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Busy Easter Week

Well! This week was very busy. I didn't have any time at all to write about it in real time, so here are the highlights.

Our fridge finally died. I guess it's been coming for a while, I've noticed the temperature going up and up, but it finally got above 50 degrees and bit the dust. Jameson had to get a new one. It looks great, I like it a lot, and I hope it doesn't give us any trouble. Recap: since I've moved in, the A/C, dishwasher and refrigerator have broken. The washer, dryer, and oven are holding out like champs.

On Monday I had my first eight hour work day. It went well, two extra hours isn't that much and having a real lunch break was nice. After work I drove an hour to Maitland where I filled in on a college jazz band concert for a friend of mine. Jazz ain't my thing but it was still a fun experience.

Tuesday, work again, then off to rehearsal with Encore. They're going to be doing a Disney medley show called "When You Imagine", with a huge choir and orchestra. It's not paid, but again, a good experience. This was the first rehearsal and I thought it went well. I peaced out a little early because I was exhausted and needed to prep for work the next day.

Wednesday, more work...the work is still not difficult, but at this point I have been working for two weeks straight and it got mentally difficult today. The most important part of doing your job here is paying close attention, listening carefully and staring really hard at your screen and enunciating everything. When you're tired, well...all of that just gets harder. I still did a good job, but boy was I glad when the day was over!

I drove to St. James Cathedral downtown, where I'd been asked to play for the chrism mass. I had to look up what a chrism is: it's a ceremonial service involving the entire local diocese, during which all of the holy oils that the church will use throughout the year are blessed by the bishop. There are three different kinds of oils, and each priest/father/worship leader takes a portion back to his own church to be used by that congregation. It was a very interesting experience. But let's be real, I was just there for the organ! Duuuude. This guy is SO GOOD. He is my hero.

https://instagram.com/p/BwX88K3gOUf

I'm playing here again on Easter Sunday and can't wait to hear the organ again. Speaks to my freaking soul.

Anyway, Thursday, finally a much-needed day off. I spent most of it catching up on cleaning: scrubbing both bathrooms and the kitchen, vacuuming, washing the bedsheets, etc. I got some groceries to restock the fridge, and had a few hours to just relax and enjoy doing nothing. Jameson came home around dinnertime and we got some groceries for him and dinner from Target. Then I went to Fiddler's Green to meet a new friend, a local guitarist who wants to collaborate. I'm certainly not sure how a trombone could collaborate with a guitar, but hey, it's always good to try new things. We'll see how things go. Anyway, he sounded great!

Friday, a glorious day of rest. Jameson and I had breakfast and went to the gym together for the first time in a long while. Then he came home to work on his class grading while I ran to Lucky's to try and find us a ham for Easter. Lucky's smokes their own meats, so I was hoping to get a nice house-made ham from them, but all of theirs were 10lbs!!! We can't eat that much! So I went to Publix instead and got your standard pre-sliced deal. We are going to make ourselves a nice Easter dinner on Sunday :)

The rest of Friday was spent just chilling, there were some thunderstorms moving through the area so we stayed inside. We cooked chicken and veggies for dinner, enjoyed ice cream for dessert, and Jameson played Kingdom Hearts while I prepped for work tomorrow and did some writing on Quora. A pretty nice day. I'm really grateful for days like this.

Saturday, I had a shorter workday. After work I came straight home and we went straight out. It was time to do an Escape Room!!!
Jameson and three of his friends had planned this for us. We went to The Escape Effect first. I'm terrible with names, sorry...one of Jameson's friends, who we've done escape rooms with before, brought us here. He's done several of their rooms and loved the theming. Tonight the them was theater, and the room was called "Encore". The backstory was that the Chicago theater owner, kind of a mob-looking dude, had secretly stashed his money and a valuable necklace somewhere inside his theater, but it had never been found. Now the theater is scheduled to be demolished, and we've only got one hour to find the loot!

I wish I could tell you all about the fun stuff we did, but that would spoil this room for others! There were multiple locks and at least two clue rooms to unlock. Everyone played an important role at least once, and everyone contributed to the puzzles. Jameson's experienced friend put together one massive clue by himself. His two other friends, who had never done an escape room before, turned out to be extremely good at it. Claire (?again, names?) discovered lots of clues herself, and her beau happened to be the type of person with a really analytical mind so that turned out to be a huge advantage for us. We cleared the challenge with exactly five minutes to spare!!



It was still light out when we finished, and we were all ecstatic over our win. What better way to celebrate than with ANOTHER escape room!!
Claire and her man were rearing to go having experienced their first escape room ever haha.

Jameson's friend looked up another room for us, and we drove over there and signed in. This one was through The Escape Game Orlando, and was one of their most difficult rooms with a 9/10 difficulty rating! We began the game separated into two groups in two prison cells. We could hear each other, but couldn't see each other. Using clues in each cell, we had to work together to first escape our cells and then escape the prison! Claire and her beau really ramped up their game on this one, solving a complicated tic-tac-toe-style puzzle all on their own! Jameson and I had been put in a cell together, and we are such a great team you guys. Especially once out of the cell...while the three amigos solved the tic-tac-toe, he and I found like four different clues together without even any dialogue between us on how to go about it.

This escape room had several different rooms, a real challenge! We barely made it, and honestly had to ask for an extra clue, but the room operator ended up giving it to us as a freebie because the clue we had missed was REALLY simple, kind of a "duh" moment! So we technically escaped the room 15 seconds late, or right on time depending on how you look at it! Still, that's incredible! The room operator was very impressed :) I was especially proud of myself because I was able to contribute more this time...I solved one puzzle completely by myself, and found one correlation that ended up leading to the last several clues that we needed to escape. Yay! Once again, though, we could not have done it without all of us there. Different people see things in different ways, and the more perspectives you have in an escape room the better your chances. We went home super satisfied and feeling like total asskickers! I want to team up with these guys again!!!


(probably the least flattering picture of me in the world...for the record I am 128 pounds and not pregnant...sigh)

Our trophies! Stickers!


We will hopefully get to do another one of these again soon. There's a two-hour room that we're all interested in :)

I woke early on Easter Sunday. The first thing I think about on Easter, usually, is my mother. I thought of her as I got dressed all in black for church (musicians wear black, even for Easter) and had a light breakfast. The weather was unusually cool for Florida, I really enjoyed it. At the church I went straight to the balcony to catch me some organ vibes.

https://instagram.com/p/BwhHSgHA6Yf

Instrumentation today was the organ, timpani, two trumpets, trombone, tuba, and choir. We played two services back to back, and for the second service we added the Hallelujah Chorus. Everything sounded great. It was fun to play. And of course I stuck around for the organ playoff. YAAAAAASS.


Awesome. I'm so grateful that I get to play here!
I drove home, where Jameson was in the middle of prepping ambrosia for us! We are having a pretty basic Easter dinner together: ham, crescent rolls, asparagus, deviled eggs, and the ambrosia. I think that's it...we will see! I've just finished lunch and will get started on the eggs in a minute.

