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On Monday Jameson and I were a little surprised (and embarrassed) to discover that the train was actually arriving in Nashville that evening. Whoops! It's not a huge deal, but we could have been on the train Tuesday morning. Oh well! We used Monday to clean up, pack, and enjoy one last day of relaxing. I've recently gotten some emulators, and tried my hand at some old Sega Genesis games. I ended up beating the Aladdin game. Yay nostalgia!


On Tuesday we began our 10-hour drive to reach the train. Travel was pretty smooth, except for Atlanta...traffic is always hideous in Atlanta it seems. We stopped there for dinner and waited for the traffic to die down, then continued on our way. We arrived at the train around 10pm (it felt later because of the time change). Home sweet train! I unpacked, did a load of laundry, and went to bed.

On Wednesday the circus was loading in to the Bridgestone Arena. Jameson and I got groceries, then I spent the day getting things in order and preparing for work again.

Thursday was opening day! We had our usual meeting and a long rehearsal. There are lots of new performers and crew coming in, so we have to make sure everyone knows their part.



For dinner a bunch of us went to Jack's Bar-b-que down the street. It's counter service, you go up to the counter and order your meal and sides and they assemble it on the plate for you right there. I got a brisket sandwich, cucumber salad, and baked apples. Yum!


The show went well, though attendance was pretty poor. We were happy to see Melissa (Blue Unit musician) among the crowd, and got to say hello and chat for a bit after the show. She'd brought a friend who's currently performing in The Grinch. Both of them seemed to have a good time.

On Friday we woke up to a power outage, yay. It's a little ironic because two years ago in this same yard we also had an outage caused by someone throwing a trash bag against our power lines. It's the wrong kind of nostalgia :P Anyway train crew was able to get the power back on before noon, so I got to warm up and eat and such. Spent most of the day working on various projects...a transcript for some animal welfare friends, an article for a circus magazine, and trying to make progress in the Sega Genesis Lion King game. Yay! The show that night went well, nothing to report.

Saturday three shows. Here are just a few random points of interest for you, since it's probably gotten boring to hear me say, "Nothing exciting happened" all the time :P

This arena is very cold, maybe because we're on ice and also because it's cold outside too. We've all got space heaters on the bandstand...I'm wearing under armor as well. That's part of the gig! I'm very grateful for the heater. It's difficult to play when you're stiff from cold and when you've got to more or less stand still for the duration of the show. The heater helps with playing comfortably and also keeping the instrument in tune.



We have a camel named Moose, he's a young handsome dude who has been getting trained backstage for several months. This weekend was his first time participating in the show with the other camels. He did a great job! It's been amazing to watch the training process and see Moose learning over time. Great job Moose! Great job Moose's humans!


Here in Tennessee, there is a law that certain types of tiger enclosures need to have a covering that prevents tigers from climbing up and out of the enclosure. That means for all of our shows and rehearsals this week the tiger display area has a big mesh ring around the top. Tennessee is the only state that we visit that requires this, so I thought I'd take a picture to show you what it looks like.


Sunday was pretty good, with better-than-expected crowds considering there was a football game nearby. Jameson had friends at both shows, which is always fun :) We had a few more changes integrated into our show, but nothing I'm allowed to talk about so you'll just have to come see for yourself in the new year :P Speaking of which, it's hard to believe we've only got one more city before our "end of season break"! What a weird year 2016 has turned out to be! So next week I will blog about our visit to Huntsville AL, and then it will be three weeks of down time for the Red Unit. See you there!


Other stuff:

Earlier this week our train hit a car that was trying to "beat the train" by rushing across the tracks. I wasn't on the train when this happened but heard about it from train crew. Nikki took these pictures of the car's back end. Folks, it is never a good idea to race a train. You will always lose. It is worth waiting a few minutes for the train to pass or finding a different route instead of risking your life and your property.



(photos courtesy Nikki R.)

Show hadn't even started yet and this dude fell asleep in the audience. Someone needs a break from the kids!!
dec11-2016-5.jpg
(photo courtesy Jameson)

See you down the road Chris K (elephant crew). It's been a pleasure working with you. Thank you for giving me the basket. <3

(photo courtesy Chris K.)

From: [identity profile] staffordmotion.livejournal.com
Another wonderful installment of your life with the circus. As always I will look forward to the next story from Huntsville, Alabama. Wishing you, Jameson and your friends the magical joy of the Christmas season, enjoy it to the max. Have fun, be well.

Circus Magazine article

Date: 2016-12-12 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Can you tell us which Circus Magazine you are writing for? I get two of them. The Bandwagon and The Little Circus Wagon.

Re: Circus Magazine article

Date: 2016-12-13 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taz-39.livejournal.com
This will be for Windjammers: http://www.circusmusic.org/index.htm The magazine is called Circus Fanfare.

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