by creating Jean-bot, via a nanite injection (a pen pressed into my hand, he showed me afterwards), and we took things from there. So fine, I might know a few things about Jean, and her life, but some of the stuff that rushed into my head, no way! Or at least I didnt think I did!

I have no idea why, unless Jean sort of absorbed my thoughts, along with hers, but her reaction to modern life was pretty blase. Or maybe thats because she knew she was a robot, not the real person, but I’m guessing S is the only one who could truly answer that, he created her, after all! Then we did it, the mirror test. I was walked to a mirror, looked at it, and it wasnt my face looking back at me, oh wow! My voice changed, my attitude did too, all quite something!

Anyway, after a brief interview, and Jean seemingly hinting she wanted a drink, stronger than water, I was brought out of trance, and allowed to remember things. Just as I was doing all this, he turned me back into Jean for a few moments, and the voice was back.

Then, after a brief recovery period, I was whisked (film star style lol) to my hotel nearby, for the night. Monday night football, including that gorgeous Jon Gruden, and then to bed.

Truly quite a day, and so many thanks to S, for letting me experience all that. As I say, at some point, I’m going to have to let Clara be interviewed again, absolute must!

The video, seemingly quite apt, seeing I was a bit part movie actress in the 1920’s, and 30’s, and it gives me a chance to let you hear a lesser known Gerry Rafferty piece.

Riding on the bus

And by that, I dont mean the public transit service around the towns, and cities on both sides of the Atlantic, though its a reasonably well known fact that generally I think the public transit service in the big cities, in the US, knocks ours for 6, both in terms of prices, and generally reliability too.

But in the US, long distance travel is a whole different ball game! Yes, if you have the inclination, flying between the major cities in America isnt too much of a challenge either. But you try to get from ‘smaller point’ A, to ‘smaller point’ B, and apart from the main coastal strips, it becomes a whole different challenge.

I know, most people wanting to get from those bigger cities, well, its still cheaper, and quicker to fly between the 2 points (even with a change of flight) than it is to travel long distance by train, or by bus, but all the options are generally there.

I mentioned it at the time I visited, but do you know the extent of public transit, into Cherryvale, Kansas? For passengers, pretty much zero! Freight trains, yes, but passenger trains, sorry…

Anyway, to get to the point. Medium distance travel, for non drivers.

I’ve actually crossed America, and back, by train. Fine, the last stretch from Philadelphia, to Atlantic City came about 6 years after the rest, but I’ve done it. And yes, you dont measure the journey time in minutes, or indeed hours, more like days! I liked Amtrak, though admittedly, I havent needed to use it since that day I completed that epic trip, back in 2009.

But, when people in the US talk about taking the bus, they dont mean the service bus into the city centre, they mean riding the coach, the Greyhound bus, to be exact.

Me, despite all my trips to the US, never done that. I’ve generally been in one city, or I’ve travelled with Kate, by car. And yes, I’ve seen ‘the bus’ a few times, I must admit. But now…

I’ve told you already about a friend, who is planning to hypnotise me, if we can get together on this trip. I’m pretty certain if he gets hold of my mind, not only will I look (a bit) like Jean Harlow, I’ll think I’m her too! Just one snag, I’ll be in Albany, NY, he’s near Manchester, NH (fine, not THAT close) but I cant give too much away…about 200 miles apart.

Over here, between those 2 points (both reasonably large cities), you’d probably have a number of coaches in a day, connecting them, either directly, or with one change. Today, I looked to see how practical getting to him would be. Albany, to the connecting point, yes, fine, plenty of choices. From there, to err, near Manchester, just one! Early evening going north, very early morning coming back south. Thats it!

Why, because most people drive, of course! Except, little old me! The fare (even Thanksgiving week, so I suspect it might be more than normal, is pretty reasonable. The number of services though…

So, to visit him, be hypnotised, do my past life regression, and become Jean Harlow for a while at least, becomes a logistical challenge. Lets see, the only way to do it, go up on the Monday afternoon/evening, stay overnight, then have my mind ‘played with’ on the Tuesday. Then the first chance to come back, is Wednesday morning, at the unearthly hour of 6.40 am! And we’d to leave his town before then, to get to that point anyway!

Of course, he might turn me into Jean-bot, and I never return, but somehow…lol.

So I might at last, get to ride ‘the bus’, or I might not, we will see. But I do wish the US had a decent long distance coach service like we do over here.

The only song I could immediately think of, that mentions Greyhound buses, was this one. So sue me, its Simon and Garfunkel, so I’m biased!