I'm grateful for such a busy but nice week. I want to mention that we were informed this week that one of our circus family unexpectedly passed away. She leaves behind a husband and two young children. Our circus family is thinking of her and her family today.

Food for Thought

Saturday was pretty good to me. I did some "air trombone" practicing on some jazz music for a volunteer concert I've got coming up...air tromboning is especially good when you haven't practiced in a while, it lets you just get those pesky rhythms and muscle memory out of the way so that when you do pick up the horn (which I will do tomorrow) you can focus on restoring your chops, sound quality, and other things. I just find the songs on YouTube and listen along while miming the slide movements.

I haven't played in a month and it's going to be weird. But I've taken breaks like this before. I don't like to do it because you lose so much endurance and control and such. But sometimes it does happen.

After that I took care of some errands, picked up a few things from Target, and enjoyed some pizza from Lucky's for dinner while watching anime and emailing some friends and family. After dinner I decided to hit the gym, just because tomorrow I might not have time/I might want to spend my time with my Jameson :)

Sunday, I had breakfast and enjoyed a relaxing morning while thinking about how to maximize my time this week. Mostly I'll just need to include practicing in my schedule, in between work and the gym. So I did practice, and later that night Jameson and I went to a going-away party for one of his friends at work, the one who made me those elephants stickers I posted last week! We had a nice time together and some great food. I enjoyed hearing their stories from work, and telling a few circus stories too! And the food was great! I had a bison burger with pineapple, provalone and bacon on a pretzel bun. Jameson had a buffalo chicken and waffle sandwich with bleu cheese fondue.




On Monday I had work...my first day of real work, not training! I was a little nervous, and arrived early because I've been assigned to a room I've never used before. But everything went smoothly, and I had a really nice day of just being able to work without worrying about a person staring at my every move behind me. My supervisor will still take samples of my work every day just to evaluate how I'm doing, and I will still have a monthly "test". But I don't mind. Just...let me work. haha.

That night we drove out to Sanford to the Theater West End to see Wild Party. Several of Jameson's theater friends and Disney cast members were performing in the show. It was AMAZING. I swear, the level of talent around here is incredible! We had an awesome time. Due to a little snafu with our dinner, we found ourselves scarfing sandwiches around 11pm by the time we got home haha. That'll be a fun memory, along with this great show :)

Tuesday, Jameson had callback auditions for the Guardians show, then he went to hang out with his Disney friends. I went to work, the gym, came home, cleaned, packed lunch for tomorrow, contemplated my life. The usual.

Wednesday, more work for me. There seemed to be a lot of technical difficulties for everyone, perhaps because of the storm system moving through the mcountry. Or the SpaceX launch. Or the black hole vibes. Who knows. In any case, it was a good day but I was glad when it was over and I could go home and practice quick and get some Panda Express with Jameson. Later on he relaxed with some video games and the Cubs game while I got ready for work and watched some anime. Both of us are introverts and we respect each other's down time :) At some point in there the power went out for a large chunk of Orlando, including us. We suspect that workers on I-4 hit a power line or something.



Thursday was a normal day, I did all right at work. Jameson got the news that he'll be doing the Galaxy show again this summer, not surprising y'all! He's a talented guy, that Jameson Boyce ;) We will get fancy steak this coming Saturday to celebrate!

I was supposed to go to the gym but decided to get my hair "fixed" (just had it cut last week and unfortunately the hairdresser made some pretty bad mistakes) instead. After that I came home to say hello to Minnie, a little dog belonging to one of Jameson's friends. Jameson had offered to babysit her for the day! She was very sweet and I had fun playing with her a bit before her mom came to pick her up. The rest of the evening was uneventful...Jameson watched the Cubs game and talked to his friends about the audition results and related drama. I played spider solitaire.

We ended up having a sort of "talk" right before bed, because I still struggle with defeatism related to where my life is at right now. We have had this talk before, I'm ashamed to say, and I don't want to go into detail because this was personal stuff. I just want to say that Jameson is incredible, and supportive, and I do not want my bad attitude to continue hurting him. I had hoped that some things would have cleared up for me by now, and they haven't. Maybe my expectations are too high. Well, whatever the reason, I need to be more patient, work harder, and try new tactics. I'm just grateful that Jameson has been so patient with me.

On to Friday: work went well, and I was pretty productive. I practiced, and went to the gym, and sent a few emails that needed sending.

Saturday: STEAK NIIIIIITE!

I had work, my first day on my actual full time schedule instead of the training schedule. Afterward I came straight home, we both got changed, and went out for steak at Del Frisco's!

Del Frisco's is a special place for us. I took us there by accident one night while we were in the circus, on a loadout day in Ft Worth. There was a Del Frisco's Grille and a Del Frisco's Double Eagle within a mile of each other, and my GPS took us to the wrong one! We walked in in our jeans and t-shirts, into this upscale steakhouse where there was very clearly a dress code and the menu consisted of dry-aged steaks and such. But we were hungry...and since they weren't opposed to our dress, we rolled with it! It was the best steak we ever had! Two years later we returned to Ft Worth and just had to go there again!

This Christmas while I was on the cruise ship, Jameson was lamenting his lack of steak to me over the phone. I thought it would be nice to find a good steakhouse in Orlando for us. I googled "Best steakhouses Orlando". Guess what was at the top of the list! Del Frisco's!!! I hadn't even known there was one in Orlando! Naturally I got us a gift card. And today we redeemed it. No special reason, just a nice dinner together :)

We started with a wagyu carpaccio which was FANTASTIC.



It was pretty dim so I didn't get good pics of our actual meals. Jameson had the prime porterhouse, I had the regular filet mignon. We enjoyed delicious roasted mushrooms and pearl onions, and a truffle baked potato for sides. Their steak is always so dang perfect. We savored every bite.

Afterward we came home to just chill out. Next week is full of insanity for me...I begin my full time work schedule, and I also have three performances in a row, meaning some long days. Hopefully though, someday, one of these gigs will lead somewhere. That's about all I can do is keep trying and hoping. I mean, I've BEEN trying, but I gotta try something new.

Normal Week







Saturday! We had a nice slow morning and went to see "Us". It was good...but honestly, very predictable. Like pretty much the whole plot is revealed 10 minutes in. Oh well...we still had fun :)

Afterward we had a nice dinner together, and went to see some of Jameson's bandmates playing at Rock n' Blues. It was a Saturday night so it was pretty crowded, but we were able to get a table. Several Disney cast member friends were there. It was too loud to talk but it was nice to see everyone and hear some rockin' classic rock!

We left relatively early because Jameson is playing for the Guardians of the Galaxy band auditions at Disney tomorrow.

Sunday, Jameson had to get up bright and early. He'll be playing for auditions all day! I don't know how that guy does it without coffee ;D

I couldn't sleep after he left. I was thinking about all the musicians who will be auditioning today, and how I don't get to participate in this one. Please understand, I'm happy for everyone and glad that there are opportunities still out there for live musicians. It's just that, you know...I want opportunities too! And lately I feel like finding gigs is like looking for a specific grain of sand in the desert.

Anyway, ugh, whatever. It was a very nice day and I have nothing to complain about. I had breakfast and got to work making sous vide egg bites! This is something I've been excited to try since sous vide became an option! I cooked some peppered bacon, chopped some jalapenos and spinach and tomatoes, measured out some cheese, and got to work!





They turned out great! These will be great to pack in lunches this week. And Jameson can have some too :D
I cleaned the house a bit, and went thrifting in the evening before Jameson got home. Didn't find a whole lot, but it was nice to look.
When Jameson got back he told me all about his day of auditions, it sounded like an awful lot of people showed up for them. Hopefully everyone had a good experience regardless of the outcome.

Work on Monday was stressful. It was our first time on the actual call floor, taking actual calls. But before that, we had a meeting to go over the company's confidentiality policies and other workplace information. I think that got us into a tense vibe, because there are just so many ways that you could easily make a mistake here.

From there we went to the call floor and got started. We were carefully monitored the entire time, which is great because we're still in training and we want to be doing a good job. But personally, having someone watching my every move was pretty nerve-racking! I mean, I was glad someone was there...but I was also stressed. You get me? Haha.

It went well, I think I did all right although I definitely made more mistakes than usual. Maybe over the course of this week I can get used to it and start to relax. The first day of doing anything new is always hard. After work I got a haircut (finally) and picked up a library card! I figured I might need one in the near future :)



Tuesday did indeed go better than Monday at work. I was less flustered, though still very nervous. Sweating like a pig the entire time haha. I had three very long phone calls, but got good reviews on all of them. After work I went to the gym, but wasn't really feeling it so only did the elliptical before heading home. Jameson and I had a nice dinner and a relaxing evening.

The rest of the week isn't worth a detailed report...I went to work/training every day, Jameson had work from home and a gig on Friday night. On Thursday I had a bit of a meltdown at work, just because as part of our training we are observed by many different people, and some of the feedback I'd been getting throughout the week was contradictory or confusing. It all just sort of came to a head for me on Thursday. I mean, all that happened was I got frustrated and had to vent about it a little.

But on Friday, I ended up graduating from training one whole week early!! Yay!! It turns out my frustrations were just me putting undue pressure on myself. As usual. Several of my coaches pulled me aside to tell me what a great job I was doing, and one even said my work was "pristine" haha. I think one of the difficult thing for everyone who live-captions is the fact that there WILL be mistakes, every single day, and there's just nothing to be done about it. But now that I'm through with training, I will work hard to overcome my insecurities and perfectionist nature regarding the captions. I'm excited to begin working for real next week!

And therein lies another problem that I've created for myself. I actually enjoy this work. A lot. To the point where I don't want to give it up in favor of the Thing I've been working on. Having this job actually kind of throws a wrench into my plans...I realized this last night as I was trying to fall asleep. Well...we all have hard choices to make in life. I will have to just do my research and make the best choice that I possibly can, and hope it's the right one.

Today is Saturday, and I'm happy to enjoy the day off because after this I'll have two weeks of work in a row x_x.
Jameson has a gig this afternoon/evening, so I will have the house to myself. I've got some small errands to run, and I need to practice for some upcoming Easter gigs (#grateful). And, of course, now I need to figure out what to do with the rest of 2019 regarding my future plans. But other than that my day is free haha.

And now...pictures of my Niece!!! I WILL SHOVE HER ADORABLENESS DOWN YER THROATS!!!

My beautiful sister and her beautiful baby <3



My parents, now grandparents, holding their grandchild. I love how proud they are!


Folding baby clothes while G-Pop and 할머니 (Korean: Grandma) read little Elliotte a story.


HI-YAH!!!! :D

I'm An Aunt!!





On Sunday we relaxed. I had planned to go to the gym, but just didn't feel like it. Hey, as long as I'm hitting 3-4 days per week for now, I think it's fine. I worked on some tax paperwork, and a project I'm doing, and made some final plans for Flat Stanley. Jameson needed to go to Target for a big expandable folder because he's saving his gig receipts for next tax year. I picked up a few things too. Then we went to SusHI for lunch, and came home to continue the relaxation. I packed my lunch for work tomorrow...my lunches are simple but healthy.

Later on we had dinner: ramen from Lucky's Market. It was just the thing for Jameson's sore throat, and I'll pretty much never say no to ramen :) It was very good!

Monday, work. We're starting to get tested more and more feedback as well. So far I'm doing good, but again, can't relax until I'm 60 days in. The work is enjoyable though. Afterward I came home to eat dinner with Jameson but left soon after to try and finish my Flat Stanley project. It is surprisingly hard to find somewhere to print photos any more! I tried FedEx first but they was extremely expensive. Turns out Walgreens was the right place, but they only printed half my photos and I didn't notice until I got home! I will have to go back tomorrow. Sigh.


Tuesday, I had a good day at work. We are practicing by shadowing real phonecalls now, which is either incredibly boring or very interesting. I mean, imagine sitting on hold for twenty minutes. Now imagine that your job is to caption the hold dialogue FOR THE ENTIRE TWENTY MINUTES. Your brain could fall out haha. For regular calls, we are not to listen too carefully to the content (these are peoples' private phone conversations after all) but a real conversation is much more interesting because you have to really pay attention to get the nuance and timing right. The goal is to give the listener (a hearing impaired person) the same level of "hearing" as a person with no hearing issues. That means captioning as much as possible, down to the "ums" and "hmms" and even background noise! It can be really challenging, but honestly I kind of like it. It's challenging the same way that music used to be. Timing, inflection, expression, accuracy, articulation. I'll bet I would enjoy any job that requires a combination of attention to detail and day-by-day variation. And I'll bet you can count jobs like that on one hand haha.

Anyway, I went to the gym after work and retrieved my photos from Walgreens, grabbed dinner, and came home. There was laundry and dishes to do, lunch to pack, and the Flat Stanley to finish. Geez! Jameson had a gig at The Villages tonight, so the house was quiet (I don't turn on the TV or anything usually). I did some work and some relaxing stuffs until he got home, then we went to bed.

Wednesday turned out to be exciting because my sister Kayle went into labor!!! My whole family is over in California right now to be there with her for the birth. I'm the only sister who couldn't go :( This is what happens when you go too long without work, you no longer get that kind of freedom. In general, thanks to work, I've missed weddings and graduations and other important events. It sucks.

But anyway. She's having a baby!!! My sister Kate is keeping me updated, but as of now (10:15pm my time) baby hasn't come all the way out yet. I'm trying not to lose sleep over it. Praying for her.

The rest of the day was normal, I had training and for dinner Jameson and I went to BJs. I ate way too much. Including splitting a Cinnamon Toast Crunch pizookie with Jameson. But sometimes you need a day like that, amirite?



Well, remind me of this post if I start whining about being/feeling fat. Started off the week all proud for being healthy and halfway through I'm wolfing down various stuff. Lol!

I slept poorly that night because all I could think about was Kayle and how she was doing and how much pain she might be in, and whether everything was going all right. I can only imagine how the rest of my family felt...they spent the night in the hospital waiting room and certainly got less sleep than I did.

I woke before my alarm and grabbed my phone. No updates...but partway through breakfast there it was!! Kate sent me a text...I had a new baby niece!! WOW!!!!

There were few details for the rest of the day, but I walked around in a fantastic mood and told anyone who asked (or even if they didn't ask) that I was an aunt, and my sister had just had a baby! I'm not even there, but it's such an amazing thing. I'm the oldest of four siblings, three of whom I was there to see through infancy. So even though I'm not there, I recognize the same warm feeling inside, of a new life whose soul fits with yours like a little puzzle piece.

Gosh. I can't wait to meet her.

(yes, her. I completely thought it was going to be a boy. Good thing I didn't bet money :P)

Anyway, it was a good day mostly because of my sister's awesomeness in bringing a human into the world. In addition I got some really great feedback at work. I just...after the way the past year has gone, it's just nice to get an impression of value from an employer. I hope it lasts. After work I spent some time just flipping through all of the baby pictures sent to my phone and curbing the urge to call everyone (they'd been up for like 24 hours remember!). Then I went to the gym and came home to eat dinner with Jameson. He had a surprise for me...check it out!!



It's a handmade decal made by one of his friends. Clearly, each elephant represents each of Ringling's touring units...Red, Blue, and Gold. Red is the largest and in front because, ya know, that's my unit :) and Gold is little and in the back because it was the baby tour! Awww. I love it! I'm going to have a heck of a time deciding where to stick it!!

On Friday I had a good day at work. Two weeks of training complete! Two more to go! After work I had an interview with a job related to my Thing I'm Maybe Doing, it went well but that's what I thought about the last one too and it was a flop, so we'll see. Then I drove home, Jameson was at a gig so I got a shower, had dinner, took care of some errands, and put some thawed chicken boobs in the sous vide so we'll have them to eat this weekend. Exciting stuff. Geez, everything is boring now that there's this baby haha! How far away is June again?? :)

So it was a pretty good week. Tomorrow I think Jameson and I will go see the movie "Us", and then his friend has a gig at Rock n' Brews so we'll be there at night. Should be a good time.

And now...baby pics...deal with it!!!!!!!!!

I love, LOVE this look on my sister's face. <3


Family pic (sans me). Everyone must be exhausted, but look how happy!!


Amazing to see my Dad holding his granddaughter.
(Fun Fact: he wants to be referred to as "G-Pop. Like a gangster". LOL!!!)


This baby is less than 24 hours old and it has better hair than I will ever have in my lifetime! Hahaha

Sous Vide Magic

On Saturday I drove the nine hours back to Orlando.
I like driving, usually. It's relaxing. It makes me feel like I'm between spaces, with no pressure and no deadlines and no expectations. Sometimes that feels really nice.

I got home in the evening and unpacked, and got caught up with Jameson before he left for his evening gig. He didn't return until late at night, and we both went right to bed.

On Sunday I got up "early" and spent some time catching up on job applications while eating breakfast. Eventually Jameson joined me, and after lunch I went to the gym while he got caught up on Kingdom Hearts. When I was finished, we decided to check out Lucky's Market, a new grocery only a few minutes from the apartment.

Dude. I am SO EXCITED for this grocery! It's like a miniature Whole Foods! The nearest Whole Foods is about 20 minutes away through horrible traffic, and it's always packed. The nearest Trader Joe's is even further away. This place has a bulk section, an excellent meat selection, a cafe, a sushi/ramen bar, AND they prepare and cure a lot of their meat products in-house!!

My sister Kate recently got me a sous vide cooker for my birthday, and we wanted to try it out! Jameson got us some beautiful salmon filets and some asparagus. The salmon was pre-seasoned; we sealed it in a Ziploc bag and put it in the water to cook!

https://instagram.com/p/BvH9-Blg4RL

While that was cooking he roasted some asparagus, and I got to work on some basmati rice. Oh my goodness. This was by far the best salmon either of us has ever cooked! The beauty of sous vide is that it cooks the meat perfectly and evenly every time. Even if you forget about your meat, it maintains a stable temperature so that nothing will be ruined. You can cook food for DAYS in there. Anyway, it was amazing and we're excited to cook some chicken with it tomorrow!!
https://instagram.com/p/BvIG4KPgC4h

After our wonderful meal I did a load of laundry and packed a lunch for my first day at work training tomorrow. I'm a bit nervous, but I'm always nervous haha.

I got up early, had a nice breakfast, and went to work. Most of the day was spent filling out employment paperwork and getting set up to clock in and such. We also spent significant time going over the company's nondisclosure/discretion/privacy policies, because this place is run by the FCC and hey, privacy is part of the job. We then learned how to use the Dragon dictation software that will be the main focus of our work each day. It took a little getting used to...much like the dictation program on your phone, the software often misinterprets what you say if you let your words run together or mumble. But after a bit of practice I felt like I was getting the hang of it. I'm looking forward to trying again tomorrow.

Back at home Jameson prepared us a lovely sous vide chicken dinner! The breasts were unusually thick, and while they were cooked through the texture of mine was a little too juicy for the psychological part of me that associates it with raw chicken. Still, the flavor was very good. I think with normal-thickness chicken it would have been great!

My second day at work was pretty good, there was a lot to learn. This job requires a lot of coordination and careful listening, so it takes some practice. There seem to be a lot of good people in our group, and our trainers are really good too. When my day was done I was supposed to go to the gym, but decided to pass because I ended up with a surprise job interview. In case you're wondering, I'm continuing to look for jobs that are related to That Thing I'm Working On And Not Telling Anyone About. The interview went well, and I'll be back on Thursday to do a little shadowing to see if I'd fit in. Of course, this creates a little problem because I've just started this job with CapTel...sigh. Hopefully it will all work out somehow, because I actually need both CapTel and this other job.

On Wednesday I had training again and learned more stuff. I did go to the gym this time, but cut it short because there was a fight outside that cut into my time and also I was just in no mood. I picked up dinner for Jameson and came home to try and pull some parts of my life together and get a little relaxation before bedtime. Jameson is sick right now, with aches and a cough. I feel bad for him. Luckily he's got a slow week this week so he can rest up a bit.

On Thursday I had work, then drove straight to the place for job shadowing. It was...interesting. I'm not sure I'd be a good fit there. But it's just as well, I don't need to complicate things at this point and there's still time to make decisions. ANYWAY, after that I came home and had some chill.

On Friday my first week of training at CapTel was complete, yay! I think it's going well, but I refuse to have any positive thoughts until A) training is over, because they could still decide not to hire me at any time, and B) my 60 day trial period is over, because of what happened with Full Sail, which I will never make the mistake of forgetting again. So as far as I'm concerned I only have a job for three months, and then we'll see. I wish I could be more positive, but these are the reasons why I can't.

After work I went to the gym and put in a real workout this time, then went to Lucky's Market to try some of their prepared foods. I ended up getting misc stuff from the hot bar...it was all decent, but nothing to write home about. Next time I want to try the pizza, it looked pretty good! I came home and got cleaned up...Jameson wasn't home tonight, he had a gig way out in Port Charlotte, so I had the apartment to myself. I did a little cleaning, reading, and other quiet activities like I like to do. It was nice.

Today I woke up late, had breakfast and got to work finishing my Flat Stanley activities. I took Stanley out to feed the ducks, and sadly they were not hungry, but I still got a few half-decent photos. Then I went to a craft store to find a little glass corked bottle to hold Stanley's Florida beach sand. Being in a creative mood, I also picked up a little compass charm and some cute labels. When I was a kid I loved stuff like this...hopefully he'll like it too.



Around then Jameson came home from his gig and splatted on the couch. He's still feeling sick and traffic was crummy. He has another gig tonight and needs to rest. I'm going to rest too, and just enjoy the fact that I have a weekend off!

Tags:

Visiting my Aunt

Man, Daylight Savings is a bummer, isn't it?

I thought I'd be cool and ignore it this Sunday. Turns out that's a bad idea because you end up waking up at 11am and eating breakfast at noon and lunch at like 3. Whatever, it's a dumb change.

Anyway, Jameson spent Sunday getting settled back in, unpacking and doing laundry and catching up on work and all the stuff you do after time away. He told me about his adventures in Arizona. I was happy to see some photos of the band guys "together"...Jameson and Tim together in Arizona, and Brett and Tom together in the DC area :) I miss this band.



I had a nice "brunch", then went to the gym while Jameson got a haircut. I'm trying to get into a fitness routine, because my new job is going to involve a lot of time on my a$$ in a cubicle. Every other day seems to be working well for me right now. I always do 30 minutes on the elliptical, and then choose between leg/arm/core day. We'll see how long this lasts. I'm also trying to eat as healthy as possible. I've always been good at tracking my calories, and now I'm trying to really lock that down and establish good eating habits so that when I get busy I'll still stick to my macros.


After "lupper" I enjoyed some of the tea that my sister Raven got me for Christmas. It's REALLY good, but of a higher quality that I can afford. I'll definitely have to wishlist it! For dinner Jameson and I went to SusHI and got bowls with brown rice, various fish, and lots of tasty toppings :)

On Monday Jameson had a lot to do, and I needed to reset myself for Daylight Savings, so we both got up at 9 and got to work. He spent the morning grading and taking student calls and questions. I continued my job hunt (does it ever really end?) and was surprised to get a phone interview from a place I'd applied to weeks ago. It's always so awkward when you've already accepted a job but you don't want to discount taking on a second...especially when it relates to something you actually want to do...I did my best to be honest, but I'm not sure if they'll want someone with a weird schedule like I've currently got.

On Tuesday I drove nine hours to North Carolina to visit with my Aunt and Uncle. It's been way too long since I've seen them, WAY too long. We had a nice dinner together before I crashed in their guest room.

On Wednesday my Aunt took me for an amazing Greek lunch at Taverna Agora in Raleigh. The restaurant has a beautiful outdoor seating area, which we enjoyed while sipping sangria and eating delicous traditional Greek appetizers. We both had salmon for our main meals, hers with toasted baklava crumbles, mine on a bed of gigantes.




After that we walked off our meal at a local farmers market! I saw a ton of stuff I'd like to get...typical...and I did pick up a few little things. For Jameson, some honey with comb included. For me (and possibly him, if he wants it), some flavored honey sticks, pear butter, and farm eggs. There was some awesome-looking produce, especially beets and sweet potatoes, but not knowing how much time I'll have to cook next week I decided to hold off.


Later in the evening we played a few games with Uncle Andy. I lost the first game, it was sort of like dominoes where you match colors or shapes in rows of six. I won the second game, which was kind of like Rummy and more familiar to me :) We had a great time together!


The next day Aunt Chris and I went to a yoga class! She's been taking yoga more often lately and offered to bring me along. I was nervous because the last yoga class I'd been to had been pretty involved and pretty fast for me. But I was happy to be with my Aunt, and it turned out to be a lot of fun! I felt refreshed afterward, even if only for a little while! We ate a light dinner together and went to sleep excited for Friday!

Why were we excited? Food of course!
We had an amazing breakfast at La Farm Bakery. I think it's a local place...they bake their own bread and sell a variety of pastries, coffees, food/drink mixes, and granolas. My Aunt had a goat cheese salad, and I enjoyed a half-sandwich with eggs, bacon, cheddar, and fresh bread. Afterward she gifted me a La Farm gift card and stood by while I lost my mind choosing between all of the goodies. She spoils me!! I ended up choosing the weirdest bread I could find (turmeric raisin buckwheat), two massive chocolate almond meringue cookies, and two hand pies made with an heirloom rye, stuffed with hazelnut chocolate spread and strawberries. Good grief! Who is going to eat all this!!

Oh but that wasn't all. In the afternoon we were scheduled for High Tea at Duke University's Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club! Fancy!

I've never been to a real "high tea" before. We went with several of Aunt Chris's friends whom I'd met before, and all got caught up with each other as the tea and delicacies were served.



Everything was delicious! My favorite was that little pie-looking thing on the bottom tier with a flower petal on top. It was a lemon meringue, but possibly the silkiest meringue I've ever had. And I think there might have been a little flower water in it as well, because I tasted something floral (besides the petal haha). It was beautiful and tasty! The tea wasn't bad either!

We had a wonderful time. And I ate too much. But full disclosure, on Thursday we had fasted and only ate 500-600 calories. So, I think it evened out :P

Later that night we had a quick meal with my Uncle, then spent the evening relaxing.

Tomorrow I have to get up a little early to start my trek back to Florida. I'll have Sunday to get my life together before beginning my job training on Monday.

This week was full of food, and indulgence, and getting spoiled. It was also full of conversations, and catching up, and sharing love and stories and emotions and perspectives. I love spending time with my Aunt...not because she spoils me, or because of the fancy food. She grew up in a rough neighborhood under rough circumstances. I lived with her for two years way back after graduating college. And I think we share a connection that goes beyond just Aunt/Niece. She's like a second mother to me, and the one person I know I can always talk to, no matter what. Even though I don't spend time with her nearly enough. Which I always hope to change.

Anyway. I had a wonderful visit, and I hope my Aunt and Uncle did too. I'm grateful that I was able to visit my parents, siblings, and Aunt and Uncle before my life becomes potentially crazy again. I'm looking forward to visiting Kayle in California after she has her first baby. And I'm hopeful to start a new chapter in my life sometime soon.

See you all back in Florida.

Flying Solo

I woke up ungodly early on Monday. Drove to the rental car drop lot. Took the shuttle to the terminal.

The first flight was fine. The crummy weather moved out quickly, so the morning flights were not affected.
As we landed I was startled by a series of notification texts from the airline telling me that my next flight was delayed. By a LOT. Like, six hours. Even before the plane got to the terminal I started frantically looking up flights. I've often wondered why I make myself get up at the crack of dawn for these early flights. Well, today I had my answer. An earlier flight means that if I get delayed, I'll have a better chance at booking another flight instead of having to camp at the airport overnight. Had I taken the later flight, I would have had to sleep at the airport. Gotta remember that.

Anyway, I found another flight that was leaving at exactly the same time as my delayed flight was supposed to, and got on that. While waiting for the plane to arrive I had a nice bagel with lox and chatted with people on facebook.

The second flight went smoothly, and before I knew it we were in Orlando! Jameson was at a gig, so I got an Uber home. Family visit, complete!

I had a lot of energy for some reason, and before Jameson got home I unpacked, washed the shower curtain, dusted the living room, and vacuumed. I emailed my tax preparer with some new information. I ate dinner and wrote out plans for the week. Because even though I'm not working (or even because I'm not working) there are a LOT of errands to run!

On Tuesday morning I had breakfast while Jameson graded his students. Around lunchtime I gave my trombone a bath, ate something, and paid attention while Jameson showed me how to use the Blu Ray player and access the Overcooked game we're playing while he's gone. Then it was time to take him to the airport! We are taking turns traveling it seems lol.

After seeing him off I drove to Trader Joe's for some of the things I just can't get anywhere else: Chomps jerky, non-sorbate prunes, and affordable almond butter. I also grabbed some coffee as it was on sale for $3(!) and a tub of Greek yogurt because why not, it's the same price at Publix. I ended up hitting two more grocery stores in a quest for cranberries and coarse sugar (I wanna make scones). Finally I came home and unpacked, then went straight to the gym.

Next was a shower and dinner, and printing out a bunch of paperwork I'll need for the next few days. I also started prepping some activities for a project that my sister Kayle sent me on behalf of one of her students. Have you ever heard of the book Flat Stanley? It's a popular children's book in which a child is squashed flat through some mishap, and sends himself around the world in an envelope to meet new friends and see new places. Well, there is now a whole project built around the premise of this story! Many teachers and school programs use Flat Stanley as a sort of penpal learning program. In this case, my sister's students each made a "Flat Stanley" version of themselves, and sent it to a friend or relative living in a different city, state, or country. Kayle has asked me to complete the project for this student...I forget why, but either he doesn't have extended family or they all live somewhere where he can't send his letter.

Anyway, all of this means that I'll be showing "Flat Stanley" around Orlando for a few days!

Actually, he showed up at a good time. On Wednesday I had to drive out to St. Petersburg for...stuff...that I am not disclosing yet...so I brought "Stanley" along! Once my business was finished I started looking for somewhere to grab lunch. To my surprise, there was a Food Network-featured restaurant not ten minutes down the road! Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish! I had to circle the tiny parking lot a bunch of times before someone gave me their spot. Because it was such a small joint I ordered to go at the bar. Several people noticed that I was holding a "Flat Stanley"...I was surprised that other people knew what it was! One gentleman offered to take a picture, and I agreed, knowing full well I wouldn't be sending this to a kid (beer clock!). So I guess y'all get to see it instead!



I took the food to a nearby public beach. After all, if you're going to drive all the way to St. Pete, you may as well enjoy it! I had meant to order smoked mullet, but accidentally said "mackerel". Not that I'm disappointed. It was amazing!!


And gigantic!! Who eats a whole one of these?! And it came with German potato salad and slaw and a piece of bread! I ate a filet-worth and took a bite of each of the sides, and did a little photoshoot with Stanley. I had also gotten a piece of Key Lime pie solely because I thought Stanley should have a true Florida food. I think he appreciated that much more than the giant fish.


Next we hit the beach. I felt like a complete weirdo walking around with this cut-out doll, sticking it in the sand and photographing it. Most people were probably trying hard to ignore me. But then from across the beach a dude yelled, "FLAT STANLEY! HEEEY! THAT'S A FLAT STANLEY!!" and he and his girlfriend waved frantically at us. Nice! Someone else who gets it. :)


Once we were done on the beach I started driving home, intent on beating the rush hour wave. I made it back to the apartment in a reasonable amount of time. After a light dinner I got to work assembling and editing the Flat Stanley photos, and writing a little journal entry to go along with them. I spent the rest of the evening relaxing.

Because Thursday was an early day at the Toyota dealership. My car has needed new rotors/brake pads for a while now, among other things. I was surprised when the Toyota associate offered to give me a ride home even though I'm two miles outside their normal shuttle range. And I definitely said yes, there was a lot to do! I cleaned the bathrooms and the patio, ate lunch, and took a little break while waiting for the refrigerator repair technician to show up. Our fridge has been running strangely lately, and since I was suddenly faced with a day at home thanks to not having a car I figured why not get it checked out.

Luckily the "repair" didn't take all that long...I'm still not 100% clear on what was wrong, but it seemed like the main issue was a lot of dense ice built up around the heating element. Jameson has thawed the fridge out at least twice since I've been here, but the repair tech said there was ice just densely packed around the coils from buildup over time. He managed to thaw the ice using hot water, then tested the heating element with a diagnostic device and told me it was working properly. Yay! A much easier repair than expected.

And much faster than the car. I had dropped the car off at 7am, and didn't get it back until 5pm. To be fair, it had needed a lot of work. The cost made me flinch, but it's got to be done. I need this car to last.

I ran a few errands, ate dinner, cleaned both bathrooms, and spent the rest of my evening relaxing.

On Friday I went to the gym. The rest of the day was dedicated to scones!
While on the cruise ship, I came to enjoy the daily Tea Time and the little scones that were served. I thought it would be fun to try and make my own scones! My first batch, which were cranberry/orange, did not turn out great. They LOOK great, but they were very dense and kinda bland. I decided that I hadn't handled the dough properly, and also hadn't included enough orange zest or juice.



The second batch was blueberry lemon. I changed how I managed the dough, and made sure to add plenty of lemon. These had a much better texture and flavor!


They were supposed to have a lemon glaze as well, but that didn't turn out as planned :/ It was super wet, and nothing I did seemed to thicken it up. I probably didn't get enough of the water out from the lemon juice. Anyway, I got it as thick as I could and when the scones were cool I poured it on. It was still too thin, but hopefully they'll still taste all right tomorrow.


I want to send some to my siblings, and maybe take a few to my aunt when I visit her next week. And of course I'm setting some aside for Jameson and me!

The scones took up most of my day. Tomorrow I plan to make more, but it should go a lot faster now that I know what to do.

Saturday:
First thing in the morning, I made the scones. Figured get 'em over with. I changed a few things...first of all, no glaze, just coarse sugar. Also for the cranberry scones, I cut the cranberries in half so they'd integrate better and also added cinnamon and orange juice. I think both batches turned out great. Once they had cooled I wrapped them carefully and took them to FedEx to ship to my siblings. Hooray!

By the time all that was done it was already pretty late in the day. I cleaned the house a bit and packed for the trip to my Aunt's next week. I chatted with Jameson during his layover, and worked on my Flat Stanley journal. Later tonight I'll go get Jameson from the airport, and we'll have two days together before I hit the road.

I got a lot done this week...not as much as I wanted, but a lot. Hopefully it's enough.

Visit Home

I spent this week home with my family in Pennsylvania, and because I was having quality time with them I didn't really track my doings for this blog.

I flew in on Monday. It was very windy with gusts up to 50mph, so it was kind of a rough ride! I got a rental car and drove it to my hometown. After getting caught up with my parents and making plans for the next day, I went right to bed. I was VERY tired!

On Tuesday I had a phone interview, then Mom and I ran a few errands. In the evening I had a nice dinner with my Aunt Nicole, we got all caught up and shared the woes of the unemployed.

On Wednesday my sister Kate came over and we all went to breakfast at Muffin Man, a local favorite breakfast/brunch spot known for their quiche and variety of flavored coffees. I've had the quiche many times, so opted for the baked sour cherry oatmeal. It was really good, tasted like a loosely packed hot granola. After that Mom and Kate left it up to me what we should do, and since I can't make a decision to save my life I took us back home to just hang out and play games. I just want to be in the room with the people I love; I don't much care what we're doing :)

During breaks in the games I worked on filling out a second application for CapTel, a telephone captioning company for the hearing impaired. I had applied to this company in January, but couldn't make their training session this week, so they advised me to reapply near the end of February.

Later that night my parents went to Bible study, so Kate and her husband Pat and I went to The Blind Pig Kitchen for dinner! It's a really small restaurant with locally sourced food...simple stuff, but very flavorful and cooked to perfection! I got the wild sockeye salmon with ginger cider sauce, grilled bok choy, and ginger turmeric carrots. Everything was VERY good!



Kate and I did a lot of catching up. I talked about my job woes, and she told me about some of the things she's been up to lately. We are both excited for our new niece/nephew, who will be born very soon! Can't wait!

On Thursday I had a phone interview with CapTel, and was offered a job. FREAKING FINALLY. I'm sure because it's a sort of "call center" and the work is redundant, the turnover rate is very high. No matter. I will do my best. The scheduling is very flexible, the work is something that I know I can do well, and the environment is casual. I'm even allowed to do schoolwork during down time. Hopefully this will work out. There is a 90 day trial period, so at minimum I've got three months of work. Assuming I pass the four week training.

Anyway, after the interview I drove to Bloomin' Bagels for brunch with my friend Kristin, who I haven't seen in years. We ate and talked, getting all caught up. It seems like we've both been through a lot lately, her with relationships and me with unemployment. It was awesome to have someone to vent to, and we both listened and provide some support to each other. It's good to know that some friendships are stronger than distance and time. Thank you Kristin :)



Mom and I drove to Kate's house where we played games, ate snacks, and just chilled. When it was dinnertime we drove downtown and met Dad at Filet 18, a nice little restaurant that's fairly new here. I had seared tuna salad, it was pretty darned good. Dad and Pat talked politics while Kate and I compared medical notes (she's a nurse and I'm...more to come on that). We drove home full and happy, and Mom and Dad and I spent the rest of our night relaxing and doing computer work.

The next day we were supposed to have lunch with one of my mom's friends, but she backed out. It was just as well since my rental car was experiencing problems. Mom and I drove the car to the nearest Firestone in Lewisburg, and had lunch at Country Cupboard. Country Cupboard isn't just a restaurant, it's also got a bunch of shops attached, so we enjoyed ourselves looking around. We spend an especially significant amount of time near the baby items...Kayle's baby is coming pretty soon!

After that we went to the mall because Mom wanted a spiralizer, then we drove home, picking up Thai food for dinner on the way. I feel like I'm doing a food tour of PA haha.

On Saturday we got up early to run an errand with our parents, but it unfortunately didn't work out for us. No bigs, they went home to relax while I went over to Kate's house to visit with Raven and Jonah (my brother and sister who I hardly every see any more!!) We played games together and talked a lot, getting all caught up on each others' lives. When we got hungry we decided to make our own pizzas! Each of us got a ball of dough and decorated to suit our tastes. Each of our pizzas looked and tasted different! Kate's was a white pizza covered in veggies, it was very good, but the crust was preeeetty hard haha. Raven's was a good cheese pizza, mine was all right too, but Jonah's won the day with mozzarella stuffed crust and a chewy texture (the rest of us ended up with crunchy dough).

After we ate we watched Birdbox and The Incredibles 2 while eating mochi ice cream. Too soon it was time for me to go. I loved catching up with my family this week, it was much needed after four months at sea and a very frustrating, fruitless job hunt.

On Sunday I went to church with my parents, then we all went home to eat lunch and spend our last few hours together. As the first flurries started to fall, I packed up my rental car and drove to Philly. Hopefully I'll see everyone again soon. <3

Now I'm in a hotel near the airport. I drove out here the night before because the weather was supposed to be bad (and it is) and I'd rather face it tonight than worry about a 2.5 hour drive at 4am tomorrow morning. Soon I'll be back in Florida...just as Jameson leaves to check out Cubs spring training in Arizona! I have an entire week to myself, but there's a lot to do. Stay tuned.

Just a Week

Gosh, what even happened on Sunday? I've had yet another sinus infection, and it's fuzzing up my brain.

Oh, yeah. I had one Ain't Misbehavin' show. That's about it!!

On Monday I had my final "work" for the "thing" that I'm "doing". It was a very busy day, but I learned a lot. The whole thing has been a great experience. I thanked everyone who was involved, and promised to keep in touch should my plans work out. With the work and documentation that I needed, I came home and sent in the final parts of an application. Now I have to wait and see what happens next.

Jameson and I had a nice dinner, then spent the night playing Kingdom Hearts and just relaxing. Neither of us slept well last night, and we need the rest.

On Tuesday I had a whole day off and it was glorious. I did laundry, and wrote a little, and just enjoyed myself. Jameson beat Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories, which was fun for me to watch. I cooked dinner for the first time since getting home from the ship. I made a spicy honey mustard pork loin with roasted potatoes and peas. I've made the pork loin before and it's pretty darned good. With the potatoes I was out for vengeance because last time they came out soft and mushy, and they stuck to the bottom of the baking tray. This time I definitely got them right with the help of the broiler setting. Yessss.



Wednesday, I had volunteering at the Audubon. It was a windy humid day so there was more work than usual...the sand was wet and hard to move, plus leaves kept blowing everywhere :/ But hey. Any day I get to spend watching caracaras is a good day :)
https://instagram.com/p/BuHOOGUAhul

After that I had a job interview, it was pretty far away but at this point if they're willing to interview me I'm willing to go there. I think the interview went well, but they said they've gotten close to 1,000 applications and will only be holding ten interviews. On one hand I'm grateful that they interviewed me at all. On the other hand, well, that sounds pretty hopeless. It's nice that statistically unemployment is low. Where the hell is the data being gathered for that? Are we counting a single hour of work as "employed"? Or multiple part time jobs? I don't get it.

Anyway. On Thursday I had one Ain't Misbehavin' show, it went well. At home Jameson downloaded Overcooked 2 for us to try. I get really stressed about gaming because I'm pretty much not a gamer at all, and I don't want us to lose a team effort because I don't know how to operate my character and such. But Jameson is patient and it's just a little cooking game, so it was fun :) I'm hoping to get better at it!

Friday, two Ain't Misbehavin' shows. We're on the last four. It's been a lot of fun. Jameson had a gig with Barfly, it went pretty well. He didn't get back until pretty late, and I was already asleep.

Saturday, exactly the same as Friday except I set an alarm so I'd have enough time to go to the gym, shower, and eat lunch before the shows. Our last two shows! They both went very well. After the last one we packed our things, then shared big pieces of cake and drinks together in the lobby. The cast presented the theater owners with a beautiful collage of photos from their time together on the show. Because this show took place in Winter Park, a traditionally affluent WASPy neighborhood, this presentation of Ain't Misbehavin' was pretty groundbreaking. The cast had a lot of amazing things to say about the theater, the show, and their experiences performing in this venue in this time and place and political climate. I had meant to peace out pretty early, but ended up staying late because I wanted to hear everything the castmembers had to say.

Well...eventually I said my goodbyes. This was a fun show, and these were wonderful people to work with. I'm very grateful.

Friends Food Fun

Hmm, let's see.

On Sunday Jameson and I had a date night! We had a nice dinner at Marlow's Tavern...Jameson got a tasty black-and-blue burger with a side of jalapeno grits, and I had the shrimp and white cheddar grits! Freaking delicious!



Then we went to see the second LEGO movie! It was good, but not as funny as the first one. I think it might have been geared toward a younger crowd. But it was still well done and very enjoyable.

On Monday I had more "work" for my future life plans or whatevs. I got to see a lot of cool stuff that I wish I could share with you. Oh well. :p
Once that was done I picked up dinner and came home to do more work, watch TV with Jameson, and look for jobs. Any jobs. You know, I was all excited to have more interviews this year, yet once again I seem to be getting passed over. I wish I had any idea why. I'm trying to be positive, but some of the frustrations are creeping back. What is it? Am I not good enough? Am I doing something wrong? This is supposed to be a good economy right now...why is it that I can't find a job? Just, why? Honestly, I'm still upset. It's upsetting. I mean, I'll bite my tongue and try not to, like, aspire to anything and be grateful for whatever I end up with. But just, why?

Sorry, some days are harder than others, and today as I'm typing this it's a hard day.

Anyway, on Tuesday I didn't have anything to complain about because I got to spend the morning relaxing and the evening going to Disney with Jameson and Tom and his wife Jennifer! Tom was a keyboardist in the circus band, and we have a lot of fond memories together. Time to make some more!

We met them near the tram station, and after a quick meal, it was time to ride some rides! We hit Haunted Mansion and that train mine ride, and the new Snow White/Seven Dwarves mine ride which was very similar but more modern. All of them were a ton of fun, I screamed like an idiot on every turn! Of course Jameson and I had to have our Dole Whips, delicious as always. When it was time for the fireworks we found a spot in front of the castle. Because this was a special event for Disney Vacation Club (Tom's wife is a member) the crowd was light and we were able to get quite close!

I didn't record the whole thing because I was busy experiencing it, and I know that there are already many high-quality videos of this out there. So here are both of the fireworks shows, "Once Upon A Time" and "Happily Ever After". I was absolutely blown away by the holographic mapping of the castle. There were times when I swear the towers were dancing, or burning, or even launching into space! Really! Check it out.



After that we had another snack, then rode some more rides like It's A Small World, Pirates, and the Buzz Lightyear shooting game (I won for once!!).


Too soon we had to leave because I had to get up early the next morning for a thing. Tom and Jennifer walked us back to the entrance, and we parted with hugs and promises to see each other again soon. What awesome people.


The next morning I felt exhausted and like another cold was coming on (didn't I JUST freaking have one of these?? God.) There was a lot to do and I went and did it. I learned a lot and had a good day even though I was tired. Back at home I was surprised to find a large package for me. My parents had sent my Christmas stocking, and a birthday present! Look at this quilt!! It was handmade by one of my mom's friends. The coloring is exactly my style, and there are little blue clovers sewn into the edges. I absolutely LOVE it!


In fact, because I wasn't feeling well, I bundled myself right up and fell asleep on the couch wrapped in it!

On Thursday I still had to get up early for some volunteer time at Audubon. They'd sent an email asking for help, and since I'm missing my volunteer time because of my Secret Activities or whatever, I felt bad and decided to step up. And what do I get for scraping rat guts off the perches and bird poop off the walls? A threat display from this vulture. C'mon man! I'm doing you a favor! ;)

https://instagram.com/p/Bt3iW_nAdkl

Seriously though, it's easy work to do and doesn't take long. I cleaned the hawk mews and logged all of their food, then drove home to eat lunch and get changed for Ain't Misbehavin'. The show went well, and there were TONS of treats in the green room because of Valentine's Day! I had a piece of cake made by Musical Director Chris...this wasn't just any chocolate cake, it was Guinness stout chocolate cake with whiskey fudge icing! So freaking goooood


I snagged a piece for Jameson, then went to The Coop to pick up dinner as both of us were feeling tired and in no mood for eating out. Back at the house we enjoyed fried chicken and catfish, sweet potatoes in a spicy glaze, cornbread, and other goodies. As we ate we watched Bohemian Rhapsody. This was Jameson's eigth time seeing it(!) but he's a massive Queen fan so he didn't mind! It was my first time seeing it, and it was amazing. There was no one like Freddie Mercury. As Jameson said to me after we watched it, thank God he lived in a time where his music and abilities could be recorded and shared around the world. What an incredible influence on ALL of us.

On Friday I had two shows. I was supposed to go to the gym but my cold was kicking my a$$ so I skipped it in favor of extra sleep. Both shows went well. I decided to record some of my solos, for the memories.



On Saturday (today) I'm typing this in my pajamas. Just finished breakfast, and Jameson is just now eating his. In a few minutes I'll go to the gym. Jameson is going to hang out with some friends at Epcot, and I've got one Ain't Misbehavin' show today. Tonight we'll probably have a simple dinner and just enjoy each other's company :)

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